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How well does MemoriaPress follow the Well-Trained Mind Book

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    How well does MemoriaPress follow the Well-Trained Mind Book

    Hello, I am currently reading the book, "The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home" and was wondering how well does MemoriaPress mirror the methods described in the book?


    Thank you very much,
    joe

    #2
    Joe,

    I am sure I am not the only person to have read your post this morning, as this forum tends to have pretty quick turn-around responses to questions and requests for advice. So my guess is that our happy MP folk are very busy today getting ready for conferences this weekend.

    So to tide you over until one of them can answer your question directly from MP, here is a stab at answering your question from a fellow MP user.

    First of all, despite both The Well-Trained Mind and Memoria Press using the term "classical education" to describe the programs they recommend, there is actually a significant difference between what MP means by the term, and by what TWTM means. When TWTM refers to "classical education," the Bauers are actually describing a more modern version of education. While they use Dorothy Sayers' descriptions of the time periods of study (grammar, logic, and rhetoric), the actual program itself, while challenging and thorough, relies heavily on a more modern concept of what the curriculum should contain. Which is why the descriptions of the history cycles, the literature recommendations to coincide with history, and the inclusion of a hefty science portion as well, make up such a core focus of the curriculum, just to name a few examples.

    By contrast, the actual education that was earned by classical students consisted primarily of the study of the ancient languages, Latin and Greek, the histories of the people who spoke and wrote in those languages, and the ability to read master works of ancient writers in the ancient languages themselves. This difference is where MP really sets itself apart from other "classical" programs. For example, rather than rely heavily on English grammar to teach English, MP sets for Latin as the standard, with additional elements of English grammar studied as needed. Rather than relying on a four year cycle of world history, MP focuses on learning the histories of the ancient peoples, Hebrew, Roman, and Greek. The literature selections have as their aim to gradually prepare students to be able to read and delve into the truly classical works of literature. Science is included in the curriculum in the way it was included by the ancients: to expose children to the wonders of the world around them, without making science an aim in itself. Truly scientific studies were reserved for a much later time in the classical model, and MP has respected that.

    In addition to differences in the curriculum content and focus, there is also a vast difference in priorities, in my humble opinion. TWTM challenges students to read, summarize, and assimilate a vast amount of material in a very short amount of time. While the reading lists are impressive, and the exposure they provide astounding, I cannot imagine my children being able to truly appreciate the beauty and significance of even a portion of the material while proceeding at such a break-neck pace.

    The Memoria Press model has a much different philosophy. Rather than cramming students minds with an exposure to a lot, they have chosen to pick out the very best material and present it to students in a way that allows them to really treasure their time in each. I myself have been taking Latin with my children, and can attest that the pace MP sets makes even something like the challenge of learning Latin as an adult not seem completely intimidating! Surprisingly, they have even made it fun for us! Additionally, the master works the children are assigned are given the time and the attention they truly deserve. So rather than being able to say, "My children have read X, and X, and X..." we tend to be able to see them apply the lessons from their work into their lives or into other work they are doing..."Remember when Odysseus came across the X...that was like X."

    To get a much clearer picture than what I am describing here, MP has a great book that they publish, "The Latin Centered Curriculum" by Andrew Campbell. I would highly suggest reading that book to get a really clear picture of how MP really differs from TWTM. There are several other books that I could recommend simply about the various branches of Classical Education that are out there, but Campbell's is a great "next read" for you after TWTM.

    I hope that helps to begin to highlight some differences between what you are currently reading, and what you will see on the MP website. There are also really fantastic articles published by MP in their quarterly magazine/catalogs...just check out the area titled "Articles" in the top navigation bar. These are fantastic reading as well!

    And keep an eye out...I am sure an MP person will jump on to clarify anything I may have muddled, as well as add their own very helpful explanations!

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Sarah, you did a better job than I could ever have done with this. Thank you.

      I just want to add that we work closely with the Well-Trained Mind, and though there are some philosophical differences between us, we are all generally aiming for the same quality education based on a standard that used to be common to education but has tended to go by the wayside. Many of our customers read WTM along with LCC, look at our school website to see what we are doing specifically from grade to grade (thelatinschool.org), and then formulate their own curriculum based on all those resources, but individualized for their particular students.

      And I'd just like to plug my all-time favorite resource that I feel is the best apology for a classical education: Climbing Parnassus. It is more philosophical, but it is a great overview if you are exploring classical education.

      Cheers,

      Tanya

      Comment


        #4
        Great Answer!

        Sarah, you need to get an "answer of the year" award for that response!...I read the post this morning and was thinking about it as I took the boys to Junior Classical League today...You did a much better job answering than I would have, and gave me much to think about as well...I have read both "The Well Trained Mind" and "The Latin Centered Curriculum" and agree that Memoria Press is more like "The Latin Centered Curriculum"...I have never read "Climbing Parnassus"...

        Thanks Sarah...In the back of my mind I have always struggled with the difference between MP and WTM, and you have helped me immensely :-)
        Tahara

        Homeschooling two boys
        DS -21 (9/00) Homeschool graduate, in college
        DS -17 (9/04) (SN)
        DS -15 (7/06)

        Comment


          #5
          Gawrsh...

          Wow...thanks so much! Glad that some of the dust was knocked off all of that too...always a good reminder of "why are we doing this again?"

          Blessings,
          Sarah
          2020-2021
          16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
          DS, 17
          DD, 15
          DD, 13
          DD, 11
          DD, 9
          DD, 7
          +DS+
          DS, 2

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Joe. I, too, would recommend reading The Latin-Centered Curriculum, as well as Climbing Parnassus. The LCC is similar to WTM in that it lays out a plan for a classical education. Climbing Parnassus is more about the philosophy behind a classical education but it really helped me to flesh out what I wanted for my children's education. I loosely followed The Well-Trained Mind before reading The Latin-Centered Curriculum and while my family is more LCC than WTM, there is much to be learned from both books (both books are side-by-side in a prominent spot on my desk).

            Jennifer

            Comment


              #7
              Ditto

              Sarah...

              Beautifully stated...impressive : )

              I also would highly recommend the latest edition of LCC which we follow as well as Climbing Parnassus. Some of CP is a little dense, but I found I was able to follow it and glean much wisdom about the state of education today and Classical education.
              Blessings,
              Theresa George

              {Mom to S-24, S-21, D-18 and D-9}

              "O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in You. Let Your mighty calmness reign in me. Rule me, O King of Gentleness, King of Peace." ~ St. John of the Cross OCD

              Comment


                #8
                Lcc

                Another hurrah for The Latin-Centered Curriculum here. It has helped me to stay focused on the essentials of a classical education, instead of wondering if I should add in more. A friend had borrowed my copy for about 18 months, so I kept going to the library and checking it out. She returned my copy last week.
                Blessings,
                Jude

                dd 16, ds 13, ds 10, ds 8, dd 6, ds 4, ds 1
                DD24
                DS21
                DS18
                DS16
                DD14
                DS11
                DD9

                Comment

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