well-trained-mindI’m a huge C. S. Lewis fan.  In his autobiography, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, he takes great lengths to discuss his education.  He said his father bought every book he had ever read, so Lewis was at liberty to read anything lying about the house.  When Lewis’s boarding school experiences proved to be disastrous, his father sent him to live with his own former college professor William T. Kirkpatrick (the inspiration for Professor Kirk in the Chronicles of Narnia), who was his private tutor for years and taught Lewis to think logically.

Since reading it, my dream has been to get wealthy and hire a live in governess to teach my children privately.  She could go on trips to Europe with us and tutor my children in logic, literature, and languages (no alliteration intended).  A couple years ago, when I saw we weren’t getting rich, I thought I’d take a whack at homeschooling and volunteer myself as the governess.  My son was very cooperative, and enjoyed the one on one teaching, but after about six months we abandoned it for several reasons with which I won’t bore you.

Homeschooling was not a waste of time, by any means.  I had based the curriculum on Jessie Bauer and Susan Wise Bauer’s book, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, which has become a homeschooling standard on classical education.  With it, Stuart learned much more history and literature than public schools would ever try to cover, and we even began Latin.  Since my dream of giving him the perfect education has halted until we have an extra $70,000 every year to pay the governess, he and I try as often as we can to supplement his learning with things the book suggests for people who can’t homeschool: world history, writing, literature, and logic.  That way, when I write my best-selling novel, or my husband becomes a real estate tycoon, the governess won’t have to start from scratch.