In this episode, Tsh is honored to chat with Susan Wise Bauer, historian, educator, author, and farm girl.

susan wise bauer

She’s literally written the history of the world:

history of the world

She’s the founder of Peace Hill Press.

third grade
She shares her musings on writing and farm life on her blog.


…and she’s sworn to secrecy on the author behind the hilarious posts on Peace Hill Press’ hilarious Facebook page. Like this, this, or this one.

What are your thoughts on the value of lifelong learning, particularly as a parent? Do you have any further advice on early childhood education, or about helping special-needs kids?


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22 comments on “A Well-Trained Mind

  1. Melanie Mar 5, 2014

    Susan, just after I finished listening, I read an article stating that the new, revised SAT’s would no longer include the written essay. There you go, they are finally listening to you. Funny timing, I thought.

  2. “Homeschooling isn’t the hill you’re willing to die on” — wow. I love this. Thank you for the great podcast!

  3. Sarah Westphal Mar 6, 2014

    Hi Tsh,

    This is my favourite podcast. Ever. (which is really hard for me to say because they are all so good.) Can you PLEASE have Susan on again? PLEASE? I could re-listen to this over and over again. I don’t even homeschool or have kids in school! What an amazing women. I love her wisdom, no wonder why you enjoyed your visit on her farm so much. (I wish I could have been there, a fly on a wall just soaking it all in.)

    Take care.

  4. Listened today. She’s great! I love her realistic view on schooling, and hearing about what she’s reading makes me want to delve deeper at the library 😉
    Thank you!

  5. Tsh,
    You may want to double check the editing. There were a few comments that seemed not intended to be included in the podcast. (I listen & subscribe through itunes.)
    Love the podcast!

  6. Really enjoyed this. Listened to it twice already and passed on the link to several friends. Great nuggets of wisdom dispersed throughout – hope she comes back!

  7. I agree with Sarah above- my favorite podcast ever! I have always loved Susan’s writing but hearing her speak with you was a real treat. Such a fantastic perspective. I loved what she said about not making decisions out of fear. I will listen to this again, I’m sure!

  8. Susan is brilliant. In every way. I don’t homeschool and I don’t have kids. But I really enjoyed her thoughts on the learning process. I wish had educators who thought about learning in this way when I was growing up.

    I loved this episode so much I actually took notes!


  9. wow, her word to parents of little kids was exactly what I needed to hear right now. I’ve been struggling with whether I should send my 4 year old to preschool (because everyone does) and she is right, it’s a fear based decision for me. Thanks Susan!

  10. Michaela Mar 11, 2014

    This was excellent! I will have to listen again, since I too am not an auditory learner. There were so many fabulous nuggets. I agree with another commentor who said this is the best podcast yet. It is the best for me because it is about what I am living right now.

  11. Such a sweet podcast. I am a newbie homeschooling mama (kids ages 6, 3, and 2) who also lives on a farm (in East TN). Susan thank you for encouraging me to smile more and just enjoy them as they are small. I, too, am over run with curriculum, most that has never been touched 😉

  12. Thank you so much for this interview. As a homeschooling mom who isn’t willing to die on that hill, it was refreshing to hear that I’m not alone. In fact, I consider myself in very good company! I’ve heard Susan in person several times, and she’s just as witty and wise as she is on this podcast. And I too ADORE the PHP Facebook updates. I’m a newbie to your podcasts, and I look forward to listening to the archives. Thanks for sharing.

  13. E Susan Mar 23, 2014

    Thanks for interviewing her. (I just discovered your podcasts as a cook and baker too). We had to read the “Well Trained Mind” as part of the literature when we were looking into signing up our child to Classical Christian School. That was in the Summer of 2008. We are happy to say we have two children in that school now since Sept.2008. Thanks for the Podcast. :-)

  14. Kristin Mar 23, 2014

    I just listened to this podcast on a roadtrip and it made me really miss being a part of educating children. I’m not married and don’t have kids and would love both! But I used to be a teacher and this discussion between two smart women made me miss it.

  15. Jennifer Apr 5, 2014

    I’ve listened to this podcast three times and love it so much. My kiddo (and his brother on the way) are too young to even be in preschool yet but there are so many great thoughts here that I will reflect on for a long time. I especially love when Tsh asked Susan what parents can do for early education, and as I heard that question, I started panicking myself and trying to come up with home lessons/curriculum/planning, UNTIL Susan said don’t worry-love your kids, be patient, read, enjoy them, etc. Whoosh, weight lifted! I know this was a special podcast but I would love to hear more from Susan on future podcasts if possible.

  16. Andee Apr 24, 2014

    This was fantastic!

  17. Best podcast yet. Have listened to it and so did my husband and several friends! Would love for you to have her as a guest again in the fall when we homeschoolers are acting cray and need some down-to-earth wisdom like hers.

  18. This was a great podcast on homeschooling! Great, great wisdom! I was actually quite surprised to here her say the things she did. We’ve used Story of the World for years and I read the Well-Trained mind many years ago. I didn’t expect her to be so down to earth about homeschooling.

    You tend to have a much better perspective on parenting as your children get older and leave the house. I have a son who is graduating this year, and I my perspective on homeschooling has changed over the past 15+ years.

  19. This was quite refreshing. This episode was the first that I listened to of this podcast. As an online teacher to homeschoolers, it was cool to hear your perspectives. I will definitely listen to this again when I have children to help remind me to calm down. Thank you for sharing, ladies!

  20. This was so encouraging to me. I’m an intentional public school parent and I love the open dialogue. I also appreciate that any decision made out of fear isn’t a good decision (paraphrase). Loved it all.

  21. love this, wish I could have her advice for the early years in big words framed up on the wall!

  22. akomouse Apr 18, 2015

    Thank you for this podcast. I really like the message of owning your learning and your projects, I am a post-graduate research student and it is one of the things that I am currently trying to learn/re-learn concerning owning my projects and studies, and managing my time – especially as I went through the conventional UK school system (learn, regurgitate, pass exam, repeat). It can be quite difficult to be doing projects at the same time as re-training the way you learn, but podcast such as yours are really helpful with tips and ideas. As well as being honest with the fact that sometimes things don’t work out, or that I can’t do everything, but making the best decision for myself at the time is the best I can do. Thank you again.

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