I’m always excited about the items I get to review as part of the TOS Review Crew. There are so many great books and studies out there. However this book had me squealing with joy. I couldn’t wait to dig into The Conversation by Leigh A. Bortins, founder of Classical Conversations.
Why do you ask? I’ll tell you. But first, let me share the premise of this great read.
What is The Conversation?
The Conversation was written to challenge, inspire and encourage families with high school aged children. So many families quit homeschooling at high school. Some times there are valid reasons. Other times it’s out of fear or misconceptions about what high school requires.
For some, quitting at high school – just when our children are becoming critical thinkers and conversationalists – means we miss out on opportunities for deep conversations and stronger relationships.
Why Was I So Excited To Read This Book?
My answer is really two fold. First (drum please)…we’re starting Classical Conversations in the fall!!!! I am beyond excited. Classical Conversations is something I considered for my eldest, but never got around to “trying out”. Now, I’m jumping in feet first with my 8 year old, Bram. The Conversation is the peek behind the curtain I was looking for.
It gave me insight as to what to expect in our Classical Conversations journey. I could see the grand vision, of what I’m working toward. I loved that.
Second, I just came out of the fun but sometimes tumultuous years with our “first round” of kids. We had three teen boys at once. Hello. Did you hear me? Three teen boys. Yes, I will gladly accept that glass of wine… 😉
While I loved my time with them, I know I could have done a better job. Two are now out of the house, and the third will soon be married and off on his own as well. I know I did a good job, but there’s always room for improvement, right? The Conversation gave me the encouragement and building blocks to up my game for the “next round” of kids as they grow into high school age.
There are a lot of amazing nuggets in this book!
Bits of Wisdom
Allow me to share some of my favorite quotes from The Conversation with you. Here is just a sampling of what really grabbed me and shook me as a mom and home educator. I love a good quote, don’t you??
We must teach our students to be both wise and humble as they attempt to separate truth from lies and persuasion from manipulation.
Hello? Does that not ring with truth? Especially in this day and age! I want, desperately want, my children to know the truth when they see it. And to have discernment so they won’t be lead astray.
When we have difficult days, I don’t give up and let someone else have the privilege of leading our children. Instead, I recognize that difficulties are promised to each of us and avoidance doesn’t lead to sanctification.
Ohhhh, my spirit is groaning with this one. Yes, yes and amen! I am 36 years old and I am just now learning this deep down in my heart. I’m finally (finally!!) beginning to understand that life challenges are just that. Challenges, not the end. And, that challenges don’t mean I’m an awful person, it means God is refining me in the fire.
Parents who have worked with their children in high school will agree: we have failed, we have won, we have died, and we have grown. We realize homeschooling classically as Christians had little to do with our children and much to do with our own sanctification, and we are grateful for all of it.
There isn’t anything I can add to that truth. It just is.
Why Should You Buy It?
Well, if the above wasn’t enough to convince you, let me say that if you are a Classical homeschooler, even a little bit, you NEED this book. It does a fabulous job of dispelling the idea that this style of learning is simply memorization, it’s so much more. It gives you hope for homeschooling the high school years and the road map to quality conversations with your children.
Not only is the Classical method clearly explained, The Conversation demonstrates how to weave this method into your everyday life.
If you’re one of those parents (like me) who often feels you’re not doing enough, you should read this book. It’s about Classical learning, simplicity, effectiveness and glorifying God in all we do. It’s about looking for Him in all we see.
Now, I’m even more stoked about beginning Classical Conversations this fall!!