The Lost Tools Curriculum, covering preschool through sixth grade, was introduced in 2003 to raise the bar to that of the grammar school education that America knew when her literacy rates were at their highest. As our Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has said about the academic failure of public schools today, “I’m not sure how they could get a lot worse on a nationwide basis than they are today.”
After consulting with great minds and educators, researching various programs including The Trivium, The Well-Trained Mind, and The Great Books, and through much trial and error, not only of her own but also other homeschoolers and teachers, Elizabeth carefully organized a comprehensive academic program that eliminated the laborious task of determining exactly what books to include in a program of study for either a homeschool or a small, private school.
The name Lost Tools Curriculum is borrowed from the famous essay by Dorothy Sayers, where she refers to the “lost tools of learning” as those subjects which, until recent times, were fundamental to an education. The lost tools are the seven liberal arts and they include developing the skills necessary to think critically, write intelligibly, and speak persuasively--a must for people of a free society.
The Lost Tools Curriculum is an elementary grade program and the curriculum books can be purchased by visiting the Lost Tools Bookstore. For homeschooling parents whose children were previously in public or private school, or who have been using other homeschooling programs, it is advisable to customize the curriculum to each child’s academic level.
Engaging books (rather than textbooks) are used for most subjects to support a child's natural love of learning, and a selection of mostly classic literature is included for children to learn to read at advanced levels; the are the levels most eighth grade students were able to read at 150 years ago, but which most would find difficult today. *
For an example of the curriculum, a subject like writing (traditionally not taught to young children) is discovered through reading excellent literature and through the mastery of grammar and syntax, and history is taught chronologically as a story because ultimately it is a story, sometimes well-told and sometimes not. Older students, having learned to read complex writing, will go on to study the original works of prominent people who either made or preserved history. Being educated with the Lost Tools curriculum means children will be challenged far above the standards of public school.