Susan Wise Bauer
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About Susan Wise Bauer
Susan was born in 1968, grew up in Virginia, and was educated at home by pioneering parents, back when home education was still unheard of. She worked as a professional musician, wore a costume at Colonial Williamsburg, toured with a travelling drama group, galloped racehorses at a Virginia racetrack, taught horseback riding, worked in radio and newspaper ad sales, learned enough Korean to teach a Korean four-year-old Sunday school, and served as librarian and reading tutor for the Rita Welsh Adult Literacy Center in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In her less haphazard adult life, she earned an M.A., M.Div., and Ph.D. She has taught at the College of William & Mary in Virginia for the last sixteen years. Susan is married and the mother of four.
Susan's most recent book for Norton, The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory (2015), guides us back to the original texts that have changed the way we think about our world, our cosmos, and ourselves.!
Her previous book, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had (2003), is a guide to reading the classic works of fiction, poetry, history, autobiography, and drama. Norton also published The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (with co-author Jessie Wise); originally published in 1999, this bestselling guide to education in the classical tradition was revised and updated in 2004 and again in 2009.
For Peace Hill Press, Susan has written a four-volume world history series for children, The Story of the World, for Peace Hill Press. Volume 1, Ancient Times, was published in 2002 (revised edition 2006); Volume 2, The Middle Ages, in 2003 (revised edition 2007); and Volume 3, Early Modern Times, in 2004. The final volume, The Modern Age, was published in 2006. She has also written a best-selling elementary writing program, Writing With Ease.
Susan is also the author of The Art of the Public Grovel (Princeton University Press) and many articles and reviews. Visit her blog at http://www.susanwisebauer.com/blog.
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Books By Susan Wise Bauer
A lively and engaging narrative history showing the common threads in the cultures that gave birth to our own.
This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history.
Dozens of maps provide a clear geography of great events, while timelines give the reader an ongoing sense of the passage of years and cultural interconnection. This old-fashioned narrative history employs the methods of “history from beneath”—literature, epic traditions, private letters and accounts—to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled. The result is an engrossing tapestry of human behavior from which we may draw conclusions about the direction of world events and the causes behind them.
A lively and fascinating narrative history about the birth of the modern world.
Beginning in the heady days just after the First Crusade, this volume—the third in the series that began with The History of the Ancient World and The History of the Medieval World—chronicles the contradictions of a world in transition.
Popes continue to preach crusade, but the hope of a Christian empire comes to a bloody end at the walls of Constantinople. Aristotelian logic and Greek rationality blossom while the Inquisition gathers strength. As kings and emperors continue to insist on their divine rights, ordinary people all over the world seize power: the lingayats of India, the Jacquerie of France, the Red Turbans of China, and the peasants of England.
New threats appear, as the Ottomans emerge from a tiny Turkish village and the Mongols ride out of the East to set the world on fire. New currencies are forged, new weapons invented, and world-changing catastrophes alter the landscape: the Little Ice Age and the Great Famine kill millions; the Black Death, millions more. In the chaos of these epoch-making events, our own world begins to take shape.
Impressively researched and brilliantly told, The History of the Renaissance World offers not just the names, dates, and facts but the memorable characters who illuminate the years between 1100 and 1453—years that marked a sea change in mankind’s perception of the world.
A masterful narrative of the Middle Ages, when religion became a weapon for kings all over the world.
In her earlier work, The History of the Ancient World, Susan Wise Bauer wrote of the rise of kingship based on might. But in the years between the fourth and twelfth centuries, rulers had to find new justification for their power, and they turned to divine truth or grace to justify political and military action. Right began to replace might as the engine of empire.
Not just Christianity and Islam but also the religions of the Persians, the Germans, and the Mayas were pressed into the service of the state. Even Buddhism and Confucianism became tools for nation building. This phenomenon—stretching from the Americas all the way to Japan—changed religion, but it also changed the state.
