A few days ago

15 years old. How can I start giving myself a classical education?

I went to public school until the very end of third grade, and was bored all the way through. Then for the first few years of being homeschooled, we were just stumbling around.

I have the motivation to do it myself but I don’t really know where to start. Currently history is something of a loss because I’m trying to get college 101 classes out of the way with AP tests, which are incredibly shallow and boring. I’m mostly working on minimizing the damage to my mind: it’s the most acerebral, pedantic crap I’ve ever done.

I have a library card and a lot of passion, but where do I begin?

Currently I’m going through geometry and trigonometry for math, German for my language, and I’m reading whatever philosophy seems interesting.

It’s just frustrating because I could have done all this years ago, and now am stuck with abilities beyond my knowledge base, if that makes any sense.

My mom doesn’t have the time to work out a curriculum, and I don’t want her to. I prize independence of the

Top 9 Answers
A few days ago

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Check into “A Thomas Jefferson Education” or “The Well-Trained Mind”. While the latter will have Christian stuff in it, the bulk of it is not religious and focused on the education itself. It would give you a starting base.

A few days ago
Start with Herodotus and archaeology of the ancient world. You may want to study Latin or Greek as well. History is not about God as he is or a lack thereof, it’s about the recorded facts – just the facts. That having been said, you don’t have to believe something to know what it’s all about. Part of learning about the ancient world will be learning about the religions of the ancient world. Research both the fact and fiction of the world and realize that there’s so much that you’ll likely never know. You also might want to hook up with another home school group to get the full experience. Self-education is great if you’re motivated but you need to be able to identify where to start and you don’t seem able to do that.

A few days ago
Nate F
Very impressive, you remind me of what I wanted to be. Unfortunately I was once in the same boat.

I was homeschooled through 5th grade with a couple of attempts at private school that failed horribly due to my advanced abilities over the children my age. My parents finally had me tested for another private school and they offered to bump me two grades. We compromised at one. I more or less wasted 2 1/2 years in private school, then returned to home school until my sophomore year when I took my Equivalency exam and ended HS there. From there I slowly began taking college classes.

I also helped my ex gf do the same. She “graduated” with her CHSPE (equivalency exam) at 16 and went into community college. She is now at Berkeley (after using me).

There are a few avenues for you at this point.

You can follow along in a similar fashion as you are now which closely resembles Montessori’s philosophy on education (although it is only practiced on a grade school level). Essentially, learning about what you are interested in.

Another alternative would be for you and your mom to search out already defined homeschool curriculums to use (although I found them to be lacking at times).

If the prestige of going straight to a University isn’t important to you, there are many programs that allow HS students to attend community colleges. Depending on your state, you might be able to take an equivalency test like the aforementioned CHSPE (California) and avoid any legal red tape associated with concurrent enrollment (highschool and College).

I’m glad to see that you’re eyes are wide open to your potential now. I can’t say that I’ve ended up an unsuccessful person, but my situation is far from what I planned. I’m 21. I have not yet started my upper division university work, though I have thoroughly exhausted all lower division transfer classes. I am a graphic designer at the University of California, Riverside and married.

That isn’t a terrible existence for someone my age, but I also realize that I had the potential to have been finished to graduate school with the time I’ve had.

Feel free to email me with any other questions you might have- sentient by design (at) yahoo . com

No spaces. Good luck and bravo on your accomplishments. Public school is a relatively new method of mass education which seems to fail the majority, whether highly intelligent or not.


A few days ago
You are 15 and well written, as far as the agnostic part I would advise the Bible don’t worry over what others say about it read it for your self and critically think over it.

If you are APing most of your primary college subjects, what do you want to do with your life? Apply for college and take a few courses also maybe find a job any job and talk to adults see what life experience advice they would give you. This is what I would tell me if I was 15 and in your shoes.


A few days ago
Claire H
Although I love the “Well-Trained Mind”, I think you would find Susan Wise Bauer’s other book to be more relevant as it’s geared for adults trying to educate themselves in the classical manner. It’s called “The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had.”

I would also recommend checking out the reading list for Great Books Academy: http://www.greatbooksacademy.org/curriculum_book_list.html


5 years ago
Probably. I mean who in the right mind would think a 15 year old girl to be the best at lighting a barbecue? Even if she was, there would be an adult with a lighter available, since nobody would let 15 year olds barbecue without adult supervision.

A few days ago
All the additional details do help, however most of the true classical forms of education all have a strong Christian base.

You may consider yourself agnostic, however even among those who do not believe the Bible to be true, when it comes down to scholastic value, wisdom, and teaching a person how to live; it is still said to be the best book ever written, a complete curriculum in, and by itself.

The best web sites I can recommend to you are;


Welcome to An Old-Fashioned Education!

These do not teach you what to think, but how to think, and after reading the sites with an open mind, judge for yourself if it is what you are looking for.


A few days ago
1. Find a list of the “greatest books” of all time. Aristotle, Plato, Thoreau, etc. and read and critique them. Books that have shaped our thinking.

2. Pick some subjects that interest you and study them in detail.


A few days ago
You’re going through Geometry and Trig but have problems with HISTORY

Shame on you.

History is just reading. Don’t you like to read.