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The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education Paperback – June 8, 2010
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“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
About the Author
- Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (June 8, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 023010035X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0230100350
- Item Weight : 8.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.57 x 0.67 x 8.33 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #93,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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For a book deeply focused on learning history, drawing from many sources, and applying logic to make deductions the sweeping inaccuracy of this, yet another uncited statistic, was confounding. I was left to wonder what she was really saying. Is Leigh Bortins actually discounting entire civilizations outside of modern North America as if they didn't exist?
Or, perhaps there was a clue to what she was implying in her use of the word "American". Perhaps, according to Ms. Bortins, only white, land-owning men are really Americans. Since we know that the majority of Native Americans, slaves, indentured servants, and physically and mentally handicapped who were either kept at home or sent to institutions, were denied an education from the 1600s to the 1950s and thus could not be literate...are we to deduce they were discounted when considering literacy rates because they weren't truly American in this author's eyes?
The author opens with a scathing condemnation of public schools that leads the reader to believe all public school teachers and administrators began teaching in a way that harms their students in the 1950s. Yet, she provides no reasonable explanation for why American education has undergone the changes that, supposedly, caused this harm.
So I will provide it here. The author continually refers to the 1950s as the watershed decade when public education began to decline. What happened in the 1950s? Desegregation. 1954 was Brown v. Board of Education. From the 1950s through to 1975, when the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (the advent of special education) was passed, our public schools underwent a sweeping reform in whom they admitted through their doors. Prior to the 1950s if a kid was too difficult, too odd looking, too poor, or too non-white, a principal could deny that child a place in the classroom. Ms. Bortins may mourn the passing of the good old days of 1950 and before when the riff raff were kept out of school but I do not.
I am deeply proud to be a public school special education teacher. I am deeply proud to work within a system that embraces the difficult and imperfect and gives them the same respect and care we give to the easy kids. This author repeatedly exhorts parents not to shy away from the difficult when teaching their own child and yet she begins her explanation of how to classically educate kids with a clear mandate to first remove all the imperfect and, according to her, "non-American" kids from the classroom.
Whenever someone claims they've created a utopia it is important to look closely and see whom they had to push aside in order to create their perfect space.
I went from thinking I would do a unschooled approach to homeschooling to thinking I will do a hybrid of both approaches.
Top reviews from other countries
For a book that claims to be a proponent of classical learning, the writing style is absolutely horrendous. The content is great, and is structured very appropriately (as anything 'classical' should be). However, the writing itself sounds like someone on a megaphone disgruntled at the world and ranting away. That's certainly NOT the classical way to do things. Often times, the author tries to move from recommending something to a personal experience she's had, without any elegance at all. It's all very choppy, without any continuity within the text.
I hope she comes out with another edition that's got a better flow to her writing.