The History of the Medieval World is a true world history, linking the great conflicts of Europe to the titanic struggles for power in India and Asia. In its pages, El Cid and Guanggaeto, Julian the Apostate and the Brilliant Emperor, Charles the Hammer and Krum the Bulgarian stand side by side. From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the Song Dynasty, from the mission of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, from the sacred wars of India to the establishment of the Knights Templar, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled.
A riveting road map to the development of modern scientific thought.
In the tradition of her perennial bestseller The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer delivers an accessible, entertaining, and illuminating springboard into the scientific education you never had. Far too often, public discussion of science is carried out by journalists, voters, and politicians who have received their science secondhand. The Story of Western Science shows us the joy and importance of reading groundbreaking science writing for ourselves and guides us back to the masterpieces that have changed the way we think about our world, our cosmos, and ourselves.
Able to be referenced individually, or read together as the narrative of Western scientific development, the book's twenty-eight succinct chapters lead readers from the first science texts by Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle through twentieth-century classics in biology, physics, and cosmology. The Story of Western Science illuminates everything from mankind's earliest inquiries to the butterfly effect, from the birth of the scientific method to the rise of earth science and the flowering of modern biology.
Each chapter recommends one or more classic books and provides entertaining accounts of crucial contributions to science, vivid sketches of the scientist-writers, and clear explanations of the mechanics underlying each concept. The Story of Western Science reveals science to be a dramatic undertaking practiced by some of history's most memorable characters. It reminds us that scientific inquiry is a human pursuit—an essential, often deeply personal, sometimes flawed, frequently brilliant way of understanding the world.
The Story of Western Science is an "entertaining and unique synthesis" (Times Higher Education), a "fluidly written" narrative that "celebrates the inexorable force of human curiosity" (Wall Street Journal), and a "bright, informative resource for readers seeking to understand science through the eyes of the men and women who shaped its history" (Kirkus).
Previously published as The Story of Science.
This first book in the four-volume narrative history series for elementary students will transform your study of history. The Story of the World has won awards from numerous homeschooling magazines and readers' polls—over 150,000 copies of the series in print!
What terrible secret was buried in Shi Huangdi's tomb? Did nomads like lizard stew? What happened to Anansi the Spider in the Village of the Plantains? And how did a six-year-old become the last emperor of Rome?
Told in a straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer's trademark, The Story of the World series covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas—find out what happened all around the world in long-ago times. This first revised volume begins with the earliest nomads and ends with the last Roman emperor. Newly revised and updated, The Story of the World, Volume 1 includes maps, a new timeline, more illustrations, and additional parental aids. This read-aloud series is designed for parents to share with elementary-school children. Enjoy it together and introduce your child to the marvelous story of the world's civilizations.
Each Story of the World volume provides a full year of history study when combined with the Activity Book, Audiobook, and Tests—each available separately to accompany each volume of The Story of the World Text Book. Volume 1 Grade Recommendation: Grades 1-5.
Spend an entire year investigating the fascinating story of the modern world, from the American Civil War through the end of the twentieth century--from Europe and the Middle East through India, China, the Arabian Peninsula, Australia, and both North and South America!
Designed for parents and elementary/middle grade students (grades 4-8) to share together, The Story of the World, Volume 4 Revised Edition: The Modern Age is widely used in charter and private schools, as well as co-ops around the world. It builds historical literacy, improves reading and comprehension skills in both fiction and nonfiction, and increases vocabulary--all in an enjoyable and entertaining story-like format.
The Story of the World, Volume 4 Revised Edition central text (available in paperback, hardcover, and eBook) offers 42 narrative chapters, told in chronological order and spanning the entire globe, that begin with revolt against the British in Victorian-ruled India, and end with the Persian Gulf War. Independent readers can easily enjoy the stories on their own, or parents and teachers can read aloud to younger students. This newly revised edition includes 48 beautiful new illustrations, easier-to-read formatting, and a pronunciation guide to the names and places discussed in the book.
