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THE QUESTION: Teaching Your Child the Essentials of Classical Education

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30 review for THE QUESTION: Teaching Your Child the Essentials of Classical Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    After reading "The Core" 3-4 times, I had high hopes for "The Question", Leigh Bortins' 2nd book in this series of 3. Unfortunately, I struggled to get through it. Partly because the language itself is difficult and then also because many times too many words were used to illustrate a simple point. Where "The Core" is a simple-to-use, easy to understand book for any homeschooler out there, "The Question" is geared specifically to Leigh's homeschool program "Classical Conversations". Although I'v After reading "The Core" 3-4 times, I had high hopes for "The Question", Leigh Bortins' 2nd book in this series of 3. Unfortunately, I struggled to get through it. Partly because the language itself is difficult and then also because many times too many words were used to illustrate a simple point. Where "The Core" is a simple-to-use, easy to understand book for any homeschooler out there, "The Question" is geared specifically to Leigh's homeschool program "Classical Conversations". Although I've been a part of CC for 7 years now and have a daughter currently participating in Challenge B, I still found the book overwhelming and unclear in many areas. It would be beneficial for Leigh and her team of writers to remember that not all her readers are seasoned classical educators. Some of us need less fancy talk and more practical application.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Helen Purdon

    Classical - repetition. Yep. This book follows the classical model set forth in Leigh Bortin’s earlier book, The Core. She sets out the grammar of the dialectic stage and repeats it, then repeats it again. Chapter by chapter through each subject the reader is classically introduced to practical ways of implementing the next level of learning in the classical method. I’ve appreciated the book and am eager to utilize exact examples with my kids & future students. Edit - Practically speaking - I can Classical - repetition. Yep. This book follows the classical model set forth in Leigh Bortin’s earlier book, The Core. She sets out the grammar of the dialectic stage and repeats it, then repeats it again. Chapter by chapter through each subject the reader is classically introduced to practical ways of implementing the next level of learning in the classical method. I’ve appreciated the book and am eager to utilize exact examples with my kids & future students. Edit - Practically speaking - I can use the exact examples because participating in the Classical Conversations programs includes using the texts and resources she presents.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shaina Herrmann

    If I could give this 10 stars, I would! Wow!👏👏👏 This is the second book in a trilogy written by Leigh Bortins, the founder of Classical Conversations. I read this very slowly because there was so much to grasp on each page! Lord willling, I will be rereading this one several more times over the next 14+ years that I plan to be in CC. Also.... what craziness is this?! I just happened finish it exactly one year from the day I started it! This is the second time this has happened to me this month! If I could give this 10 stars, I would! Wow!👏👏👏 This is the second book in a trilogy written by Leigh Bortins, the founder of Classical Conversations. I read this very slowly because there was so much to grasp on each page! Lord willling, I will be rereading this one several more times over the next 14+ years that I plan to be in CC. Also.... what craziness is this?! I just happened finish it exactly one year from the day I started it! This is the second time this has happened to me this month! 😱

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kela

    I found The Core to be a very informative book about classical education so I was looking forward to reading The Question, the follow-up geared towards parents of middle- and high-schoolers. Initially I enjoyed the book, but after awhile it became very repetitive. The purpose is to guide parents through five essential questions that will help students become critical/analytical thinkers. Bortins shows the reader how to apply these questions to every subject, from geography to math to literature. I found The Core to be a very informative book about classical education so I was looking forward to reading The Question, the follow-up geared towards parents of middle- and high-schoolers. Initially I enjoyed the book, but after awhile it became very repetitive. The purpose is to guide parents through five essential questions that will help students become critical/analytical thinkers. Bortins shows the reader how to apply these questions to every subject, from geography to math to literature. Each subject is its own chapter, but since the five questions are always the same the book becomes quite tiresome. I eventually gave up on it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Odette Leon

    Great read! This was my second book by Leigh Bortins and geared more for middle school age and high schoolers..Super insightful on how to ask questions to promote thought and how to foster environments where open communication and freedom to think on their own is welcomed..

