The Well-Trained Mind Extended Guide

Additional Curricula Recommendations

In The Well-Trained Mind, we offer our “top” recommendations for curricula: those that combine academic excellence, ease of use for the parent, clarity, and (when possible) affordability. But there are many books, programs, and resources that are compatible with the goals of classical education–even though we may have found them unnecessarily complicated, hard to find, overpriced, specialized, or quirky to list in the book itself.

The recommendations listed here are only a few of the many available. Visit our forums for even more suggestions.

Wondering about the latest edition of The Well-Trained Mind? Here, Susan walks through the updates and changes you’ll find in the fourth edition:

Additional Curricula Recommendations By Subject

Additional Curricula Recommendations By Stage

Help for Homeschool Beginners Help for New Homeschoolers

If you’ve decided to homeschool but aren’t sure what your first steps should be, you’ll want to read this brief article on Getting Started.

You don’t have to teach your children every subject at once–that’s a recipe for overwhelming you and them! Instead, focus on the core subjects, which you can read about in this short description by nationally-recognized homeschool expert Dr. Susan Wise Bauer.

For hours of helpful and informative audio workshops and lectures about our approach, go here.

We know you have questions. We have answers:

I have Zero Teaching Background. Can I Use Your Materials?

Well-Trained Mind Press materials are scripted–in our writing, grammar, and math instructor guides, we tell you what to say, and what to expect as an answer.  The corresponding student workbooks give students the prompts they need to learn and practice the pertinent skills.  In our history curriculum, The Story of the World Activity Books provide you with teaching materials, review questions, assignments, activity ideas, maps, coloring pages, tests, and more.  We want you and your students to be successful.

What Curricula Should I Use with My Students?

Below is our quick-start answer; for comprehensive information, please look at The Well-Trained Mind, 4th Edition, by Dr. Susan Wise Bauer.  More on that later–but it does include instruction and resources for teaching the subject matter at each level, even if we do not offer that curriculum from our press.

You can learn more about our curricula from our webstore. We offer open-and-go textbooks and workbooks for History, Grammar, Composition/Writing, Math, and more, plus a large selection of audiobooks by master storyteller Jim Weiss.

Each publication’s page has a description and an extended sample so you can see exactly what you are getting.  If you have questions that are not answered in the product description, you can look at our Help Center – FAQ.

Download this helpful curriculum guide for free! It shows you which Well-Trained Mind Press products generally fit with different age groups.   

Well-Trained Mind Press Curriculum Chart

Additionally, in The Well-Trained Mind, 4th Edition, we recommend other curricula and supplements across all subject areas. These can be substituted for our own products, or used for enrichment with other publications.   

Skills build on one another and need practice and repetition.  These can be workbook-based. Content areas build knowledge of events and discoveries, times and places and form a foundation for further understanding of the world we live in.  Content is gained through story, experiment, engagement.  

Chapter 48 of The Well-Trained Mind, 4th Edition is called, “The Final Word: Starting in the Middle.”  This will help you know how to pick up where others have left off.

What About Other Resources — Do You Recommend Any Other “Advisors”?

Yes, we do.  Most of them are listed with contact information in The Well-Trained Mind.  Here are a few to get you started.  

  • The Well-Trained Mind Community Forums:  This is a very active and knowledgeable homeschool community–over 60,000 parents with years of experience in homeschooling, public schooling, and every combination in between. These folks are happy to share what works and what doesn’t (as well as recipes, laughs, and commiserations). Here are some of their best recent threads: a gold mine of information on homeschooling, bargains on textbooks, and more.

    I Need some Confidence…I Don’t Think I Can Do This.

    You can do this; we’re here to help.  Take a look at Susan Wise Bauer’s book, Rethinking School:  How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education.  Dr. Bauer’s thesis is that regardless of the delivery mechanism (brick-and-mortar school, distance learning, home school, private tutoring), you, as the parent, are in charge.  In this book, she opens up the multiple opportunities and options you have at your disposal.  You will find a lot of encouragement and information about how to move forward.  We have additional resources listed here.

    Why is The Well-Trained Mind, 4th Edition so Important?

    Well-Trained Mind Press’ curriculum is designed according to the goals and objectives of a classical education, outlined in Dr. Susan Wise Bauer’s book, The Well-Trained Mind, 4th Edition.  In her book, Dr. Bauer discusses the “why” of classical education and gives extensive guidance on how to implement it, including lists of books, texts, and other resources for each stage and subject area.  The Well-Trained Mind teaches the principles underlying all of our curriculum and our recommendations.  

    What About Online Instruction, Especially for Subjects I’m Not Able to Teach?

    We’ve got you covered! Our online course provider, The Well-Trained Mind Academy, uses classical methods and the best live-instruction technology to connect fantastic teachers with your student. They’ve got a wide array of courses. You can stay current with the The Well-Trained Mind Academy’s offerings by going to their website and signing up to receive their newsletter.

Homeschooling Help Supplementing School

For parents who want to take charge of their child’s education, we recommend Rethinking School, by Dr. Susan Wise Bauer.

From communicating with teachers to helping gifted or struggling students, Rethinking School provides smart, up-to-date, inspiring, and compassionate guidance.

Looking to help your child in a particular subject area?

Elementary Math

Our resident math expert, Kate Snow, has lots of articles & videos to help you teach your children with confidence:


  • 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: 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.

History & Biography

Master storyteller Jim Weiss offers a wide array of audiobooks for young listeners, 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 program.

Wanting to Connect With Other Parents for Advice & Answers?

Check out our huge online forums, where thousands of parents in a wide variety of situations (homeschool, traditional brick-and-mortar school, hybrid schooling) share experience, resources, tips, and commiseration–and the occasional brownie recipe.

Looking for Online Classes? 

The Well-Trained Mind Academy offers a wide variety of high school, middle school, and upper elementary classes taught by instructors with years of experience in distance learning. Learn more about the Academy here.