The enduring and engaging guide to educating yourself in the classical tradition.
Have you lost the art of reading for pleasure? Are there books you know you should read but haven’t because they seem too daunting? In The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer provides a welcome and encouraging antidote to the distractions of our age, electronic and otherwise.
Newly expanded and updated to include standout works from the twenty-first century as well as essential readings in science (from the earliest works of Hippocrates to the discovery of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs), The Well-Educated Mind offers brief, entertaining histories of six literary genres—fiction, autobiography, history, drama, poetry, and science—accompanied by detailed instructions on how to read each type. The annotated lists at the end of each chapter—ranging from Cervantes to Cormac McCarthy, Herodotus to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Aristotle to Stephen Hawking—preview recommended reading and encourage readers to make vital connections between ancient traditions and contemporary writing.
The Well-Educated Mind reassures those readers who worry that they read too slowly or with below-average comprehension. If you can understand a daily newspaper, there’s no reason you can’t read and enjoy Shakespeare’s sonnets or Jane Eyre. But no one should attempt to read the “Great Books” without a guide and a plan. Bauer will show you how to allocate time to reading on a regular basis; how to master difficult arguments; how to make personal and literary judgments about what you read; how to appreciate the resonant links among texts within a genre—what does Anna Karenina owe to Madame Bovary?—and also between genres.
In her best-selling work on home education, The Well-Trained Mind, the author provided a road map of classical education for parents wishing to home-school their children; that book is now the premier resource for home-schoolers. In The Well-Educated Mind, Bauer takes the same elements and techniques and adapts them to the use of adult readers who want both enjoyment and self-improvement from the time they spend reading. Followed carefully, her advice will restore and expand the pleasure of the written word.
Is your child getting lost in the system, becoming bored, losing his or her natural eagerness to learn? If so, it may be time to take charge of your child’s education—by doing it yourself.
The Well-Trained Mind will instruct you, step by step, on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school—one that will train him or her to read, to think, to understand, to be well-rounded and curious about learning. Veteran home educators Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise outline the classical pattern of education called the trivium, which organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child’s mind and comprises three stages: the elementary school “grammar stage,” when the building blocks of information are absorbed through memorization and rules; the middle school “logic stage,” in which the student begins to think more analytically; and the high-school “rhetoric stage,” where the student learns to write and speak with force and originality. Using this theory as your model, you’ll be able to instruct your child—whether full-time or as a supplement to classroom education—in all levels of reading, writing, history, geography, mathematics, science, foreign languages, rhetoric, logic, art, and music, regardless of your own aptitude in those subjects.
Thousands of parents and teachers have already used the detailed book lists and methods described in The Well-Trained Mind to create a truly superior education for the children in their care. This extensively revised fourth edition contains completely updated curricula and book lists, links to an entirely new set of online resources, new material on teaching children with learning challenges, cutting-edge math and sciences recommendations, answers to common questions about home education, and advice on practical matters such as standardized testing, working with your local school board, designing a high-school program, preparing transcripts, and applying to colleges.
You do have control over what and how your child learns. The Well-Trained Mind will give you the tools you’ll need to teach your child with confidence and success.
Now more than ever, other cultures are affecting our everyday lives—and our children need to learn about the other countries of the world and their history. Susan Wise Bauer has provided a captivating guide to the history of other lands. Written in an engaging, straightforward manner, this revised edition of The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 2: The Middle Ages weaves world history into a story book format. Who discovered chocolate? What happened to the giant Fovor of the Mighty Blows? Why did the Ottoman Turks drag their war ships across dry land?
The Story of the World covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas—find out what happened all around the world in long-ago times. Designed as a read-aloud project for parents and children to share together, The Story of the World includes each continent and major people group. Volume 2: The Middle Ages, is the second of a four-volume series and covers the major historical events in the years 400 to 1600 CE, as well as including maps, illustrations, and tales from each culture.
