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Can the Well-Trained Mind Press Help Supplement My Child’s Schooling?

Susanna Jarrett
Susanna Jarrett

We designed The Well-Trained Mind products for homeschooling families; however, they can easily be adapted by anyone looking to supplement their child’s schooling. Here are five recommendations that can help you take control of your child’s education: 

1. Rethinking School

rethinking school -- supplement your child's schooling

We highly recommend that parents who want to take charge of their child’s education read Rethinking School, by Dr. Susan Wise Bauer. It provides up-to-date, inspiring, and compassionate guidance for advocating for your child within a school system. It also offers suggestions for supporting students who don’t naturally fit in a traditional classroom setting. 

2. The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading 

Even if you plan to send your child to traditional school, it is a good idea to teach them to read first. Too many children fall through the cracks and never learn to read properly

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading is an affordable scripted curriculum that requires absolutely no experience for the parent. You can open it up and get started. The lessons are short (you really only need about 10 minutes a day). 

3. Facts That Stick

Our resident math expert, Kate Snow, created a curriculum designed to support kids with their basic arithmetic facts. Each course focuses on one basic operation (multiplication, division, addition, or subtraction) and takes just 6-10 weeks, 15 minutes a day. Kate Snow designed Facts that Stick to supplement any math curriculum. It includes short lessons, fun student exercises, and games! 

If your child is struggling with arithmetic, they may be missing foundational knowledge in basic operations. Thankfully, Facts That Stick offers a fun and easy way to build their math confidence. 

In addition, author Kate Snow has articles & videos to help you teach your children math with confidence. She even has a whole curriculum called Math with Confidence, (but that’s another story):

4. The Story of the World on Audio 

One way to supplement your child’s schooling without taking any extra time out of the day is to use audiobooks! Whenever you are driving or completing chores around the house, turn on some high-quality audiobooks and infuse your home with fascinating stories! 

We offer our entire The Story of the World series on audio, performed by master storyteller Jim Weiss. Some of my favorite childhood memories come from long car drives listening to Jim Weiss’s fun readings of these gripping true tales. 

Jim Weiss also offers a wide array of audiobooks for young listeners (see image below), telling the stories of women & men whose courage, perseverance, and curiosity changed the course of history. These make a wonderful supplement to a student’s existing history or literature program.

5. Just Keep Reading, Reading, Reading! 

Speaking of books, the best way to improve reading is to, you guessed it, read! Read with your child, play audio books in the car, let them read books they like (even if they are below their reading level). It may be the easiest, most fun, and most effective way to supplement your child’s schooling. In The Well-Trained Mind, Susan Wise Bauer recommends that students read a combination of at-level books and below-level books. At-level books force kids to read slowly and with concentration, increasing their reading fluency with each line. Just-for-fun books may be “too-easy” in regards to reading skills, but they still help students learn to enjoy reading, which, at the end of the day, is extremely valuable. There are lots of great reading lists on the internet. Here are two lists to help you get started: 

  • For Young Readers: Jessie Wise, a nationally-recognized homeschool expert and author of The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, provides this list of good books for beginning readers to try. 
  • For Older Readers: here is a list of Great Books, arranged chronologically, with discussion questions and reading tips. Working through this list not only introduces your child to wonderful literature; it also walks her through world history.

If you are interested in learning more about supplementing your child’s education, check out Rethinking School by Susan Wise Bauer. 

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Susanna Jarrett


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