Classical Education and Homeschooling Through High School

“I just don’t want any barriers of entry to any parent who wants to home school. They don’t have to join Classical Conversations. I just firmly believe in homeschooling.”

In teaching study skills for over 30 years to children and adults, Leigh Bortins has written several books including The Core,The Questionand The Conversation, a series which explores the classical trivium from a parent’s perspective. She has also authored complete K-12 curriculum guides for parents and homeschool tutors all across the country.

Yvette Hampton:           I am super excited about our guest today, and I know you’re going to be too, because many, many, many of you have asked us to have her on the podcast. Her name is Leigh. I know that that name to many of you is a very familiar one. She is the founder and chief visionary officer of Classical Conversations, and she has had a great impact in our lives and in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families around the world. So Leigh, welcome to the podcast.

Listen to Leigh Bortins, of Classical Conversations, on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast. (7/2/2019 epidode)

Leigh Bortins:                Thanks for having me, Yvette. I’m so glad to be here.

Yvette:                         Yeah. We’re just absolutely thrilled to have you on. Before we even started the podcast, we sent out … I think it was to our mailing list, maybe on Facebook … just a “Hey, who do you guys want to have on the podcast and what questions do you have?” And so, hands down, yours was one of the names that was repeated over and over and over again. People said, “We want Leigh Bortins.” You have been just an inspiration and blessing to me and my family. We did Classical Conversations for three years when we were back in California, and it was the greatest blessing of my homeschool life at that point.

Leigh:                           Well, thank you.

Yvette:                         The only reason that we’re actually not in a community now is because we travel of course, because we’re making this documentary, Schoolhouse Rocked, so we’re not settled in a place to be able to do so. But, I’ve actually shared this-

Leigh:                           Well, I appreciate that sacrifice that you’re making to get this movie out there.

Yvette:                         Thank you. Thank you. It’s been so great. And, Classical Conversations, you guys have been … I can’t even put into words what an encouragement and blessing you’ve been to us. You have supported us financially, you’ve supported us with prayer. We’ve been really in close contact with Robert and your marketing team, and it’s so great. You know, we’ll talk to them, and they’ll say, “How can we pray for you?” That has just been over the top an encouragement to us, and it’s what’s kept us going. So thank you for how you have come alongside of us and supported us in this endeavor to film this documentary on homeschooling.

But I don’t want to talk about us. I want to talk about you and Classical Conversations and the great things that you guys are doing there. For those who have heard of Classical Conversations, or CC as most people will call it, I would love for you to just give kind of an overview of what Classical Conversations is for those who are maybe just coming into homeschooling, and they’ve maybe heard of it and they’re not exactly sure what this Classical Conversations thing is.

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Leigh:                           So, we’re a kindergarten through 12th grade educational support organization for homeschooling parents. The parents are our clients, they’re our customers, they’re our community. The children are not our emphasis, though our programs include the children. What’s really important to me is that we work hard as adults to sharpen one another, and our Christian worldview, and in our classical training. We’re trying to recover skills that we’ve never seen before. So, I wanted to put together a business where adults met once a week to try to work on a rigorous classical education together, and of course it’s much more effective if you practice on your children and they’re with you. Then, students and the family go home, and they have assignments for the week, and then they come back the next week and work together again. A lot of parents think that we’re some sort of a school, and we are in the sense of we’re a school for the family.

We’d like to say that we helped but there we’re tutors. And that we would like to help the parents in the room just continue to improve at this mission. The other thing I think about Classical Conversations is, our tagline is Classical Christian Community. That really is what we’re about. But, sometimes I think it should have been Homeschool with a Friend. So many of the moms and dads that are a part of the programs say, “You keep us going because I’m meeting each week with my friends and it’s a little PTA meeting.” So it’s not just about how do you do better at Latin, but also, my child has learning issues or my in-laws are coming and I don’t know what to make for dinner because I’ve never cooked a turkey before. It’s all the things that go along with families that are like-minded, trying to raise children for Christ, because the world is not going to offer us a model to do that well.

