Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

FYI from Leigh at Lunch 1-27-10


*Sorry for the delay*
If you are interested in topics that came up during this week's show, here are a few links and tips from Leigh at Lunch on Blog Talk Radio 1/27/10, "Leigh for Lunch with Martin Cothran"
(Click on the title to listen to the show archive now).


  • Tune in next Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 12 noon EST to join the conversation with Leigh and Andrew Kern. Other upcoming speakers include Dr. Gene Edward Veith and Ravi Zacharias.
  • This week, join Leigh on tour around Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Click here for the schedule.
  • Leigh's newest book, The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of a Classical Education, will be released this spring! Look for it from Palgrave-Macmillan in June. Pre-order it on Amazon! Help us spread the word!
  • Click here to find out more about Memoria Press and their Classical education resources.
  • You can purchase Martin's Traditional Logic books through Classical Conversations Books.
  • Want to know more about philosophy in a fiction setting? Check out Sophie's World.
  • Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Leigh's Thesis: Appendix 1 (17)


    APPENDIX 1: "The Lost Tools of Learning" (part 17)

    The scope of Rhetoric depends also on whether the pupil is to be turned out into the world at the age of 16 or whether he is to proceed to the university.

    Since, really, Rhetoric should be taken at about 14, the first category of pupil should study Grammar from about 9 to 11, and Dialectic from 12 to 14; his last two school years would then be devoted to Rhetoric, which, in this case, would be of a fairly specialized and vocational kind, suiting him to enter immediately upon some practical career.

    A pupil of the second category would finish his Dialectical course in his preparatory school, and take Rhetoric during his first two years at his public school. At 16, he would be ready to start upon those “subjects” which are proposed for his later study at the university: and this part of his education will correspond to the mediaeval Quadrivium.

    What this amounts to is that the ordinary pupil, whose formal education ends at 16, will take the Trivium only; whereas scholars will take both the Trivium and the Quadrivium.


    Source: Dorothy L. Sayers, "The Lost Tools of Learning," Lecture. Oxford, 1947.

    Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved.

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Martin Cothran on Leigh at Lunch

    Martin CothranIt's back!! Join Leigh Wednesdays at 12 noon EST for my Blog Talk Radio show, Leigh at Lunch.

    This Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 12 EST, since Leigh is on tour, she'll be sharing a pre-recorded conversation with Martin Cothran. Martin is the author of Traditional Logic, Books I and II, as well as Classical Rhetoric with Aristotle, both published by Memoria Press.

    He teaches Latin, logic, and rhetoric at Highlands Latin School in Louisville, KY and is Master Teacher at Mars Hill, Lexington, KY. In addition to being editor-in-chief of Classical Teacher magazine, he serves as senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation of Kentucky, where he directs legislative and media relations.

    To listen live, visit www.blogtalkradio.com/1smartmama. If you can't listen live, an archive of the show will be available approximately 20 minutes after the show ends.

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Exciting news from Leigh!

    I have exciting news! If you were listening to my radio show yesterday (click here to listen to the archive), I talked about my newest book, The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of a Classical Education, which will be released this June by Palgrave-Macmillan.

    Here's how Palgrave describes the book:

    In the past, correct spelling, the multiplication tables, the names of the state capitals and the American presidents were basics that all children were taught in school. Today, many children graduate without this 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 this book, Bortins gives parents the tools and methodology to implement a rigorous, thorough, and broad curriculum based on the classical model, including:

    • 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
    I'm looking forward to talking about some of the same topics on my Southeast tour next week. I hope you can share a little of my excitement about the book's arrival, and I hope you'll help us spread the word!!

    The book will be available in several large chain bookstores, or you can pre-order it on Amazon.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    FYI from Leigh at Lunch 1-20-10

    If you are interested in topics that came up during this week's show, here are a few links and tips from Leigh at Lunch on Blog Talk Radio 1/20/10, "Leigh is Going on Tour" (Click on the title to listen to the show archive now).


  • Tune in next Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 12 noon EST to hear a pre-recorded conversation with Leigh and Martin Cothran, author of Traditional Logic. Andrew Kern will be Leigh's guest the following week. Other upcoming speakers include Dr. Gene Edward Veith and Ravi Zacharias.
  • Find Leigh on Facebook! and this summer, join Leigh at Parent Practicums around the country.
  • Next week, join Leigh on tour around Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Click here for the schedule.
  • Leigh's newest book, The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of a Classical Education, will be released this spring! Look for it from Palgrave-Macmillan in June. Pre-order it on Amazon! Help us spread the word!
  • Recent movies driven by questions of faith: Facing the Giants, The Blind Side, Knowing, and The Book of Eli.
  • Click here to read the NPR report Leigh mentioned about hope in the midst of tragedy in Haiti.
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Leigh's Thesis: Appendix 1 (16)


    APPENDIX 1: "The Lost Tools of Learning" (part 16)

    Towards the close of this stage, the pupils will probably be beginning to discover for themselves that their knowledge and experience are insufficient, and that their trained intelligences need a great deal more material to chew upon.

