Friday, February 10, 2012

The Well Trained Mind

Need something to read? :)

I was going through my book shelves today, just looking for something to read while I had down time, and came across The Well Trained Mind. If you have children, are thinking of having children, or you, yourself know how to read, this is a book you don't want to miss!

Written by a homeschooling mother and one of her brilliant children, this book has the potential to change your life.


I learned so much about how children learn and learn to learn. I can now see many of the detrimental effects from lessons learned in my and any public school across America. Things that affected me and my life and helped to "shape" my life the way it is now. This book literally changed my life for the better.

Ever heard of the Great Conversation?
Here's a quick wiki to bring you up to speed
This book allowed me to become a part of that conversation.. A conversation that I never knew I wanted to be a part of. A conversation that was going on around me and in most cases "above my head" so to speak... A conversation that will slowly fade into background noise and cease altogether if more do not join in.

I invite you, personally, to change the history of the world. :0)

I am in no way affiliated with the authors or publishers of this book and I don't get paid to talk about it.. It just changed my life so I wanted to share it..

Just a quick quiz to illustrate my point.. 

Lets start with history.
1. What happened first? the Hundred Years war or the Spanish Civil war?
2. Who was here before the Egyptians?

3. In how many formats can a quadratic function be expressed?
4.   4+6*2=? (No, its not 20...)

5. Name the main themes in Pride and Prejudice.
6. What are a couple symbols used to represent abstract ideas or concepts in The Odyssey?

We'll stop there... These are things any high school student should be able to tell you,, Funny thing is, they won't be able to.. and many reading this wont either.. but its not your fault.. And you can learn. You can become a part of that conversation we spoke of previously..  However, with knowledge comes responsibility. The responsibility to speak only truth. and the wisdom to know when that is. That second part... thats the tough one.. I'll show you what I mean..

Here we have Joe. :0) 
and here we have Jane <:0) (jane wears a hat) 
and we have the company Joe works for. This company is dumping toxic waste everywhere and in a matter of 1 year, the earth will simply die if nothing is changed. hypothetically of course ;)

Joe learned about toxic waste from the company he works for. He went to workshops and meeting about toxic waste and how it is ok. Joe knows that toxic waste isnt so bad. And its ok to dump toxic waste anywhere, in any ecosystem, and it will be ok.. 
Jane listens to Joe talk about toxic waste and how wonderful it is and how lucky he is to be working for such a great company.
Jane researches toxic waste. She collects samples and sends them to a local lab. She reads about delicate eco systems and what keeps them sustainable. She reads quarterly investment reports published by the company Joe works for. She reads the OSHAA safety manual for dealing with such waste (as provided by Joe's company) and decides, based on first hand collected data as well as supplemented by publications and documents related to the subject, that toxic waste is bad and should not be supported. She tells Joe.

Joe goes through those stages... you know, DABDA

At some point in those stages, Joe does his own research and finds that Jane speaks the truth. Joe now has a choice.
Joe now has the truth. Joe knows that his co-workers are being fed a lie. Joe knows he has now unwittingly lied to anyone hes ever talked to about his job. Joe knows if he continues to work for this company, he is working for something he knows is detrimental to his health as well as everyone else.

Joe can stay and be part of the lie. He can work for the machine that systematically kills his planet. He can work for a corporation that buys allowances or credits with regards to pollution. Credits that are imaginary and don't mean anything to the earth. Joe's home.

Or he can leave the lie and speak the truth. He can change his world. Joe can take responsibility for himself and walk away from something he knows is wrong. (wrong for him)

This is what I mean..

The responsibility to speak only truth. and the wisdom to know when that is

Joe knows. He has the truth. Now what?  If Joe lives the lie, we all perish. Joe now has a responsibility to tell others about what he has learned. Even if the people Joe is trying to save are hostile and in the anger stage... It is the truth. It is the natural law.

A quick wiki about natural law.

Anyhow, that story is in no way affiliated with the book.. it was just my little story.. And I wandered away from my point.. oops..
We were talking about  kids and adults knowing "stuff". Well this book may help explain why. Why so many can't answer those simple questions without pulling out the google app on their I-phizzle...

Oh! those answers you may have wanted:
1. The hundred Years war came first in 1337 to 1453  the Spanish Civil war was July 17,1936 to April 1, 1939
2. There are far to many cultures to list... I promise! check them out for yourself. 
3. 3: standard,, factored, and vortex
4.  16 PEMDAS  remember?
5. Class, reputation, love etc
6. food (lack of discipline) and the wedding band (constancy of Penelope and Odysseus’s marriage duh. But the immovable bed is a fun metaphor for their unmovable love for each other.)

 I think maybe what I needed and what many need is a classical education.. one based on the trivium..

From Trivium :

General Grammar, Aristotelian Logic, and Classical Rhetoric comprise the first three rules-based subjects of the 7 Liberal Arts and Sciences. As these disciplines are learned and practiced together, they form the overarching, symbiotic system for establishing clarity and consistency of personal thought called the Trivium.

Basically, Learn the word.. the vocabulary. Fill your head with facts, Names and dates.. All that..
Next, learn about the what? when? and where? of all that stuff..
Now, you're ready for the why and how.. the more philosophical side to the triangle..

That is overly simplified... but you get the point, yes?

The trivium is a method of learning.. An incredibly effective one.. And, it's never to late to learn.. Its not like after the ages of 6 or 7 you can no longer learn a language.. It may take longer because you don't have time to devote to it.. that's all. And once your brain starts soaking up info again... It wont want to stop.. and you wont be able to help but to be well read and thinking critically for yourself.

So, let's at least read a book instead of watch the tv tonight..This book will explain why reading is far more beneficial to learning and retaining information rather than visual stimuli.. So let's all try it out? whatdayasay?
 :) Maybe I will start a reading list..That should be fun!

Have a wonderful day! Oh! and did I mention? Your hair looks amazing today!   *<:0)

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