And so, we need to meet regularly with each other. And the body of Christ is just an amazing thing to be part of. And you go to church on Sunday to get that really depth in the word of God. And that’s exactly what our pastors are supposed to be doing. And yet still we need to also know how does the world work, and how does math work, and how does language work? All those things that are academic skills that help us to know God’s world better. And so Classical Conversations offers that in the middle of the week for the families that are interested. So we help folks who need help. And we also encourage people who are really competent in homeschooling to come in as directors, and leaders, and trainers and a to avail their services to the folks that maybe feel less confident teaching Latin, and physics and things like that. So that’s a … I would say, about three minute elevator pitch.

Backstage Pass Members can watch the video of this full interview with Leigh Bortins.

Yvette:                         That was a great elevator pitch. I love this system that you have set up. It has been so effective for my family. When I started homeschooling I, like many moms had no clue what I was doing. I just knew that the Lord was calling us to do this. My husband knew it, and we just dove in and the first two years I really … it was okay because we started in kindergarten and so kindergarten and first grade were, they were just challenging in the sense that I felt like I was trying to figure it out. But you know, my oldest was, she was so little at the time and I didn’t feel like I was really messing anything up too terribly bad.

But then we were going into second grade and I was like, “Okay, I know I need more, but I don’t know what to do.” I wasn’t trained as a teacher and I just didn’t know what direction to go. And so I heard somebody actually who, ended up being my director, my sweet friend Annette, she came in and she spoke at a meeting that I had gone to, a local homeschool meeting. And she started, she just presented Classical Conversations in a few minutes and I was like, “This is it.” And I was so excited and I went home and I told my husband, I said, “We have to go to this information meeting.” That, “I really think this is the thing that we need.”

So of course, we signed on and the funny thing was, that first year I signed, she was in need of a tutor. I signed on to be a tutor and I had never been in a Classical Conversations classroom before. So I started tutoring that year without having seen it, and I was terrified, actually. I will tell you that the tin whistle was the most terrifying thing to me ever. It was the crack. I could do all of the other stuff, and then I had to stand in front of about seven or eight seven-year-olds and teach them the tin whistle and my palms were sweating and I was shaking. I was so nervous and I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing.

But we got through it and I had a very gracious mom who, couple of moms who were with me, who helped me out.

Leigh:                           Yeah. And see you learn something new.

Yvette:                         Yeah.

Leigh:                           Do all things through Christ. And he pushes us right off the comfort couch every time that you will let them.

Yvette:                         He absolutely does. But it was fantastic from the academic standpoint, but like you said, the community of coming together with the other moms and the other families was just something that there was no comparison to that. I didn’t even know how much I needed it until I got into it and I realized that they became my family. As a matter of fact, when we left California to travel and start filming for Schoolhouse Rocked, leaving our CC community was by far one of the hardest things that we had to do because they were our family. We did life together always every week. And, so it was such a blessing and I love that it has spread so far and deep throughout the world. I mean, because you guys are all over the world now. It’s not just …

Leigh:                           We are.

Yvette:                         In America, right?

Leigh:                           Yeah, they were … we have a hundred communities in Russia.

Yvette:                         Wow.

Leigh:                           We are opening up with … I don’t have the final number. They just had been in February in Brazil. And I think that we have a couple of dozen programs there for the first time. They’re working in English in Brazil with the expats while we get it translated into Portuguese.

Yvette:                         Wow.

Leigh:                           And then in Russia, we’ve already been working on the translations for a while. So it’s in … it is translated. So they’ve got foundations and essentials in A, I think is what they’re offering.

Yvette:                         Okay.

Leigh:                           In Russia. And then we’re also … we’ve begun translating Mandarin.

Yvette:                         Wow.

Leigh:                           Because have a Far East market that’s using the curriculum and more and more programs at our first practicum in actually mainland China this year.

