Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Conversation - TOS Review

This autumn begins a new phase in our homeschool journey -- high school. Those three words, "homeschool high school" are causing a bit of fear, some sweat, and I am sure before the end of the year some tears. Maybe it is the knowledge that we are coming to the end, maybe it is the fact that the learning done now is what goes on his transcript, maybe it realising that the end is in sight and there is so much that we didn't learn. I think I am having all of those thoughts and fears as we begin homeschooling high school. I was excited to have the opportunity to review one of the latest books from Classical ConversationsThe Conversation Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins.

Classical Conversations Review

Leigh Bortins is the founder of Classical Conversations, a company that supports homeschoolers through weekly communities of learning, books and resources. The Conversation Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education is the third in a series of books that Leigh Bortins has written. This book is focused on homeschooling at the high school or rhetoric level.

The book begins with a challenge to parents, to be confident parents. I needed that challenge as we begin high school. Ms. Bortins also challenged parents to learn with the student. That is just what I need as J and I begin Latin again this year. He just wasn't progressing and I realised that I needed to get involved and learn it with him. I sat at did algebra problems with him today.

"As a homeschool parent, you are the coach, and your high school student are the players." 

If you pause and thing about it that way, as the parent you need to know how to guide the student, to ask the questions, and to know the end goal. I need to be encouraging him as he moves through high school.

Ms. Bortins then defines rhetoric, "the use of knowledge and understanding to perceive wisdom, pursue virtue, and proclaim truth."  The five canons are invention, arrangement, elocution (style), memory, and delivery.  She gives some general thoughts about each of these. The next sections of the book are giving examples of how this would be taught in various subjects.  It is helpful to have these examples. I can then think how I would apply in our learning.

As I read through these sections,there were numerous moments of I could do that or that makes sense.    We have been slowly working to learn Latin and I was encouraged to continue with that as well as to begin to read some works written in Latin. That gives purpose to the learning.

Ms Bortins has a chapter on fine arts. "the artist created this artifact in order to communicate something with you." This gave me a new question to ask as we study art this year, "what do you think the artist is communicating?" Whether it is cave drawing or a Monet we can talk and have a conversation about that.

This is a book that I think I will refer to at various times as we work through high school. It is a combination of theory and practical. This is an excellent book to read as you prepare to homeschool high school even if you do not consider yourself a classical education homeschooler.

The book can be purchased from Classical Conversations bookstore.

Classical Conversations Review

Classical Conversations Review

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