Classical Christian Homeschooling

Are you interested in learning more about classical Christian homeschooling? Dennis Gunderson is the owner Grace & Truth Books, and a proponent of classical homeschooling. In the following interview, he discusses the advantages of this homeschool method.

Dennis Gunderson
  1. How old are your children, and how long did you homeschool?

    31, 28, 26 and 23. The entirety of their pre-college education, from K through high school.

  2. Why did you decide to homeschool your children?

    Primarily, to have control of their education, that is, to train them in and pass on to them a Christian and Biblical worldview on all points.

  3. How would you define classical homeschooling?

    An emphasis on what is known as the "trivium" - teaching in the sequence of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

  4. How did you become interested in classical Christian homeschooling?

    Through the influence of Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn. [Authors of Teaching the Trivium]

  5. What makes classical Christian homeschooling different from other methods of homeschooling?

    A great deal of homeschooling merely takes the secular curriculum used in schools and brings it home, to be done at home. The classical method is decidedly better at training the mind to think, reason, and even to contend and argue one's case against contrary ideas.

  6. What are the benefits of classical Christian homeschooling over other homeschool methods?

    It results in children who are more capable thinkers, able to stand for and defend their beliefs, and tends to give a far more well-rounded education, including vastly more exposure to great literature than other homeschool methods.

  7. Are there any disadvantages to classical homeschooling?

    Not that I know of.

  8. What type of families/students are well-suited to classical Christian homeschooling?

    Any type of family or student can use the classical homeschooling method; I would say the only type who more "well-suited" to it are, those who have already been doing so - a family gains skill at it as they continue in it.

  9. What type of families/students struggle when using this homeschool method?

    Certainly, those who do not enjoy reading will greatly struggle. Those who addict their children early in life to video (via overuse of TV or computer) will have difficulties.

  10. What is the trivium, and what role does it play in classical Christian homeschooling?

    The trivium is an emphasis on 1) grammar (learning the basics), 2) logic (learning to relate the facts to one another) and 3) rhetoric (learning to argue one's case and to answer opposing viewpoints). The trivium is central to homeschooling.

  11. Why does classical homeschooling emphasize rote memorization of facts during the early years?

    This is the best time in the student's life to impart the rudimentary knowledge of such facts.

  12. Why does classical homeschooling emphasize knowledge of Latin?

    Latin provides the linguistic roots of much of our terminology relating to math, science, English, and even other subjects.

  13. What advice do you have for parents who are concerned about the lack of hands-on activities and projects in classical programs?

    The classical homeschoolers, and even Christian schools that I have experienced have always included more hands-on activities and projects than any other educators I knew. So I have not even been aware of classical programs that neglected these things.

  14. What advice do you have for parents who feel overwhelmed by the task of educating their children in a classical manner?

    I would counsel them to do what they can and do not be disheartened or concern themselves about what they find they cannot do. Each family will find they are better at some facets of a classical education than they are at others; this is not problematic. It is merely capitalizing on your strengths and learning how to do it more and better as you go.

  15. What advice do you have for parents who are transitioning to a classical method of education?

    Start slowly; begin with a great deal of literature, reading aloud together, and learning Latin.

  16. What should parents look for when choosing classical materials?

    Look for those materials that distinctly emphasize a Christian worldview; because there are classical tools that can train the student to think well for himself, but not in ways directed by the Word of God. It is possible to become a good thinker who is not in submission to Christ, which will be of no eternal value at all.

  17. How do classical homeschoolers measure success?

    Producing a student who is skillful at expressing sound views, can defend his reasons for what he believes, and who is skillful in his work.

  18. What advice do you have for new homeschoolers?

    Do not merely settle for the curriculum and subjects the world's schools have passed on to us; be sure to use (or devise) curriculum which will stretch your children's minds - do not talk yourself out of difficult things. And be sure to place a strong character-building emphasis in your schooling.

  19. Dennis Gunderson
  20. Please tell us about your business, Grace and Truth Books.

    Grace and Truth Books was begun to gather together the best resources we could find from past centuries and make them available today; this includes ourselves reprinting many Christian stories that emphasis godly Christian character, and also finding similar materials from other publishers, world-wide, and making them available in one place for our customers.

You can learn more about Grace and Truth Books by visiting its website,

Here's some additional information about classical homeschooling and the stages of the trivium.

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