Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

November 6, 2012

Home-school proponent well-versed in controversy

At dusk on a farm near the confluence of the Chickahominy and James rivers, about 26 miles west of Williamsburg, Va., home-schooling pioneer Susan Wise Bauer is out raking manure.

She cleans her sheep pens, douses her four horses and her donkey, Athena, with bug spray, and fills water troughs for her goats. It had been 103 degrees that afternoon, but the setting sun has brought in a breeze to cool the tomato fields and peach and apple groves on Peace Hill, a property that has been in her family for several generations.

"I love livestock," says Bauer, 44. "There's something about animals: You just feed and water and clean them, and then they are content."

The farm offers Bauer a respite from battles she has fought with her detractors in America's increasingly diverse home-schooling community.

The English professor, historian, author of 18 books and holder of a doctorate in American studies from the nearby College of William & Mary is one of the forces behind America's burgeoning home-schooling movement, which is growing about 7 percent each year. The National Home Education Research Institute estimates that there were 2.04 million home-schooled children in the United States as of 2010, about 4 percent of the nation's school-age population. That's almost double the 1.2 million home-schooled children in 2000. A June article in U.S. News & World Report said that home-schooled children graduate from college at higher rates than their peers, earn higher GPAs and are better socialized than most high school students.

Bauer is best known among home-schoolers for "The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home" — written with her mother, Jessie Wise, a former teacher — which has sold more than half a million copies since its first publication in 1999. Classical education focuses on the great books of Western civilization, Latin, and lessons about morality and virtue, and is based on the medieval European curriculum that divided learning into the "trivium": grammar, logic and rhetoric. The concept of fusing classical education into modern teaching was popularized by a 1947 essay by British author Dorothy Sayers called "The Lost Tools of Learning." But it was Bauer and her mother who provided parents with a template.

Text Only
Local News
Business Marquee
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Does it bother you that the Thomasville-Thomas County Central football game won't be played for at least the next two years?

Yes
No
     View Results
Video
Sports Pulse
Must Read
Must Read