Well-Trained Mind Press curriculum is designed to support the governing principles of classical education described in the opening pages of The Well-Trained Mind, 4th Edition. The timing, content and instructional methods very often differ from those set forth in Common Core and other institutional standards. Well-Trained Mind Press makes no attempt to match the requirements of any states or nations, but writes its curriculum to help parents (and schools) deliver a top-notch education for their students.
In the classical model, we lay the foundations in the early years. Then, in the middle years, we start to order them, to make sense of them. In the upper years, we build on a solid foundation, with ordered thought, to write and speak with force and originality. This pattern is not the one followed by our school system, where first graders are asked to order paragraphs before they have the foundations in constructing complete thoughts in sentences. It’s like being asked to build a house before learning how to use a hammer.
In The Well-Trained Mind, Dr. Susan Wise Bauer describes the skills and knowledge to be gained in each of the three stages. Well-Trained Mind Press delivers scripted curricula targeted at the abilities of the children in each stage. Dr. Bauer recommends curricula from multiple vendors to allow each family to choose for themselves the curriculum that will help them deliver a classical education specifically suited to their children.
The Well-Trained Mind gives detailed explanations about the language skills gained in each of the stages, where each topic is fleshed out, and where Dr. Bauer correlates the students' interaction with writing, grammar, literature, history, science--not as separate "subjects" but as bodies of knowledge brought forward together. She also discusses the integration of creative writing as an elective, especially in the middle- and upper-years.
You can see a curriculum map and samples of the Well-Trained Mind Press curricula on our website. Each product has an extensive sample (click the purple button under the photo of the product), which includes the table of contents as well as some of the main pages so you can see how the curriculum is set up. There is more information in our Help Center's FAQs.
Whenever we divert from the pace and objectives of school system standards, it is because we have tailored our curricula to match the child’s developmental stage and capability. By writing our curricula with the student in mind, we are able to engage students instead of exasperating and over-stretching them. Because of this, students using Well-Trained Mind Press curricula are often better prepared than their public school counterparts for the rigors of high school and college.