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    There is a great deal of value in this book being written by an amateur teacher who has a passionate interest in classical education. At its core, this book is about logic, the second of the three stages of the trivium, and an area of study whose heart is the question of proof and the tension between knowledge and authority that is at the heart of so many problems in the contemporary education system. After all, a great many schools pay lip service to the thought that they want to cultivate stud There is a great deal of value in this book being written by an amateur teacher who has a passionate interest in classical education. At its core, this book is about logic, the second of the three stages of the trivium, and an area of study whose heart is the question of proof and the tension between knowledge and authority that is at the heart of so many problems in the contemporary education system. After all, a great many schools pay lip service to the thought that they want to cultivate students with critical thinking skills, but all they end up doing is raising children who have groupthink mentalities and a pitiful knowledge of such areas as questioning the authority of bad mathematical and computational models that have such problems in areas of economics and science (and polling), and who lack the ability to think critically about the sort of education that they have been given and the political worldview of the people giving it. And yet students who critique the institutions of public schooling and the university system are not cultivated or encouraged or praised at all, which demonstrates that what is wanted is that only certain authorities be critiqued for the interests of others, not that students be equipped with the mental tools to critique whatever they will. This book is about 200 pages long and begins with acknowledgements, a preface, a foreword by the founder of Patrick Henry College, and an introduction. After this the book is divided into three parts. The first part gives a discussion of the classical model of education (I), divided into three chapters. The first chapter discusses the author's view of why we still need classical education (1), while later chapters discuss how the dialectic teaches families to wrestle with truth (2), as well as some frequently asked questions (3). The second part of the book then applies the dialectic of the logic phase of classical education to a variety of different fields of study, including reading (4), writing (5), math (6), geography and current events (7), logic (8), history (9), science (10), and fine arts (11), while an epilogue explores the author's view of the rhetorical process by which she wrote a book by looking at this book as well as the author's previous work (which I am of course unfamiliar with). The third and briefest part of the book then consists of two appendices which discuss model questions (i) as well as further resources for the reader (ii), after which the book ends with an index. By and large I found this book to be deeply interesting in that it shared the author's point of view and allowed the reader to empathize with the author's goal of figure out how to better educating her children in fundamental aspects of knowledge while dealing with the knowledge that the process was itself part of the goal. That is not to say that I found everything about the author's opinions to be equally valid. In many ways the author appears to be not nearly firm enough about the moral basis of many aspects, coming off as someone who is interested in classical education but not really classical Christian education. This does at least somewhat mar the enjoyment of the book as a whole because the author is obviously writing to people whose objections with the public school system are not only educational but also moral, and this book answers only the intellectual shortcomings of a system which does not equip its students to reflect critically about the lazy and wicked mentality of the contemporary left whose agenda is frequently pushed in the school system as a whole. To be mentally equipped to think logically is better than the alternative, but to lack a solid moral base is to be missing the purpose for which God gave us minds to think and reason with in the first place.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mh Weyler

    I read this for a book club. Normally don’t love to read purely educational books. As background, despite doing cc foundations for three years, I have never read “the Core”. So can’t say how much is repetitive with that book… albeit, if like most of cc, it likely is highly repetitive, in which case, the book would lose most of its value. I was prepared for the book to be “dry” and dull. I actually found the intro chapters to be interesting and enlightening (but remember I never read the first bo I read this for a book club. Normally don’t love to read purely educational books. As background, despite doing cc foundations for three years, I have never read “the Core”. So can’t say how much is repetitive with that book… albeit, if like most of cc, it likely is highly repetitive, in which case, the book would lose most of its value. I was prepared for the book to be “dry” and dull. I actually found the intro chapters to be interesting and enlightening (but remember I never read the first book). I further understand why I love the middle school age. Moving into the chapter of subject-specific application and example… I found the reading and writing chapters quite useful. They provide lots of good examples of questions to ask. At this point the book was somewhere between a 4-5 star. Then, it took a turn. I adore math, but found the math chapter completely dull. The rest of the subject chapters only slightly better. The examples weren’t as enlightening and the material just became repetitive without further insight. Worth a read for the first few chapters until you get the gist and then can probably put the rest of the book down.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shaleece Keithley

    This book is an amazing tool for those interested or already engaged in classical education. Bortin takes the reader through each of the subjects (Math, Science, History, Etc) and gives examples of how to apply the 5 common topics (definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance, and testimony) to each of the subjects. But the core of The Question is built on just that: questions. Questions are the foundation of learning and understanding not only things like Math and Science but also current This book is an amazing tool for those interested or already engaged in classical education. Bortin takes the reader through each of the subjects (Math, Science, History, Etc) and gives examples of how to apply the 5 common topics (definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance, and testimony) to each of the subjects. But the core of The Question is built on just that: questions. Questions are the foundation of learning and understanding not only things like Math and Science but also current events and art. The dialectical stage is when the student takes what he/she has learned in the grammar stage and starts trying to figure out what it all means. A timeline becomes more than just a string of events but now it has the answers to how culture and history have been shaped. Highly recommend this book if you are considering classical education or as a means of helping your dialectical student develop questions that lead to true learning and understanding.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Thorsen

