Monday, May 31, 2010

Meaning in Memorials

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
-John McCrae

Today is Memorial Day. A memorial is intended to commemorate an event or an individual. It has become a chance to gather with friends and family and celebrate, but I challenge you this year to spend at least part of the day doing what the name suggests: remembering the men and women who have died fighting for our country.

Memorial Day was first officially observed in 1868, by placing flowers on the graves of soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. After World War I, the holiday expanded to honor Americans who died fighting in any war. In 1971, Congress included Memorial Day in the National Holiday Act.

For suggestions for how to meaningfully observe Memorial Day, visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs website or this U.S. Memorial Day website.

Thank You!

A great big Thank You to all of you who helped spread the news about classical education by ordering a copy of The Core this weekend. This project wouldn't have been possible without you!!

I hope you'll enjoy reading the book and sharing it with friends when it comes out on June 8th.

Thank you!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

We Need Your Help!

Thanks to your efforts, yesterday The Core moved into a top 500 selling book on Amazon and was #8 on their movers and shakers list!!!

Now that we are in the top 500, we need your help to get into the top 100!

Let's make this weekend count: Click here to purchase your copy today!

Thank You!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Order 'The Core' Today!

It's time! This weekend, help us make a difference by placing your order for my newest book, The Core: Teaching Your Children the Foundations of a Classical Education. (Click here to find out why I'm asking you NOT to buy it from Classical Conversations.)

Ask for it at your local bookstore, or pre-order it online:
Have you ordered your copy yet? Leave a comment and tell me where!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Leigh Bortins is Going Rogue...

Dear friends and readers,

As you may have seen in my email or on recent blog posts, I am asking my faithful friends to walk into a bookstore or go to Amazon.com on Memorial Day Weekend and pre-order a copy of my newest book, The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education.

We need to get the word out that classical education works, and Palgrave Macmillan, the publisher, can do a better job if we can get my book noticed by the big booksellers.

In order to do so, I'm asking you to pre-order my book, The Core, just like millions pre-ordered Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue.

So, this week, May 27-29 (Memorial Day Weekend) I would love to have thousands of homeschooling families order The Core, which will then be shipped out June 8th from the bookstores. That's why until June 8th, I'm not selling the book through my online bookstore, ClassicalConversationsBooks.com.

The Lord teaches us to be "wise as serpents", and I hope this information helps you to know a little more about how publicity works. Together, we can share the blessings we've received from knowing the classical method!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lost Causes Learning Together

There is a list that circulates around the Internet, with 10 tongue-in-cheek reasons why public schools are better than home schools. The reasons include, 'Fluorescent lighting may have significant health benefits', and 'Publicly asking permission to go to the bathroom teaches young people their place in society.'

Parts of the list are pretty funny. But the number one reason has a serious side. It says, 'Most parents were educated in the under funded-public school system, and so are not smart enough to homeschool their own children.'

Funny, right?

Unfortunately, that's one of the most pervasive messages--direct or indirect--sent by critics of home schooling. It's one of the messages I think we as parents are very willing to believe. And because of that, it's one of the messages that CC works hardest to fight against.

See, that message implies that it's okay to give up on two generations of learners.

If you received a mediocre education, you're obviously not capable of giving your children anything better, so you should just be content with the fact that their mediocre education is neither worse nor better than your own.


It's a message that settles for second-best for your children. What's more, it's a message that implicitly says, "Your education is finished. What's done is done. You're beyond help."

I think we have to remember, then, that our Lord is a God of lost causes--a God who delights to redeem His people and make them more like Him.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 4:13, 19

That's why I'm so adamant that you are smart enough to teach your children to learn anything. Not because it's easy or comes naturally, but because the Lord has promised to give us the strength to do all things for His glory.

That's why CC hosts Parent Practicums to equip smart moms and dads with the tools to teach their children as they reclaim their own education at the same time.

And that's why we need each other in community to share stories, laugh over mistakes and mishaps, and then remind us again who we are in Christ.

How has your home school community been a blessing to you this year?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

'The Core' Memorial Day Weekend Push

I'm 'going rogue', and asking you NOT to buy my new book, The Core...

...from Classical Conversations, that is!

Instead, I'm asking my faithful fans to walk into a bookstore or go to Amazon.com on Memorial Day weekend (May 27-29) and purchase a copy of The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education.

We need to get the word out that classical education works, and Palgrave Macmillan, the publisher, can do a better job if we can get the book noticed by the big booksellers. They'll take notice if there is a high number of sales before the release date, just like when millions pre-ordered Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue.

So on May 27-29 (Memorial Day weekend) I would love to have thousands of homeschooling families order The Core which will then be shipped out June 8th from the bookstores. Before June 8th, I'm not even selling the book on ClassicalConversations.com, but am linking all sales to Amazon.com. The Lord teaches us to be wise as serpents and so I hope this information helps you to know a little more about how publicity works.

There will be Leigh Bortins informational meetings at many local bookstores across the nation, so please look for information coming from your director about one near you, or check the events page on the website for a complete listing. If there is a meeting near you, please take a friend and order your copy!

Together we can share the blessings we've received from knowing the classical method!

Thank you,

-Leigh

P.S. In case you forget, I'll be posting and sending out regular reminders to make this project as effective as possible. -LB

Friday, May 7, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

The (Power)Point of Technology

Ever wonder what happens when technology ceases to be the means and becomes the end?

Last week, Elisabeth Bumiller recently wrote an article for The New York Times called We Have Met the Enemy and He is PowerPoint about concerns that the military has grown PowerPoint-dependent. Here are a few points of note from the article:
“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”
Commanders say that the slides impart less information than a five-page paper can hold, and that they relieve the briefer of the need to polish writing to convey an analytic, persuasive point. Imagine lawyers presenting arguments before the Supreme Court in slides instead of legal briefs.
If you put on your analytical thinking cap, you might notice that the article's comments are not relevant only for the military. What about the byte-sized news we devour from the talking heads on TV? The bumper sticker slogans that become substitutes for a conversation? The textbook answers that shut down instead of initiating discovery? The computer programs that fool us into thinking human interaction is optional for learning? The calculators that allow us to forget how to calculate a tip?

We as a culture are entertained by science fiction about out-of-control technology, but isn't there a similar risk involved when we allow our tools to do the thinking for us?

Just think what a great conversation starter that could be!