The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education, written by Classical Conversations founder Leigh Bortins is everything you need to know to understand the value of homeschooling your children with a classical, Christian model.

In the past, correct spelling, the multiplication tables and the names of countries and capitals in Europe were basics that all children were taught in school. Today, many children graduate without this basic and 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 the following:

  • 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  • Reading the great books and seminal historical documents instead of adaptations and abridged editions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
 Recommended in Program(s): Scribblers, Foundations, Essentials, Challenge A
Cycle(s): n/a

What families are saying:

“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.” — Douglas Wilson, author of The Case for Classical Christian Education



Palgrave MacMillan

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After earning a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, Leigh worked in the aerospace industry before beginning her work as an educator. She also holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Having taught study skills for 30 years to children and adults, Leigh has written several books, including The Core, The Question and The Conversation, a series which explores the classical trivium from a parent’s perspective. She has also authored complete, Reception to Upper Sixth curriculum guides for parents and home education tutors across the globe as the founder and chief visionary officer of Classical Conversations, Inc.

Leigh home educated her four boys with her husband, Robert. It was in this undertaking she experienced the time-tested privilege of learning by the classical method and found a way to promote the fundamentals of education and exercise critical thinking skills.

She is currently completing development of a maths curriculum called The Math Map, mapping the structure of Reception to Upper Sixth maths from a classical, Christian perspective.

Leigh and Robert Bortins, their children, and their grandchildren live near Pinehurst, North Carolina.

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