    This book explains how to integrate the second phase (dialectic) of the classical trivuum into your homeschool. It describes the five common topics (definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance, and testimony), and how to apply them to major subjects of instruction (reading, writing, math, geography and current events,mlogic, history, science, and fine arts). I read this book since I’m following the Classical Conversations curriculum and it behooves me to understand the teaching methodolog This book explains how to integrate the second phase (dialectic) of the classical trivuum into your homeschool. It describes the five common topics (definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance, and testimony), and how to apply them to major subjects of instruction (reading, writing, math, geography and current events,mlogic, history, science, and fine arts). I read this book since I’m following the Classical Conversations curriculum and it behooves me to understand the teaching methodology. The book delivered on describing the system, but I wasn’t thrilled with it because it did nothing to make me energized and excited to implement this in my homeschool. There are other more motivating books out there.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Good information but a very difficult book for me to read. It was so hard to get through because, i think, I was struggling with the fact that every time I read how the author would excellently execute the skills with her own children, I kept wondering why on earth that doesn't work with my children. Sometimes all those examples paint a picture of a "perfect idyllic homeschool family" that, after many years of homeschooling classically myself, I just cannot visualize. Classical education IS incr Good information but a very difficult book for me to read. It was so hard to get through because, i think, I was struggling with the fact that every time I read how the author would excellently execute the skills with her own children, I kept wondering why on earth that doesn't work with my children. Sometimes all those examples paint a picture of a "perfect idyllic homeschool family" that, after many years of homeschooling classically myself, I just cannot visualize. Classical education IS incredible and amazing and fruitful and beneficial to our children.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Blaha

    The Question has definitely stirred up my desire to be thorough in educating my children. I love how this book painted the picture of how to walk through the five common topics: definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance and testimony. I'm looking forward to walking through the ideals presented in this book and having in depth discussions with my children on a plethora of topics. This book is inspiring and a good read for any parent homeschooling their children. The Question has definitely stirred up my desire to be thorough in educating my children. I love how this book painted the picture of how to walk through the five common topics: definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance and testimony. I'm looking forward to walking through the ideals presented in this book and having in depth discussions with my children on a plethora of topics. This book is inspiring and a good read for any parent homeschooling their children.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    It was good. It had a lot of good information about classical education and how it helps enrich your students life and not just master skills needed for school, but to make them a more enlightened human being in general. However, I don’t think every student fits the mold they describe. Not all kids are that naturally inquisitive and I think it probably is a lot harder to implement everything she says in the book then how she makes it sound! But it is a good reference.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Great book on how to teach your child through a classical education. This book is geared toward children who are in Dialectic phase of learning, around 12-14. The author thoroughly covers the five common topics as well as how to implement these topics and ask good questions in each area of study. So much good information and I'm going to have to return to this book at least every year for reminders. Great book on how to teach your child through a classical education. This book is geared toward children who are in Dialectic phase of learning, around 12-14. The author thoroughly covers the five common topics as well as how to implement these topics and ask good questions in each area of study. So much good information and I'm going to have to return to this book at least every year for reminders.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I just read this as my classically-educated daughter is entering 7th grade, which Bortins recognizes as the beginning of the "Dialectic" stage. I enjoyed this book more than her first one, which covers the "Grammar" (elementary) stage because it feels like this finally gets to the heart of the classical model. Students in this stage start asking more questions and synthesizing the information they memorized in previous years, so it's inherently more satisfying. I just read this as my classically-educated daughter is entering 7th grade, which Bortins recognizes as the beginning of the "Dialectic" stage. I enjoyed this book more than her first one, which covers the "Grammar" (elementary) stage because it feels like this finally gets to the heart of the classical model. Students in this stage start asking more questions and synthesizing the information they memorized in previous years, so it's inherently more satisfying.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adrianne

    This book literally not only changed my homeschooling approach but day to day life interactions with my children. It’s worth it’s weight in gold. If you are in CC especially I recommend reading this book by the time your oldest is 7-8 and especially before you enter Essentials. I’m happy I read this and can’t wait to finish out the trilogy now 😁

