If you are a reader of my blog, then you know we are a Classical Conversations family. That is our curriculum. It is what works for us. We are Classical Educators. So I was excited to have the opportunity to review The Conversation: Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education by Leigh A Bortins for the TOS Review Crew. YAY!
No as a classical educator, The Conversation is the book that I know many families have been waiting for. The third book in Leigh A. Bortins, the founder of Classical Conversations, has written about Classical education.
I’ll start by saying I have read The Core, which explains the grammar stage of classical education and how to classically educate the grammar stage at home, and The Question, her second book that explores the second stage of classical education, the dialectic stage and how that works in your children’s mind and how to encourage your students during this wonderful learning stage.
And now, The Conversation, Mrs. Bortins explanation and exploration of the 5 canons of rhetoric in how this can look at home and how to encourage your high schooler, your rhetorical student, to succeed in education.
Yes, I said high school — so, I’ll first comment that high school is where we lose so many homeschoolers. “But I can’t teach high school” is what I hear all the time. It continues to be a scary time. A time that families feel they are not equipped to teach their own children. But it is simply not the case. It is possible. You can absolutely homeschool your student through high school with the same integrated, thorough classical education you have been using since the beginning and raise up an amazing, critical thinkers, succinct speakers, and wonderful life-long learners.
The Conversation provides a great overview of how to homeschool classically through high school. The book includes chapters on Reading, Speech and Debate, Writing, Science, Math, Government and Economics, History, Latin and Foreign Langues, and Fine Arts as well as a chapter on A Graduation Conversation, which is excellent.
There are also some wonderful chapters on Conversational Games, Common Rhetorical Devices, and even a wonderful appendix on Real Parent responses to questions about classically homes educating your high school child.
One of my favorite quotes in the book is:
As students enter the rhetoric phase of education, they are on their way to becoming leaders of men. To lead rightly, they must proclaim trust to those around them, whether they are politicians, statesman, missionaries, business owners, parents or simply member of a community.” The Conversation, Chapter 3
Why do I like this quote? Because I feel I am raising a future leader – a leader of his home, his church, his business, or even his military unit or state. So I love that this provides me a guide to educating my future leader.
If you have been nervous about educating your high school student, then you will love this book. You will walk away feel more confident in your journey and I’m grateful I’m reading it ahead of time. To help me look to the path ahead and be ready for it.
I will say, that if you are new to classical education, I would start with Leigh Bortin’s The Core and The Question before moving to The Conversation. But if you have a high school child and need to get started now, read The Conversation and get ready to be empowered for your exciting journey of home educating your rhetorical student.
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