And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

High School Students and Rhetoric

While we aren't a classical education homeschool family, I know there are many benefits to that method. I couldn't resist getting The Conversation by Classical Conversations founder Leigh A. Bortins to review. This book focuses on homeschooling high school students. While we won't do high school for awhile, I already feel some fear surrounding that season.
Classical Conversations Review

This three part book is packed with information. Part One is all about high school and homeschool. Bortins uses the beginning of this section to entice parents to complete the homeschool journey through high school. She's so encouraging, it almost feels like having a chat with a friend. She spends time talking about her own experiences teaching her sons at home. Her tips and information give confidence to this scared mama! Her approach to high school is is rhetoric based. In other words, high school should be full of conversations. The second half of section 1 is devoted to explaining rhetoric.

Part Two of this book is the meat. Most of this section addresses 9 main subject areas and how to apply the 5 canons of rhetoric in them. For each one, Bortins dedicates a chapter to explain her approach to that subject. Her ideas are inspiring. She includes an easy to reference chart on the 5 canons of rhetoric at the end of each of those chapters. I'm sure if you are a classical homeschooling family, you will recognize some of the methods she presents. Since we have only dabbled in classical education, these were all new and fresh to me. Bortins does a terrific job giving specific examples for each subject and then really fleshing them out. If you are new to homeschooling a high schooler, I highly recommend reading this book for a place to begin. The rest of this part of the book discusses graduation and beyond. The author definitely believes in being a lifetime learner, which I also think is the goal. 

The first two parts of this book made it a resource to keep on a shelf and refer to again and again. Part Three is the appendices section. It has game ideas, a terms dictionary, and an index. This just adds to the value of this book as a resource to use over and over. I'm glad I have this book well in advance of high school because there are many, many, many books in the resource section that I'd like to peruse. 

I enjoy talking to my kids. I'm glad we get to spend a majority of our time together (most days). It seems like this method of high school would be a natural transition for us. Having a conversation with your teenagers is a great way to gauge where they are in their studies and where they still need more studying. While we don't follow the classical education model, this book holds lots of great ideas for us. Even in the middle school and elementary school stage, I have found ideas to apply from the book now. I won't give away any of the book's secrets or tips but my nifty little drawing on our white board came from an idea in the book.

Now I can't wait to read The Core and The Question by Leigh A. Bortins! 

See what other Crew members had to say about The Conversation
Classical Conversations Review

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