Item description for Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum: A Guide to Catholic Home Education by Laura Berquist...
Overview Introducing the classical learning trivium---grammar, logic, and rhetoric---homeschooling parent Berquist explains how to design your own K to 12 curriculum. Focusing on teaching youngsters to think, not just memorize facts, this encouraging book includes a grade-by-grade outline of recommended texts, weekly schedules, study guides, and extensive reading lists. A user-friendly and adaptable model that helps you believe you can do it! 265 pages, softcover from Ignatius.
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Studio: Ignatius Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 1998
Publisher Ignatius Press
Grade Level Teacher
ISBN 0898706602 ISBN13 9780898706604 UPC 008987066026
Reviews - What do customers think about Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum: A Guide to Catholic Home Education?
Good source for home education Aug 12, 2005
I have made use of this approach. One does not have to stick to a strict structure of cirriculum to homeschool. By substitution and research you can design your home school year by year. The goal is to get our children to heaven and in so teaching the virtues and religious academia is necessary. The literary genius of yesteryear are necessary to teach the morals and virtues we want our children to hold on to. Mrs. Berquist has formulated a good outline for us to follow and use each year of teaching. Nothing is unattainable with God's help.
Wonderful Tool for Home Educators Aug 22, 2002
I read this book before I started homeschooling three years ago and not only did it give me wonderful, creative and innovative ideas, but it helped give me the confidence I needed to homeschool my children myself. It also introduced me to the whole concept of the classical learning method which now has become a lifestyle in our home much to the benefit of our children.
This is what homeschooling is about! Apr 10, 2002
Generally, we choose non fiction books that present perspectives similar to those we already hold. This was the case for me when I bought Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. I knew that the author was a respected educator, with a solid Catholic background. What I didn't know at the time was just what "classical curriculum" entailed.
This was one of those books that opened my mind. At first, reading her recommendations to focus on classical material made me uneasy. It didn't seem relevant to modern education. As I continued through the book, however, two things struck me: first, that classical education is far more relevant than my first instinct had told me. Second, Berquist's ideas are helpful in much more substantial ways than curriculum suggestions.
More than simply a reading list or a pre-designed curriculum, the book offers guidelines and ideas for how to develop your own educational approach. Whether or not you use her classical material recommendations, her ideas can give you solid assistance in planning a syllabus and schedule that conforms to your family's abilities, scheduling needs, and educational objectives. The "classical" suggestions are the bonus.
Whether or not you plan to use a mostly classical approach, this book is worth reading and re-reading at curriculum planning time.
very helpful, a good jumping off point Apr 5, 2002
If you are looking for general information about classical education, what it is and why one would want to use this approach, you won't find it in this book. This is definitely written for people who've already researched it and are now making up their own curriculum. The book lists books and curriculum that Ms. Berquist recommends for all subjects, organized in a per grade level format. It is well written, easy to follow, and makes designing your own curriculum seem not only possible but easy. The author inputs her personal opinions about various books and curriculum, stating what has worked for her and what did not; the majority of the content is a description of what did work for her. I love reading homeschooling parent's opinions of what worked, what didn't and why; I learn more from their opinions than from reading marketing materials that the companies write.
The listings of books and curriculum is limited to just what Berquist personally used. For example, one math curriculum company seems to be used throughout all the grade levels. If this book were truly for someone to design their own curriculum, I would think that if they tried Ms. Berquist's recommended math curriculum and the family did not like it, that they would need some help and guidance to find a different curriculum. The book would live up to its title if it contained a variety of different curriculum company options with Ms. Berquist's opinions of the pro's and con's of each. In this case the reader would have to turn to other sources to find ideas for books or curriculum that may fit their own custom-designed curriculum for their child. (However, that is the beauty of designing your own curriculum, that no two programs will be identical, right?) For anyone looking for that type of review, for additional information, I suggest two (non-religious) books: Rebecca Rupp's The Complete Home Learning Source Book. Or for less curriculum but more books and materials that you can truly custom-create your own curriculum, I suggest The Home School Source Book by Jean and Donn Reed. (These two books are different from each other and are not duplicates in any way.)
Each recommended book and curriculum is footnoted with a source. This is nice yet it is unavoidable that companies change their inventory constantly. I found that some of the recommended books were unavailable at the recommended sources when I attempted to buy them. The author didn't include ISBN numbers for the recommended books, and I had trouble finding the books doing a general book search without the ISBN (for example, many books are called "children's bible" and no author name was listed for that volume). Lastly, Internet Website addresses were not given for any of the sources although many of the companies do have a Website. I used a search engine to track down the websites with success.
I think the strongest area is Berquist's detailed recommendations for quality teaching materials for the subject of Catholicism. The religion curriculum is very detailed: more detailed than other subjects and I found it very helpful. I feel that some of her recommended courses of study are weak, such as using the game "Mommy, it's a Renoir" to teach art spanning several grade levels.
Two homeschooling mothers that I know who read "The Well Trained Mind" (TWTM) first and wanted to design their own Catholic Classical Education program for their children said they felt this book was invaluable and both recommended that I read this book. They found it easy to read, felt that it had good resource listings, and said it helped quelch a bit of fear about what they perceived was an overwhelming task after reading TWTM: to custom design a classical education for their own children.
This is definitely worth reading if you are starting out homeschooling with the intent to design your own classical curriculum, which includes teaching Catholicism to your children. You may not choose to duplicate Berquist's program 100%, but you will find many good recommendations, good source lists to obtain catalogs from, and will be inspired and will feel that you are capable of designing your own curriculum plan!
A "Must Have" Resource Mar 27, 2002
Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum is definitely one of the best homeschooling purchases I have made over the years. Not only is it an excellent resource for beginners wishing to learn about the classical education route, but it is also an invaluable reference for experienced homeschool veterans. In this book, the author shares helpful advice and numerous tips from her many years of homeschooling experience in addition to offering various curriculum suggestions for each stage of the trivium.
Instead of dictating one cookie cutter form of classical education, the author stresses that classical education (before the college years) is primarily about 'formation' and not 'information'. What is important is the method used and not necessarily the particular resources. This book will truly help you design your own curriculum while sticking with the method of classical education.
Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum is definitely a "must have" resource that is worth its weight in gold!