04 November 2013

The Question Giveaway?

No Riddles I promise! Just a good old fashioned giveaway!

Classical Conversations has just released a new book called The Question by Leigh Bortins. It is the follow up to The Core.

Classical Conversations has generously offered to giveaway five copies!! WOOT WOOT!!

Ready: Are you a Classical Educator? 

Get Set: Did you read my review here?


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01 November 2013

Classical Conversations The Question ~ Review

Classical Conversations is a home centered company providing materials to teach families to know God and make Him known. Classical Conversations teaches you how to educate your child in the art of classical education.  Many books have been written on the subject of Classical Education and the Trivium. I believe Classical Conversations does a great job explaining this method of teaching to parents.  I will give you a little definition here but I strongly recommend you check out the resource books CC has available. Moving on....The Trivium is divided into three levels grammar, dialectic and rhetoric.

Classical Conversations calls these levels:

Leigh Bortins has authored a previous book called  The Core. In The Core she dives in to the Foundations Level of Classical Education.  Foundations is considered the grammar level in which you are providing your child "pegs" to memorize information. This information includes such things as Skip Counting, History Time lines and Science Q & A. Classical Conversations has developed a unique way of providing various motions, songs and other resources to help your child memorize these types of facts. The Foundations (Grammar) stage helps your child build up to the next level (Essentials).

The next level is considered Essentials in Classical Conversations.   Leigh Bortins has written a new book called The Question to help parents in the middle stage of Classical Education. This book dives into five questions that will help deepen your child's education.

"The Purpose of a classical education is to ensure that one is never excluded from any realm of human endeavor." "This requires consistent discipleship or mentoring..."

I believe that Classical Education is one of the best ways to teach your children. I am so thankful I was lead to this method and style. As our children are getting older and I am sure you have also noticed teaching can get a bit well... errrr.... shall we say tricky? Ok Truth be told it's tough! These upcoming stages are so important in are children's training that we need all the help we can get.  It is in these areas of life where are children are testing out the waters. Weighing decisions, choices, and beliefs. All of our children are learning how to make wise judgement calls on their own during these years.  Although my oldest is just starting to enter these levels,  she is processing the world and how her mentor, peers and parents make their own judgements.  I am so glad to have books like The Question to guide me through teaching this stage of learning and truly life. (shhhh giveaway info at the end of this post)

The book is broken down into three sections. Part One speaks on The Classical Method.  It is here Bortins talks about why it is Essential ( pun intended) for families to wrestle with the "Whys"of life. Part Two is what I call the meat of the book (which I will touch on below)  and Part Three provides you with model questions and resources mentioned through out the book.

The Writing Chapter is where I will be dog-earing the most. Truth be told I did not receive a great education in this area. I am learning right along with my daughters and able to relate to "Hey Mom, Why do I need an adjective?" Bortins will be able to guide you through these types of questions and give you some practical advice on this frustrating area for many.

The beauty of Classical Education is that you see how every subject ties in together like a Tapestry. Each colorful cord representing a different subject, coming together to make a beautiful work of art.

Comparison maybe the easiest method for generating questions from your student.

One of the other chapter's that stuck out to me was Geography and Current Events. Bortins reminds us of using compare and contrast with geography and current events. Again these types of though are going to naturally lead your child into the "Whys". Bortins shows us the beauty and the proper flow of teaching through. These types of reinforcements teach our children to see the differences.  They are able to make a decision based on fact, but also learning how to argue and taking a side. 

Bortins gives multiple examples and stories for you and your child to learn from in each chapter. 
Remember there is nothing new under the sun, Bortins is guiding you through shall we say "upgrading" our children to build on top of the knowledge already gained in Foundations.

"When a student begins to dig deeper into defining something in the natural world through comparison, eventually he must ask specific relationship questions."

Bortins give a great example in the book in the Science section on studying planets with your Essential student. Using the compare and contrast method you can explore deeper into each planet. For instance, How far is Earth from the other planets, what makes it similar?,  what makes it different?, how are the poles affecting the planet. The more questions the more the child can draw a proper conclusion. The will be able to see the picture of everything in its place. 

I would like to give you one little note on the scary chapter.. LOGIC!! Don't run away! I think Bortins does a great job explaining this topic.  Logic is the best way to learn how to make those wise judgement calls. Recognize fallacies, presumptive language, distinguish good/bad reasoning and become better communicators.  Logic can be a tedious thing if you have never had a class or understand why it's important to study. This study will be new to your student at this level. As teachers,  I find it easier to teach if I have the proper resources and or experience in the topic to explain to my children. Logic is one of those topics that I believe we all continue to learn and discern from. 

As a whole I believe Classical Conversations has done the best with this topic in my experience. 

I would love to review ever chapter and give you a bite into each, but really it's better to SEE with your own eyes.  You can read a sample chapter on the Classical Conversations website

 Bortins wraps up the book looking to the future writing process for the Rhetoric level. Her advice:

When you write anything-but especially a book-you must first define the audience,the message and the format. 

I would agree!! The Question fits that mold. I am sure you will pull out even more information when you grab a copy. There is much more information in this book that will have you marking your copy to refer to. These types of resources you can refer to again and again. My copy is already bookmarked! 

**Come back here on Monday for an awesome giveaway!!**

* Disclaimer* I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*

22 October 2013

The One in Nicaragua

How can you go to a place with so many familiar connections and yet things be off?  So many people choosing to live right where they are to give hope.  Yet things just don't go together like peanut butter and jelly. A third world country with Apple and Droid cell phones, Facebook accounts and nice clothes who can't feed their children.

Where some can starve some can feed and they miss the One that will fill them up?

A place where we can be overwhelmed. Walk through the starving unable to feed even pets. I was unable to give enough hugs, enough hope , just enough for one.

A place where children are still shunned because their skin is a little shade darker and yet speaks three languages.

A place where little girls and boys can smile amongst whatever pains them. They walk through their congruent metal doors and walls to a place they call home. 

The "off" the unsettling sits in my stomach. It's a gnawing that I wont foget. 

BUT I don’t want to turn a blind eye , walk those children home to the parents who pilfer the meal just given to the child.

I don’t want send them on their way with a little kiss and pretend that it will keep them safe. That somehow that kiss will heal them from all the wrong. 

I don’t want to think one meal and craft will make it all better because I know it really doesn’t.

A good scrub does not make it better. That thought of bringing anyone to the U.S. will not make it all better.

I can’t heal the mind. I can’t heal the pain.  I can’t fix the injustice..I can’t fix the drunk father. I can’t fix the mother who never wanted her children....no man can,  but, I know the One.

I know the One who gave a girl a tremor to comfort a child who knows he is not like everyone else. 

I know the One who sent an average Mom a dream to fund wells to provide clean water for villages for His name's sake.

I know the One who kept a 3 year old safe on a Nicaraguan bus for hours when he was all alone. 

*Date Correction 2013*

I know the One for humor sake connected two bloggers worlds apart.

I know of the One who sends people all over the world to form relationships with men and women in prison, streets & schools. The One who equips teachers and Pastors to tell others about the One

I know the One who told you to pray and support me to go to Nicaragua and see how He works without us. 

That One loves us so much that He sacrificed all to give us a life where there will be no hunger, no injustice, no pains. 

Let us continue on and fight the good fight together.  Words can not express what the Father does in the hearts of many. 

Thank you for allowing me to share the love of Jesus Christ in Nicaragua. 

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