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Monday, August 3, 2015

TOS Review - 'The Conversation' from Classical Conversations

homeschooling high school, classical education, classical homeschool, rhetoric stage

I was so excited to be offered the opportunity to review "The Conversation" Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education paperback book, by Leigh A. Bortins, from Classical Conversations.

Classical Conversations Review homeschooling high school, classical education, classical homeschool, rhetoric stage

What is "The Conversation" from Classical Conversations?

Classical Education is a model of education that is based on a trivium idea. In other words, it separates level of learning into three categories, starting with the young child and moving through high school into adulthood. The three phases are:

  1. Primary (Often called the Grammar Stage) where the child learns how to learn
  2. Secondary (often called the Logic Stage) The author of this book refers to it as Dialectic, where the student begins the process of reasoning
  3. Tertiary (Often called the Rhetoric Stage) where the student prepares for adulthood and future lifelong learning and application of his or her studies

High school level has a strong emphasis on the Rhetoric Stage where the student begins to articulate answers in his or her own words.....HENCE, THE TITLE OF THIS BOOK - "The Conversation"

Essentially, the book prepares the parent/teacher for all of the amazing conversations that take place as part of a Classical Education at the Rhetoric level.

This book begins by sharing an Introduction that is so very encouraging. It contains the author's personal experience with Classical Education and her and her husband's four sons, two of whom have already been launched into successful adulthood career paths.


PART ONE - High School at Home

The First Chapter prepares the parent to feel confident as a Classical Education Rhetoric Level instructor.

The Second Chapter explains what the three phases of Classical Education are and what can be expected at the Rhetoric Level.

PART TWO - The Rhetorical Arts

The next sections in the book get into detail about each of the core subjects and how they are taught within a Classical Education Rhetoric/Conversation Level framework:

  • Reading
  • Speech and Debate
  • Writing
  • Science
  • Math
  • Government and Economics
  • History
  • Latin and Foreign Languages
  • Fine Arts
  • A Graduation Conversation
  • Looking Back, Looking Ahead

PART THREE - Appendices

The last part of the book includes hands-on resources and an index:

  • Conversation Games
  • Common Rhetorical Devices
  • Resources Real parents Respond

I received a 267-page paperback book, written by Leigh A. Bortins.

How Did We Use It?

First, let's back track a few years to the start of my homeschooling journey. Several years ago when I was at my wit's end about how to homeschool my son, I cried. I prayed. I prayed some more. And, then, I discovered something called Classical Education. To me, it was an answer to my prayers at the time. But, somehow over the past few years, I have lost sight of that initial feeling of relief and was looking forward to a refresher on the importance and the why's of Classical education once again.

Classical Conversations Review homeschooling high school, classical education, classical homeschool, rhetoric stage

Here comes the part where I bear a piece of my soul to my readers because it has to do with stages, as does Classical Education. It especially has to do with my journey to attempting to make the most out of every stage of my children's lives:

I am a baby/toddler/pre-school, maybe even early elementary style of mom/teacher. Ever since I was a child, all I wanted to be was a mommy and/or a teacher. My dreams were fulfilled when God placed three healthy babies into my arms, two less than two years apart, losing three pregnancies, and then a miracle child a few years later. So, my life was complete and I was happy with my babies and young children constantly by my side.

Then, something happened..... I guess I blinked. Perhaps, I blinked way too many times, because in a blink of an eye - My house is no longer filled with little children and babies at my feet. It is now filled with two young pre-adults/teens and a baby of the family emerging toward late elementary status rapidly.

(INSERT GRIEF) - I actually experienced grief in the feeling of loss of having a little one around. And, I wasn't quite sure I wanted to parent teens. So, it was time for much adjustment. I had always learned to embrace each new stage of my children's babyhood, toddlerhood, childhood. And, now it was time to begin embracing teenager-hood and early adulthood parenting just the same as I had the other, very enjoyable, phases of their lives.

Surely, there was more to this new phase than I had feared.

ENTER - The Conversation.....  Also known as - My encouragement book of the year:

I sat down with my cup of coffee and began to read. I was excited to set aside some time with just me and the book.

What Did We Think?

I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to review this book. It is the very encouragement I needed right about now. I am now re-encouraged about facing my son's second year of high school and preparing my last-year-of-Middle-School daughter for high school.

OK, to be honest - I'm pumped! While I still very much loved the younger years with my children, I believe we are growing together - They are growing into adulthood, and I am growing into learning how to be the best teen/pre-adult/adult mom I can be, giving them every opportunity to shine and making new memories along the way as we learn together..... PLUS - I do still have one lingering child who is still in the Grammar stage...Thank you, God!

The book is a great read that is set up in an easy-to-follow, and easy to reference format. I loved how it began with encouragement, instilling or re-instilling, confidence to this mom who was beginning to question my once-determined path for educating my children through the higher level years. I now have an excellent reference resource book to fall back on when I begin to waver along the journey.

Find Classical Conversations on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

Classical Conversations Review

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