A Resource for Homeschooling Your "Big Kids": The Question


Welcome to post #3 in the Homeschooling "Big Kids" series!

We've talked about the challenges, joys and struggles when you are homeschooling "big kids". I have also given you a candid look at the schooling option I have chosen for my "big kid" - the Challenge program in Classical Conversations. 

This week I would like to share a book with you that I've been reading - this book is changing the way I interact with my middle grades child. It is changing the way I view education, and it is inspiring me to further educate myself. 

The Question, Leigh Bortins' latest book, is specificaly geared for parents of middle and high schoolers. After reading her first book, The Core, I felt that I learned the essentials of a Classical education - The Question teaches you, as a parent of a "big kid" to continue educating your children and FINISH THE HOMESCHOOL RACE well. 


Broken into three very informative parts, Leigh Bortins has put together a SOLID resource for us.

Overview of a Classical Education

In the first part we learn about what a classical education is -- focusing on the dialectic (the second stage in a child's educational development). 

Leigh Bortins details WHY a classical education is perfect for children of this age, and also answers many of the questions I had about these "older" years. 

"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 by a concerned adult over a long period of time with very specific academic goals, for eventually, the child wants to know why she must learn so much terminology and what to do with what she has learned. These natural questions lead children into dialectic and rhetorical studies, which give them the keys to make wise judgements, unlock complex ideas, and access every realm of human endeavor."

The Dialectical Arts

The meat of the book comes in the second section, which details ways to teach your children the dialectical arts, which include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Geography and Current Events
  • Logic
  • History
  • Science
  • Fine Arts 

Included are suggestions for literature to be read, math techniques to be used, and MUCH more. You get a very good picture of what a comprehensive classical Christian education will look like, and exactly how to implement that in your home. 

This section has been so helpful to me - it is teaching me how to use QUESTIONS to draw information out of my child, and how to focus her energies on all things beautiful AND rigorous. As a mom of a Challenge student, this book is helping me assimilate all of the knowledge she is acquiring this year, and to see how all of these pieces will fit together to form a beautiful puzzle. 


The final part of the book offers a myriad of resources to help in educating your child, as well as sample questions to use with your child. I've been using many of these with my daughter and it is AMAZING the difference in our academic conversations. 

In short, if you are interested in educating your child classically, I would recommend reading The Question, by Leigh Bortins. This is one of those books that will sit on my shelf and be referred to OFTEN. It is an essential guide for classically homeschooling your "big kid" through middle and high school.


I'd like YOU to pick the topic for next week's "Big Kid" post - what would YOU like to see here on the blog? Do you have any questions about homeschooling "big kids"?  


*I received this resource from Classical Conversations in exchange for my honest review. I have not been compensated for this post.