I am not yet at the point of homeschooling a high school student, but it feels like the moment is only minutes away. If you are anything like me, you began homeschooling your children when they were young and in elementary school. Although there are challenges during those ages, I think many of us feel a level of confidence teaching a child in the early grades. After all, as adults, are we not smarter than a fifth grader?
As our children advance in age and grade, the educational experience becomes one that is more challenging for the student and the parent. Both roles change and the learning experience becomes even more of a collective experience between parent and child, while also allowing your child to grow as an individual. It is not about them learning the material, getting the grade and gaining that spot in a good college or university. That was Bortins goal with her older sons, but she has change perspective with her younger ones.
“I feel college preparation is too small a goal…With my younger sons, my only goal is to raise virtuous men. Virtuous men have no problem going to college, because they are studious.” ~Leigh A. Bortins
The Conversation is the third book in a series that begins with The Core and follows with The Question. Author and Classical Conversations founder Leigh A. Bortins really understands the child and the parent, which is evident as you read The Conversation. She promotes the special time this period, high school, brings in the lives of a family. Your child is at a point where his thinking is more mature and the conversations that can evolve from your interactions strengthen their development as well as that of the family. It is definitely not time to send them away (to public school, etc.) and forgo the opportunity of growing together as your child continues to learn.
I considered the Classical Conversations program for my children, but opted to not pursue that direction. Although our learning style is heavily classical, I just chose a different way to pursue that style. So far, it has worked well for our family.
The Conversation greets parents about to embark on the high school experience. I love the first chapter, titled Confident Parents, which is exactly what every parent at that stage needs to have addressed before reading any further. Your confidence is probably definitely wavering if you have never taught a high school student. The chapter is meant to encourage the parent and it does. What I like is that Bortins does not fill the pages of that chapter with fluff and flippant expressions of encouragement. I think what makes the chapter so powerful is that she shares her personal experience making it all very real. Through her eyes and experience I believe I can do the same with my children in their education.
Bortins leaves no room for a parent to make an excuse as to why they should not homeschool through high school. She addresses many questions like “How can I teach high school subjects when I’m no expert (or did not do well in school)?” What do I do if I don’t get along with my student? What if my child is gifted or has special needs? From there, Bortins continues to tell the parent exactly how they can be successful, by taking one subject at a time and walking them through how to approach each one.
I enjoyed reading through The Conversation, but must admit I felt like I was joining in a conversation that started before my arrival (two books ago). Although it is not necessary for you to read the books in order, as I turned the pages in The Conversation, it only peaked my curiosity more to know what I missed in the first two books. I plan to read The Core and may eventually purchase The Question.
If you are about to embark on the high school experience with your child, I suggest reading The Conversation. Whether or not you are confident in that journey, Bortins offers some valuable information and personal experiences that makes the book a good read.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Conversation is available for $16.
You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members.