The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education
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Palgrave Macmillan / 2010 / Paperback

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The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education

Palgrave Macmillan / 2010 / Paperback

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In Stock
CBD Stock No: WW10035X

Product Description

With details on the "why" of classical education as well as the "how," The Core provides a perfect introduction for parents looking to understand the benefits of the classical model, while learning how to implement such a study in their own home. With a chapter on the primary subjects taught: reading, writing, math, geography, history, science, and the fine arts, you'll be inspired to learn more about learning yourself! Discover why classical education emphasizes specific educational elements and be encouraged in your journey by the tips and personal anecdotes woven throughout. 238 pages, indexed, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 238
Vendor: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 X 0.80 (inches)
ISBN: 023010035X
ISBN-13: 9780230100350

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Publisher's Description

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- Reading the great books and seminal historical documents instead of adaptations and abridged editions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

Author Bio

Leigh A. Bortins is the founder and CEO of Classical Conversations, Inc., whose enrollment is 20,000. She hosts a weekly radio show, Leigh! for Lunch and lectures widely about the importance of home education at nationwide conferences and seminars. She lives in West End, NC.

The Core is an interesting book, not only for its content, but also because of who wrote it and why. Author Leigh Bortins founded Classical Conversations, Inc. to “...lead the home-centered education movement by equipping parents and students with the classical tools of learning needed to discover the order and beauty of God’s creation and to inspire others to do the same”(). This handmaiden group for Christian (and anyone else interested) homeschoolers considers the family as the basis for successful education, and Classical Education homeschooling to be the best way to educate your child. Through personal experience, they have discovered that most homeschoolers agree with them. What is a ‘Classical Education’? Bortins’ website explains that it models “...the three stages of classical learning—grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. Using age appropriate methods, children are taught the tools for studying any subject...[it] emphasizes mastery of facts during the early years. This gives students a foundation on which to build later learning and a solid framework where ideas can be categorized and compared as students mature”(). In other words, Bortin and her associates seek to step away from modern methods of teaching and provide real, brain-engaging information which produces interested scholars.

The foregoing also explains the why of this book: to get the message out to a wider audience; to show how to educate in this manner; and, to let people know about Classical Conversations, Inc. Does The Core achieve these aims? Definitely! Besides being a savvy homeschooling educator and interesting writer, Bortin has done her homework and provides well-researched, significant information about Classical Education. With humor, panache, and compassion, Bortin makes this book worth reading from the various prefaces through to the epilogue. In the first section, Bortin writes of her experience discovering what her family had missed in homeschooling their children and how they began to fill in those missed spaces. Then she discusses the problems of today’s education, the need for a classical education, and how it can help you. The main part of The Core looks at the actual content and teaching of classical education: reading, writing, math, geography, history, science, fine arts, and schedules and resources. The epilogue discusses the benefits of this type of education accruing on into adulthood. Be prepared for hard work when educating the early ages. To round off this informative volume, a thorough list of resources and a detailed index are included.

As Bortin outlines in her preface, The Core, is useful for homeschoolers and parents wanting better for their public-schooled children, public and private school educator professionals looking for ways to improve their curricula, adults looking to broaden their abilities, and all those hoping for a generation of competent thinkers and leaders. – Donna Eggett,

Editorial Reviews

“The Core provides an altogether practical curriculum, a handy reference work for busy parents who want their children to enter adulthood fully-equipped with the knowledge and skills possessed by responsible citizens, discerning consumers, and ethical selves.” —Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation

“In a time when many parents are rediscovering the classical methods of education, whether at home or in the classroom, it is heartening to see more and more educators studying, applying, and refining these methods. This book by Leigh Bortins is admirable part of that project, and I commend it to you.” —Douglas Wilson, author of The Case for Classical Christian Education

“Shifting American education from the factory model to a classical model is the goal advanced by Classical Conversations founder and President Leigh Bortins. The public school bar for educational achievement has dropped so low that it takes time for parents to discover how much more potential their children have outside government's educational straightjacket. The Core brings a wealth of practical experience developing classical skills and content for thousands of families engaged in home-centered education nationwide.” —Gregory Rehmke, Program Consultant for Foundation for Economic Education

“Leigh shows a breadth of knowledge and awareness that will be very helpful. Since I believe our future as a nation depends on the willingness of the home schooling mom to exercise and live with her freedom, this book could make a serious contribution to our national well-being.” —Andrew Kern, President, Circe Institute

“If you have children of your own - of any age - and you long for a way to be certain they will prosper in life, you will love this book. If you deal with children in an educational situation, this book will motivate you to think differently about how they might best learn. And, if you just simply care about the children around you, you will find this book personally inspiring and you will want to share it.” —from the Foreword by Becky Dunlop, The Heritage Foundation

Product Reviews

4.3 Stars Out Of 5
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4 out Of 5
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4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-3 of 3
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  1. Kathy
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Tool Box Approach to Classical Education
    July 19, 2013
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I purchased this book for two reasons: 1. I was looking for a basic overview of classical education for a parent's resource group I facilitate. 2. I wanted to find out what all the hype was about in regard to Leigh Bortins and her "Classical Conversations" curriculum.

    In her book, "The Core," Leigh Bortins the CEO of "Classical Conversations" and host of the internet radio show "Leigh! at Lunch" gives you at "tool box" approach to classical education.

    In the first part of "The Core" she gives her articulation of "What's Wrong with Education Today? Why We Need Classical Education and How Classical Education Can Help You." In the second part of her book, she takes the basic elements of classical education: reading, writing, math, geography, history, science and fine arts and gives you a "tool box" approach of how to implement the philosophy of classical education. The "tool box" approach allows you to take a tool from the box, read the description of the tool, and learn how the tool fits into the method, why it is important to the method and how to use the tool. The book is simplistic in presentation, but effective in application. The book also contains chapters on "Schedules and Resources for Classical Education and How Classical Education Gives Us Skills We Needs as Adults." The author presents her material from a "Christian" perspective.

    The only negative comment I have about the book is the author's ongoing advertisement for her curriculum, "Classical Conversations." I found the advertisements to be more of a distraction, than a contribution to the context of the book itself.

    I would encourage any parent who is seriously pursuing classical education to read Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer's classic, "The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home." "The Well Trained Mind" is a comprehensive overview and resource for providing your child with a classical education at home.
  2. levamessage
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Easy to read and helpful applications
    October 4, 2012
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Easy to read and helpful applicable info. Good companion book to Well Trained Mind.
  3. nerkalj
    San Diego, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A great classical education primer
    December 26, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A girlfriend with children in Classical Connections recommended this book to me. I am so glad that she did! I have read parts of The Well-Trained Mind, but The Core is more basic in that it explains classical education and gives a framework for incorporating it with your children regardless of how they are currently being educated. I felt both challenged and inspired!
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