Monday, August 03, 2015

Classical Conversations - The Conversation - Review

The Conversation, by Leigh A. Bortins from Classical Conversations

I'm asked quite frequently if I will be homeschooling through high school and my reply is usually the same, "I'm just not sure, we're not there yet". What I actually always wanted to say is "Quite frankly, I'm a little scared".  I was recently blessed to be able to review The Conversation, by Leigh A. Bortins from Classical Conversations. This review opened my eyes to a lot of different things. It provided me with a lot more to consider when deciding to homeschool through high school.

What is The Conversation?

The Conversation, by Leigh A. Bortins from Classical Conversations

The Conversation is a 267 page book written by Leigh A. Bortins. It is her third book on classical, home-centered education. In The Conversation, Ms. Bortins looks back on thirty years of homeschooling as she makes a compelling case for parents to stay the course through high school and experience the rich conversations that emerge during the rhetoric stage of learning.

The book is broke down into three easy to read and understand parts. Part one is two chapters and focuses on high school at home. Part two is chapters three through twelve and the focus is on the rhetorical arts. Part two also includes the epilogue. Part three is the appendices and the index. 

In the beginning of the book Ms. Bortins does a wonderful job sharing three areas to be confident in order to homeschool through the rhetorical years of high school. These areas were authority, habits, and content. Each word I read seemed as though it was a blessing for me. I truly felt like I needed to be reading every word. Through the course of the book, Ms. Bortins shares her knowledge and experiences. She impressed me as she defined rhetoric and demonstrated how to teach rhetoric, but beyond that she also provided motivation and encouragement for employing a classical education. I wondered as I was reading this book, "How do I incorporate rhetoric in my daughters education?" The Conversation did a wonderful job answering that very question. It taught me how to converse with my daughters using the art of rhetoric. I appreciated how Ms. Bortins shared that Aristotle, in particular, divided the art of rhetoric into five cannons: These five cannons are: invention, arrangement, elocution, memory, and delivery. The book did a wonderful job explaining each one and walking me through teaching each of those subjects to my daughters plus many more subjects. The examples that were given were encouraging. One of the things that I really loved was at the end of each chapter was a chart summarizing how the five canons can be applied to that subject. These will definitely come in handy in the future.

The appendices are amazing as well. In appendix one Ms. Bortins shares some very fun conversation games. We haven't played any of the games at this point but I am looking forward to playing them with my family.

Final Thought

This is a wonderful book and I think every homeschooling parent should put it on their must read list. Leigh A. Bortins is a long-time advocate for home-centered education and she speaks to all parents who worry about giving their children the best possible education. When I first started reading The Conversation, I knew immediately that I was going to have a hard time putting it down. It grabbed my attention from the beginning and held it through the end. I have three daughters that before I know it will be starting high school, so reading this book now felt like a huge blessing to me. I put down this book feeling very confident about educating my daughters through high school.  I didn't just gain knowledge through her writing, but encouragement as well. It is without a doubt a book that I will keep and pull out again in the future. 

I think every homeschooling parent should put this book on their must read list.

How much does The Conversation cost?

The Conversation is usually $16.00 but right now 
you can purchase it at the sale price of  $12.00

Also, right now you can get Chapter 2 as a free sample

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