    The imagination—usually dormant during the Pert age—will reawaken, and prompt them to suspect the limitations of logic and reason. This means that they are passing into the Poetic age and are ready to embark on the study of Rhetoric.

    The doors of the storehouse of knowledge should now be thrown open for them to browse about as they will. The things once learned by rote will be seen in new contexts; the things once coldly analyzed can now be brought together to form a new synthesis; here and there a sudden insight will bring about that most exciting of all discoveries: the realization that truism is true.

    It is difficult to map out any general syllabus for the study of Rhetoric: a certain freedom is demanded. In literature, appreciation should be again allowed to take the lead over destructive criticism; and self-expression in writing can go forward, with its tools now sharpened to cut clean and observe proportion. Any child who already shows a disposition to specialize should be given his head: for, when the use of the tools has been well and truly learned, it is available for any study whatever.

    It would be well, I think, that each pupil should learn to do one, or two, subjects really well, while taking a few classes in subsidiary subjects so as to keep his mind open to the inter-relations of all knowledge. Indeed, at this stage, our difficulty will be to keep “subjects” apart; for Dialectic will have shown all branches of learning to be inter-related, so Rhetoric will tend to show that all knowledge is one.

    To show this, and show why it is so, is pre-eminently the task of the mistress science. But whether theology is studied or not, we should at least insist that children who seem inclined to specialize on the mathematical and scientific side should be obliged to attend some lessons in the humanities and vice versa. At this stage, also, the Latin grammar, having done its work, may be dropped for those who prefer to carry on their language studies on the modern side; while those who are likely never to have any great use or aptitude for mathematics might also be allowed to rest, more or less, upon their oars.

    Generally speaking, whatsoever is mere apparatus may now be allowed to fall into the background, while the trained mind is gradually prepared for specialization in the “subjects” which, when the Trivium is completed, it should be perfectly will equipped to tackle on its own. The final synthesis of the Trivium—the presentation and public defense of the thesis—should be restored in some form; perhaps as a kind of “leaving examination” during the last term at school.


    Source: Dorothy L. Sayers, "The Lost Tools of Learning," Lecture. Oxford, 1947.

    Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved.

    Friday, January 15, 2010


    How do you show the love of Christ to the world?
    Leave a comment and let me know the little or the big, the daily or the one-time ways you share bread, fish, and the good news with others in need.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    FYI from Leigh at Lunch with R.C. Sproul, Jr.

    If you are interested in topics that came up during this week's radio show, here are a few links and tips from Leigh at Lunch on Blog Talk Radio 1/13/10, "Leigh at Lunch with R.C. Sproul, Jr." (Click on the title to listen to the show archive now).


  • Tune in next Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 12 noon EST to join the conversation with Leigh and Martin Cothran, the author of Traditional Logic. More details to follow. Don't miss the chance to win a free giveaway for listeners!
  • To find more information about Leigh's winter tour, click here.
  • For information about free, 3-day parent practicums this summer, visit the CC website.
  • You can find Dr. Sproul's book When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling on Amazon.
  • To purchase your own copy of The Consequences of Ideas or Sophie's World, visit the CC Bookstore.
  • Dr. Sproul's recommended reading: That Hideous Strength, by C.S. Lewis.
  • Tabletalk Magazine is available for subscription at Ligonier Ministries.
  • For more information about Dr. Sproul's work, visit Highlands Ministries Online.

  • Thanks for listening!

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Leigh's Thesis: Appendix 1 (15)


    APPENDIX 1: "The Lost Tools of Learning" (part 15)

    Wherever the matter for Dialectic is found, it is, of course, highly important that attention should be focused upon the beauty and economy of a fine demonstration or a well-turned argument, lest veneration should wholly die.

    Criticism must not be merely destructive; though at the same time both teacher and pupils must be ready to detect fallacy, slipshod reasoning, ambiguity, irrelevance, and redundancy, and to pounce upon them like rats. This is the moment when precis-writing may be usefully undertaken; together with such exercises as the writing of an essay, and the reduction of it, when written, by 25 or 50 percent.

    It will, doubtless, be objected that to encourage young persons at the Pert age to browbeat, correct, and argue with their elders will render them perfectly intolerable. My answer is that children of that age are intolerable anyhow; and that their natural argumentativeness may just as well be canalized to good purpose as allowed to run away into the sands.

    It may, indeed, be rather less obtrusive at home if it is disciplined in school; and anyhow, elders who have abandoned the wholesome principle that children should be seen and not heard have no one to blame but themselves.

    Once again, the contents of the syllabus at this stage may be anything you like. The “subjects” supply material; but they are all to be regarded as mere grist for the mental mill to work upon. The pupils should be encouraged to go and forage for their own information, and so guided towards the proper use of libraries and books for reference, and shown how to tell which sources are authoritative and which are not.



    Source: Dorothy L. Sayers, "The Lost Tools of Learning," Lecture. Oxford, 1947.

    Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. on Leigh at Lunch

    Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.It's back!! Join me Wednesdays at 12 noon EST for my Blog Talk Radio show, Leigh at Lunch.

    This Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 12 noon, I'll be talking to Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.

    Dr. Sproul planted Saint Peter Presbyterian Church in Southwest Virginia and is the founder, chairman, and teacher of the Highlands Study Center. He graduated from Grove City College in 1986 and Reformed Theological Seminary in 1991.

    He received his doctor of ministry degree in 2001. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, including When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling. He is a regular columnist for Tabletalk and Homeschooling Today magazines.

    Dr. Sproul has ministered in Russia, Myanmar, New Zealand, and Israel. He is a husband to Denise and homeschooling father to Darby, Campbell, Shannon, Delaney, Erin Claire, Maili and Reilly.

    To listen live, visit www.blogtalkradio.com/1smartmama or click here to go directly to the show. An archive of the show will be available approximately 20 minutes after the show ends.

    Friday, January 8, 2010


    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Reschedule: Martin Cothran on BTR

    Sorry for the last minute change in plans, but the conversation with Martin Cothran on Blog Talk Radio has been rescheduled from this Friday to Wednesday, January 20 at 12 noon EST.

    We hope you'll tune in then, but also stay tuned for more information about Leigh's first guest of 2010, Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr., who will be talking to Leigh at the regular time this Wednesday, January 13, at 12 noon EST. You can click here to go directly to the show.

    As always, thanks for reading (and listening)!

    January Writing Workshops in FL

    If you live in Florida, don't miss out on more special writing workshops this January with Andrew Pudewa (Institute for Excellence in Writing) and Andrew Kern (Lost Tools of Writing).

    Among other topics, they'll be covering the importance of language arts, classical rhetoric, paths to writing excellence, assessing your students' writing, and the way IEW and LTW work together. Here's their tour schedule in brief:

    January 18: St. Augustine, Fl
    January 19: Berean Academy in Lutz (near Tampa)
    January 20: The Classical School in Orlando
    January 21: Andrew Pudewa, Evangelical Free Church in Ft. Myers; Andrew Kern, Geneva Classical Academy in Lakeland
    January 22: Evangelical Free Church in Fort Myers.
    January 23: First Christian Church in Boca Raton.

    Click here for more details. To register, go to www.circeinstitute.org and/or the IEW website. (Scroll down to the nearest city and click for details).

    Enjoy!

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Leigh's Thesis: Appendix 1 (14)


    APPENDIX 1: "The Lost Tools of Learning" (part 14)

    But above all, we must not neglect the material which is so abundant in the pupils' own daily life.

    There is a delightful passage in Leslie Paul’s “The Living Hedge” which tells how a number of small boys enjoyed themselves for days arguing about an extraordinary shower of rain which had fallen in their town—a shower so localized that it left one half of the main street wet and the other dry.

    Could one, they argued, properly say that it had rained that day on or over the town or only in the town? How many drops of water were required to constitute rain? And so on. Argument about this led on to a host of similar problems about rest and motion, sleep and waking, est and non est, and the infinitesimal division of time.

    The whole passage is an admirable example of the spontaneous development of the ratiocinative faculty and the natural and proper thirst of the awakening reason for the definition of terms and exactness of statement. All events are food for such an appetite.

    An umpire’s decision; the degree to which one may transgress the spirit of a regulation without being trapped by the letter: on such questions as these, children are born casuists, and their natural propensity only needs to be developed and trained—and especially, brought into an intelligible relationship with the events in the grown-up world.

    The newspapers are full of good material for such exercises: legal decisions, on the one hand, in cases where the cause at issue is not too abstruse; on the other, fallacious reasoning and muddleheaded arguments, with which the correspondence columns of certain papers one could name are abundantly stocked.


    Source: Dorothy L. Sayers, "The Lost Tools of Learning," Lecture. Oxford, 1947.

    Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved.

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Leigh's SE Winter Tour Schedule

    This winter, I'm headed for Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and possibly Georgia to encourage parents to embrace classical education and to restore the pleasure of learning for a lifetime.

    Come find out more about teaching methods that will allow you to relax as you enjoy the academic advancement of your children. Anyone interested in homeschooling is welcome to attend. Think of it as a winter refreshment!

    If you know anyone who lives in or near these areas, encourage them to come. If you've been blessed by Classical Conversations, share the blessing!

    Leigh's SE Winter Tour Schedule:


    Monday, January 25th
    10 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Johnson City, TN
    7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Knoxville, TN

    Tuesday, January 26th
    12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. - Greater Nashville/Franklin, TN
    7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Greater Memphis/Millington, TN

    Wednesday, January 27th
    10:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon - Oxford, MS
    7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Decatur, AL

    Thursday, January 28th
    10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Pell City, AL
    7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Prattville, AL (Tentative)

    Friday, January 29th
    Greater Atlanta, GA (Tentative)

    Check CC's Event Calendar for tour details and locations.

    Saturday, January 2, 2010


    Happy New Year!!!
    Welcome to 2010