Each Story of the World volume provides a full year of history study when combined with the Activity Book, Audiobook, and Tests—each available separately to accompany each volume of The Story of the World Text Book. Volume 2 Grade Recommendation: Grades 1-6. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white drawings and maps
A beautifully revised edition of the classic world history for children.
Now more than ever, our children need to learn about the people who live all around the world. This engaging guide to other lands weaves world history into a storybook format. Designed as a read-aloud project for parents and children to share (or for older readers to enjoy alone), this book covers the major historical events in the years 1600-1850 on each continent, with maps, illustrations, and tales from each culture.
Over 1.3 million copies of The Story of the World have been sold.
Newly revised and updated, THE STORY OF THE WORLD, VOLUME 3 includes a new timeline, 40 brand-new illustrations, and a pronunciation guide for unfamiliar names, places, and terms.
On its own or as a supplement to the Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind program, this complete compendium of grammar rules and examples will become an indispensable guide to writing—throughout high school, into college, and beyond.
With a new name, but the same, thorough, clearly-outlined rules of English Grammar, The Grammar Guidebook is the second edition to The Comprehensive Handbook of Rules. Originally designed to accompany the Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind program, this Grammar Guidebook stands on its own, assembling into one handy reference work all of the principles that govern the English language—from basic definitions (“A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea”) through advanced sentence structure and analysis. Each rule is illustrated with examples drawn from great literature, along with classic and contemporary works of science, history, and mathematics. Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind is an innovative program that combines the three essential elements of language learning: understanding and memorizing rules (prescriptive teaching), repeated exposure to examples of how those rules are used (descriptive instruction), and practice using those rules in exercises and in writing (practical experience). Each year, parents and teachers go through the dialogue, rules, and examples in the Core Instructor Text; students follow along in the Student Workbook. This repetition solidifies the concepts, definitions, and examples in the student’s mind. There are four Student Workbooks, one for each year. Each Student Workbook contains the same rules and examples—but four completely different sets of exercises and assignments, allowing students to develop a wide-ranging knowledge of how the rules and examples are put to use in writing. Each Student Workbook comes with its own Key, providing not only answers, but also explanations for the parent/instructor, and guidance as to when the answers might be ambiguous (as, in English, they often are). All of the rules covered, along with the repeated examples for each, are assembled for ongoing reference in The Grammar Guidebook. Use Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind to teach English grammar thoroughly, effectively, and with confidence—no matter what your background or experience!
“If you read only one book on educating children, this should be the book.… With a warm, informative voice, Bauer gives you the knowledge that will help you flex the educational model to meet the needs of your child.” —San Francisco Book Review
Our K–12 school system isn’t a good fit for all—or even most—students. It prioritizes a single way of understanding the world over all others, pushes children into a rigid set of grades with little regard for individual maturity, and slaps “disability” labels on differences in learning style. Caught in this system, far too many young learners end up discouraged.
This informed, compassionate, and practical guidebook will show you how to take control of your child’s K–12 experience and negotiate the school system in a way that nurtures your child’s mind, emotions, and spirit.
- Understand why we have twelve grades, and why we match them to ages.
- Evaluate your child’s maturity, and determine how to use that knowledge to your advantage.
- Find out what subject areas we study in school, why they exist—and how to tinker with them.
- Discover what learning disabilities and intellectual giftedness are, how they can overlap, how to recognize them, and how those labels can help (or hinder) you.
- Work effectively with your child’s teachers, tutors, and coaches.
- Learn to teach important subjects yourself.
- Challenge accepted ideas about homework and standardized testing.
- Help your child develop a vision for the future.
- Reclaim your families’ priorities (including time for eating together, playing, imagining, traveling, and, yes, sleeping!).
- Plan for college—or apprenticeships.
- Consider out-of-the-box alternatives.