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    A good reminder of our aim into the next season of homeschooling. I really enjoyed the general principles as they were given in Part 1 over the way it plays out specifically in each subject in Part 2. (But that's probably because we're not there yet in our journey.) A good reminder of our aim into the next season of homeschooling. I really enjoyed the general principles as they were given in Part 1 over the way it plays out specifically in each subject in Part 2. (But that's probably because we're not there yet in our journey.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was excellent, though much more difficult to read than The Core, mostly due to the use of classical Logic language. I had to really work to keep the terms straight in my mind. But on the whole very good prep for parents about to teach kids headed into the "pert" logic phase. This was excellent, though much more difficult to read than The Core, mostly due to the use of classical Logic language. I had to really work to keep the terms straight in my mind. But on the whole very good prep for parents about to teach kids headed into the "pert" logic phase.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first bit, but found it got less accessible/practical as it went on.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    3.5 stars The Core was 5stars, this was a bit of a let down

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Very practical, but less inspiring and more repetitive than The Core.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I love these books as “teacher development.” They’re encouragement and a reminder of why I homeschool! I will be revisiting!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Practical, engaging handbook for the dialectic process.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kaytee Cobb

    Getting excited about this next phase! Glad I had a "book club" to read along with Getting excited about this next phase! Glad I had a "book club" to read along with

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    My favorite quote from the book: "I want to be sure that the time my family spends in academics aids rather than hinders my children's ability to resolve conflict, to seek peace, and to be content with tension. They need to know not only how to answer hard questions abut also how to live with circumstances beyond their control without trying to control others. It seems like the purpose of education has become, as C.S. Lewis identifies it in That Hideous Strength, the ability for some to control o My favorite quote from the book: "I want to be sure that the time my family spends in academics aids rather than hinders my children's ability to resolve conflict, to seek peace, and to be content with tension. They need to know not only how to answer hard questions abut also how to live with circumstances beyond their control without trying to control others. It seems like the purpose of education has become, as C.S. Lewis identifies it in That Hideous Strength, the ability for some to control others. Instead, the classical model teaches young people to control themselves. Christian education teaches that self-control is impossible without the aid of the Holy Spirit." "The Question" advocates life-long learning. This is a family endeavor that revolves more and more around discourse as our children mature. The chapters help us brainstorm as parents how we can begin the conversation with our children on a variety of subjects. Asking questions takes work, and I was grateful for Leigh's honesty about the struggle as a parent of allowing our children to work through this process without being fed the answers. I believe this endeavor is worthy of our attention, humility, and effort for it will bear much fruit- in us and our children.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kerrie

    This is the "sequel" to The Core, by the same author. This book is for parents and tutors of the Challenge level in Classical Conversations. I have to say I enjoyed The Core more, but The Question has a lot of good information in it too. The only thing that gets laborious is that for each subject Bortins discusses, she goes into the five common questions and how that subject can be dealt with using them. That gets old after a while. I will finish it as time allows, but at this point,I only pick This is the "sequel" to The Core, by the same author. This book is for parents and tutors of the Challenge level in Classical Conversations. I have to say I enjoyed The Core more, but The Question has a lot of good information in it too. The only thing that gets laborious is that for each subject Bortins discusses, she goes into the five common questions and how that subject can be dealt with using them. That gets old after a while. I will finish it as time allows, but at this point,I only pick it up every once in a while.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brent Rosendal

    A good book on the classical model of homeschooling. Some of things taught and recommended are geared for kids older than mine and so I will definitely read this one again when our son is in middle school. The book gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for the classical model of homeschooling.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    There are plenty of books that provide vision and inspiration to parents who are educating at home. However, many of these leave me thinking, "That's all very nice, but how about giving me something I can use?" This book provides inspiration as well as the 'how-to' element those other books do not provide. There are plenty of books that provide vision and inspiration to parents who are educating at home. However, many of these leave me thinking, "That's all very nice, but how about giving me something I can use?" This book provides inspiration as well as the 'how-to' element those other books do not provide.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Corkum

    An excellent book on educating Middle School Aged children. Should be read AFTER the Core. Even though I would not recommend the organization Classical Conversations because of structure and ethical concerns, Leigh has the best, modern books on classical education.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joellen Armstrong

    Wonderfully detailed book about homeschooling classically during the dialectic stage. Filled with information on how the integrate subjects in this stage & generally, how to cope with students who have SO many questions! Lots of encouragement & tons to glean.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alison (Ali's Books) Flores

    A great help for moving beyond Foundations!

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