Classical Conversations: Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins (Review Crew)

The Conversation: Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education - Home With Purpose

Y’all. I have been such a slacker this summer.

August is here, and I haven’t done a lick of preparation for the new school year! It’s kind of a big year too – Kaitlyn’s senior year and Kyle’s freshmen year, with Kendall and Kade in 4th and 1st. I’m not totally unprepared…I do have a general idea of what we’ll be doing and I have most (not all) of the materials we need, but I haven’t done any organizing or preparing. So, now you know how I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks, lol.

Classical Conversations sent me a copy of their new book, The Conversation: Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins, a few weeks ago, and I finally got around to reading it this past week. It’s been a great motivator to get myself in gear for the year!

The Conversation makes a case from the classical education perspective for continuing to homeschool through high school. It focuses on the rhetoric stage and is full of practical advice and encouragement. It builds on the previous titles The Core (which covers the grammar/elementary stage) and The Question (which covers the dialectic/middle school stage), although it’s not at all necessary to have read them to benefit from it.

I’ve gleaned a lot from the classical education concept over the years, even though I’ve never strictly “followed” it. I’m more of an eclectic homeschooler. The Conversation is valuable for anyone who is already, or is planning to or even thinking about, homeschooling through high school, whether you’re a classical homeschooling family or not. It’s been just what I needed to give me fresh inspiration for the high school years and this school year in particular!

In Part One (the first two chapters), the author lays out why it’s worth sticking with homeschooling during the high school years, with all kinds of practical advice and encouragement on socialization, time management, teaching advanced subjects, credits, transcripts, diplomas, college, and much more. The focus, she says, is on three areas: authority, habits, and content. She also goes into detail about what exactly is meant by “rhetoric” and how it fits with the high school years.

Part Two (chapters three through twelve) applies the concepts introduced in Part One to individual subjects, concluding with a chapter on graduation and the end goal of education. In the Epilogue, the author reflects on her own family’s experience and how it well it matched up to the model she describes in the book.

I already tipped my hand and told you at the beginning that this book was just what I needed for fresh inspiration for the new school year – my first with two high schoolers! It’s chockfull of practical examples, personal anecdotes from the author’s own homeschooling experiences, and just plain encouragement that the task is doable! I found it a very refreshing read and highly recommend it for any and every homeschooler, classical or not! Regardless of what curriculum you use or method you subscribe to, there’s plenty here that will be applicable. In fact, I may track down copies of the previous two books for some inspiration for my younger two!

You can visit Classical Conversations on social media at the following links, and click on the graphic to read what other homeschool moms thought of The Conversation:

Classical Conversations Review
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