The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education
Perhaps you think you know what “classical” education is all about. It doesn’t take much “googling” to come up with the trivium and a few key authors. However, Leigh Bortins proves that there can be many ways to skin the proverbial cat. In this highly readable book she tells us what is wrong with American education, what our model and ideals should be and then, subject-by-subject she outlines a plan. It’s a workable plan, not necessarily easy to implement (it will take diligence and consistency) but definitely do-able. One can easily see both the potential of her methodology and the means by which it is accomplished.
Classical Conversations (the community-based, one-day-a-week, classical homeschooling option the author co-founded) is attracting homeschoolers eager to implement her ideas. In this book she tells us how to incorporate classical study into daily routines involving the entire family. The goal is a strong foundation so the focus of the early elementary years is fact acquisition (aka memorization) but done so by incorporating mnemonic devices, chants/songs, and consistency for both parents and children.
Maybe you need to be convinced that this is the direction you want to go. Maybe you need a road map to help take you there. Maybe you just want to know that others are following a similar path. It’s in here! 238 pgs, pb. ~ Janice
In the past, correct spelling, the multiplication tables, the names of the state capitals and the American presidents were basics that all children were taught in school. Today, many children graduate without this essential knowledge. Most curricula today follow a haphazard sampling of topics with a focus on political correctness instead of teaching students how to study. Leigh Bortins, a leading figure in the homeschooling community, is having none of it. She believes that there are core areas of knowledge that are essential to master. Without knowing the multiplication tables, children can't advance to algebra. Without mastery of grammar, students will have difficulty expressing themselves. Without these essential building blocks of knowledge, students may remember information but they will never possess a broad and deep understanding of how the world works. In The Core, Bortins gives parents the tools and methodology to implement a rigorous, thorough, and broad curriculum based on the classical model, including:
- Rote memorization to cement knowledge
- Systematic learning of geography, historical facts, and timelines
- Reading the great books and seminal historical documents instead of adaptations and abridged editions
- Rigorous training in math and the natural sciences
The Acts and Facts cards are 5”x 8” laminated light cardstock with rounded corners. The front of each card has a full-color depiction, while the back features written information. Each card, regardless of topic, has some iconic features. These include a small world map that shows the location and a timeline that illustrates the time period of the card’s feature. Each card also has notations showing the link to the Foundations Guide. Cards are in cycle-related sets for Artists/Composers, History, and Science.
Classical Conversations™ is an international organization with local communities and memberships, weaving a classical educational methodology with a Christian worldview. Their well-organized PK-12 scope and sequence is divided into three Cycles with three basic age/grade focus levels (Foundations, Essentials, and Challenge) each covering the same historical/geographical periods in any given year. While not their main instructional materials (Guides), we carry these reference, review, and reinforcement products that can be used by those in Classical Conversations™ as well as anyone who wants a useful tool in a particular subject.