Tool Box Approach to Classical Education

thecoreI 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.

Kathy Alphs


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