I’m happy to announce that the fourth edition of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home now has a publication date (September 13, 2016) and is available for pre-order.


For those who are familiar with the earlier editions, here’s a list of the major changes:


  • Completely updated book and curricula recommendations.
  • Extensive additional material on teaching children with learning disabilities.

(These children make up a much higher percentage of home educated students than in previous years, since schools often are unable to provide the support they need. As home education has become more visible and additional resources have become available, many more parents are reacting to these very individual needs by choosing to remove struggling children from the classroom entirely.)

  • An entirely new set of online resources, coordinated with the book, which will be located at welltrainedmind.com. These include:
  • Out of the Box: additional resources for children who don’t fit the traditional K-12 progression-because they have leapt ahead, are dealing with learning challenges, or simply process information differently.
  • Apps and More: a continuously updated list of popular apps, web-based learning games, and online enrichment activities, all in line with the classical principles described in the book.
  • More Options: alternative curricula to our top recommendations, not included in the book because they were too complicated, expensive, specialized or quirky-but all of which have enthusiastic support among many veteran home schoolers.
  • Brand-new maths and sciences chapters.

(Classical education has often been criticized as stronger in the humanities than in the maths and sciences. Working with highly qualified experts and experienced teachers, we have overhauled our approach to provide a much more rigorous and coherent maths and sciences education.)

  • Shift of quickly outdated appendices online.

(The list of suppliers and publishers, the index of home education organizations, the guide to science contests and fairs, and other constantly changing resources will be moved to welltrainedmind.com, which will allow them to be updated regularly.)

  • Each chapter has been separated into two sections.

(Chapters have been reorganized into how to teach a subject — methods, goals, expectations, etc.– and what resources to use —recommended texts and curricula. This makes the book even more flexible, since parents can use the principles of teaching even if they choose to use other specific texts or programs than the ones we suggest.)

Showing 6 comments
  • facebook_Ulla Lauridsen.10208785734703488

    That’s wonderful to hear! I’m one of those who used your book to home school my severely dyslexic son, and it was invaluable. Now it will be even better. I’m sure there are a lot of us – certainly, in Denmark, where we live, home schooling is very rare and mostly undertaken in despair, when schools are just not helping learning disabled children sufficiently.
    Please tell me – are the accompanying resources free or for sale online? There might still be something we can use, though my son is back in school and doing well.

  • Bev

    I’ve been waiting for an updated edition as I’ve worn out my copy of the last edition. I’m actually in the midst of planning and purchasing right now for the next grade and finding so many things out of print or hard to find/purchase. I’m anxious to see the new recommendations in this edition.

    Thanks for all the effort that you put into helping others teach their children! I’ve followed the book almost exactly, which I know you don’t have to, but the WTM was an answered prayer back when my daughter was starting K and I just happened upon it while walking out of the bookstore. Fast forward 6 years and she is doing wonderfully. I get to do this all over again when my son starts in a few years and your book has made it a joy to homeschool my children. It has also helped me fill in all the gaps in my education, which were, and still are, many.

  • Jenn Becker

    Oh I cannot wait! I just read the 3rd edition for the first time. I started homeschooling my 1st grader 7 weeks ago after a disappointing fall semester in public school. TWTM connected so well with my heart for my sweet girl to be well equipped for her future. I only wish the 4th edition were coming out earlier for the sake of planning for next year. My daughter is leaning deep towards math and science right now and I’m struggling to find a satisfying curriculum for science. Thank you so much for your work!

  • Catharina


    I know you explained it when another book of yours came out, but I forgot.

    When is the best time to order a new book? Putting in a pre-order? Or on the release date?
    I want to give you as much support as possible and I remember that the timing is important.

    Best wishes,

  • Susan

    Catharina–thank you for asking! Any time is fine. Sometimes authors ask everyone to order on a certain date in order to jack the book up in amazon.com ratings, but I don’t really think that has any long-term value (not anymore–maybe when amazon.com was a newer phenomenon). So order whenever is convenient.

  • Bentley Crawford

    Thanks Susan! Question, is there a way to subscribe to get your blog updates via email?


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