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Publisher's Summary

The Well-Trained Mind will instruct you, step by step, on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school - one that will train him or her to read, to think, to understand, to be well-rounded and curious about learning. Veteran home educators Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer outline the classical pattern of education called the trivium, which organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child's mind and comprises three stages: the elementary school "grammar stage", the middle school "logic stage", and the high school "rhetoric stage." Using this theory as your model, you'll be able to instruct your child in all levels of reading, writing, history, geography, mathematics, science, foreign languages, rhetoric, logic, art, and music, regardless of your own aptitude in those subjects. 

This newly revised edition contains completely updated ordering information for all curricula and books, new and expanded curricula recommendations, new material on using computers and distance-learning resources, answers to common questions about home education, information about educational support groups, and advice on practical matters such as working with your local school board, preparing a high school transcript, and applying to colleges. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2009, 2004, 1999 Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Featured Article: Best Audiobooks for At-Home Learning


With the arrival of a brand-new school year, parents across the globe are finding themselves tasked with a new challenge in addition to the typical back-to-school duties: learning to teach. Whether you are educating your kids from home, helping manage their virtual or hybrid education, or just want to supplement their coursework, these useful audiobooks provide some much-needed guidance for teaching outside the confines of a traditional classroom.

What listeners say about The Well-Trained Mind

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, but would work better in print.

Wonderful and informative book on giving your child a classical education. Only downside to the audio version is there are many lists, schedules, resource names, etc. that are tedious to listen to and would be much more helpful to see in written format. Will probably buy the print version at some point, but this version is helpful for getting the overall information.

16 people found this helpful

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Great resource, just not for an audible book

What would have made The Well-Trained Mind better?

The Well-Trained Mind is a great resource, however this is not a pleasure read, it is loaded with LOTS of lists of books to buy and use and it is just not practical to listen to a narrator read them aloud to you. In my opinion this is a book you need a hard copy of so that you can go back to all the lists of recommendations and research them.

40 people found this helpful

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Need a PDF of the Book Lists...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book would best be utilized in print due to the overwhelming amount of lists read aloud. I'd love to keep the book on audio if it were to come accompanied with a pdf list of the books and resources listed so I could print them out for reference. Rather, as I listen to the reader, I am stuck trying to figure out how to bookmark the lists when they appeal to my needs or wants, but struggle to go back to the lists when I am ready to sit down and order the books listed.

What could Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Add a PDF file of the books and resources listed. Now I'm stuck having to buy this book again, but in print. I feel like I wasted my money (or a credit) on the audio version.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes. The narrator did a great job under the circumstances.

7 people found this helpful

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good book but needs additional support

I bought the book hoping to provide some structure and direction in educating my kid in this pandemic when schools are either closed or it is risky to send the child. The content is good and I agree with the author that the foundation needs to be strong before the kid can move to higher learning. This requires some rote learning and adding stuff in the memory bank. Consider these as tools for learning. For example, if you are a carpenter, you wouldn't forge a hammer or saw before starting a new assignment. Similarly, some things need to be in memory before the child can proceed. Coming to the review, I listen to the book during my evening walks but as others have mentioned, this is not a book you would like to listen but rather read. There are so many resources and books mentioned that you can't write them down, there is no associated resource which provides that list. After a while, it just becomes cumbersome and you wonder if buying the book in this format was a good choice. Any future buyers, please buy the hard copy.

1 person found this helpful

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The home school bible!

A must-read for anyone questioning the "normal" education path for your kids. This is another option.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly a great book

it's not like other books that have related story line. This is very clear on prividing methids for educators-parents. It is very well done on every subject , and it gives direction on the time line for management.

1 person found this helpful

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Great for Advanced Learning!

Any additional comments?

This method is perfect for those who want their child to have a well rounded, advanced education! We have been using this method for years, and both of my kids test above average and gifted when we tested for public school.

2 people found this helpful

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supremely informative!

a must read if you're thinking of homeschooling! I highly recommend listening to this on audible!

2 people found this helpful

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Good ideas

They do recommend a lot of their own products, but their method seems good. I will probably take a more relaxed approach following their guidelines 2-3 days a week and just do family reading/projects for the other 2. My children are in 2nd & k. I didn't read the middle school or high school chapters.

3 people found this helpful

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Not my cup of tea

There is way too much focus on rote memorization and drill in this book. Your kids can easily be as well educated or better without all this drill.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-27-15

A tome made accessible

Would you consider the audio edition of The Well-Trained Mind to be better than the print version?

Can listen to the bulk of it whilst cooking and living a homeschooling life.

What did you like best about this story?

Not having to hold the book.

Any additional comments?

Have a pen handy for book recommendations and ideas.

2 people found this helpful

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  • H
  • 11-03-14

Excellent guide to classical education

Would you consider the audio edition of The Well-Trained Mind to be better than the print version?

Same

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Well-Trained Mind?

I'm interested in the section for primary school aged kids

Have you listened to any of Suzanne Toren’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Never listened to other performances

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No - choose the sections relevant to your child's age

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent guide to educating children of all ages. It's aimed at the home schooling audience, but is also useful as a resource to support a child in regular school. It covers primary and secondary years in depth, with a short section on pre-school.

This book gives a brief summary each topic (Reading, Maths, History, Art, Languages, etc), which is enough to get started. It then recommends various additional books / resources that you would want to use if you were to properly teach that subject. In other words, this book is not a stand-alone resource for education. It is more like an index / overview of classical education and you must be prepared to invest in the other resources (many of which are only a few pounds) to make best use of it. I've found it immensely helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 12-21-17

Confidence inspiring approach to home schooling.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Jessie Wise and Susan Wise-Bauer set out clearly a reassuringly followable structure for home schooling. The lists of resources are helpful and the explanations as to why they reccomend the approaches they describe, make a lot of sense. As a teacher of teenagers in Technical Ed, I routinuely witness the struggles of students who do not have the necessary skills to understand or use language and this impacts on everything they try to do, everything they try to learn, and their engagement with the world. Wise and Wise-Bauer's emphasis on building this foundation is absolutely right. Their goal is to encourage self-directed and competent self-learners capable of critical thinking.

Have you listened to any of Suzanne Toren’s other performances? How does this one compare?

The narration was perfect. Not an obvious book for narration as it has lists of resources in parts along woth publishers details and dates! However her narration manages to help you through the potentially dull listen of those parts.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Not sure this'd be a film.