Yvette:                         Okay.

Leigh:                           It was in the kind of a clandestine situation. Very, very fun to hear.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Okay, so you just mentioned practicum and I would love for you to talk about that because when I first started with Classical Conversations, I heard this word practicum being thrown around and I was like, “I do not even know that word and I don’t know what it means.” So explain what a practicum is because those are going to start coming up, and this is something that for people who are not familiar with CC, would be fantastic for them to attend. And of course those who are familiar with it usually love going anyway. So explain what a practicum is.

Leigh:                           So, I just don’t want any barriers of entry to any parent who wants to home school. They don’t have to join Classical Conversations. I just firmly believe in homeschooling. And so one of our hallmark events throughout the summer is to offer three day parent practicums where, we basically get together three days in a row and you bring your family and there’s camps and care for the littlest ones. And the teenagers go to camp, but they’re academic camps. And the reason we’re having the academic camps for the kids is because mommy and or dad are sitting in a room also practicing teaching classically. And so every year has a theme. It might be a math topic one year, or it might be Latin. It might be history, it might be English, but you can only do one thing well and you only get the three days.

So, we try to do, in the morning really emphasize just a big overview conversation on what is the Classical Model. And then the afternoon is more training on a specific subject. And that’s where that practice part of the word practicum comes in. And so we encourage not just home schoolers. If you’re thinking of homeschooling, if you’re headmaster of a Classical school, if you’re on a school board trying to figure out what are some better resources for your school, anybody can come to them, they’re absolutely free. And we do charge though for the kids’ camps. It’s pretty cheap. It’s like $40 for three days.

Yvette:                         It’s well worth it, yeah.

Leigh:                           Yeah. Well thanks for saying that because we do have to pay that staff and they got the background checks, supplies, cookies, all that. There’s a cost to that part, but it’s … we’re happy to donate our own time for the adults that are there. And so, you know, everyone’s welcome.

Yvette:                         Yeah. So practicum is just kind of this three day intense, almost like a homeschool conference. Kind of a local with your own people kind of thing.

Leigh:                           Yeah. We try to keep it between 20 and a hundred people depending on the facilities with the children. Think of if you have 60 adults and they took two or three kids, that’s a big event. Yes. And so it’s just, it’s more focused than a conference where you pick and choose things. Yeah, real particular. And in some ways, it’s both the best and the worst of Classical Conversations. People have to make some real effort to spend three days learning something, so sometimes you just don’t want to do it. But mostly when people get there, they’re so glad that they did it.

And the folks who stay with us the longest of course end up going year after year, and even many times in the summer because they just want to learn how to teach classically. Yeah, it’s, I mean, you can go online. There’s so many ways to learn how to do all kinds of things now, but we just feel really convicted that the best learning is in community. That you have someone to touch your back, and answer your questions, and have a glass of water with. And then the kids running around the playground together and you feel like, “Okay, this Christian Classical Community’s going to really work.”

Yvette:                         Yes. One of the things I love is, we would go to practicum each summer and you always see those moms who, it’s their first time and they kind of have that deer in the headlights look. And you can point them out every time. And it’s so neat to be able to just connect with those moms and just go up to them and just say, “Hey, are you new to homeschooling? Are you need to see CC? Are you new to classical education?” And it’s a great way to build relationships with these moms, especially with those who are just getting into homeschooling and trying to figure it out. It’s fantastic.

Yvette:                         I want to back up just a little bit because you explained what Classical Conversations is, but I want to very shortly if you can just kind of give a picture of what a typical day at a Classical Conversations Community looks like for those who have never attended before and they’re like, “Okay, what in the world is she talking about?” Just give a glimpse into, into a day.

Leigh:                           Sure. So let’s say your community meets on Tuesday at a local church. Your Challenge students, which is the middle and high school program, they may have to be in their classrooms, say eight o’clock. And while you’ve dropped them off, you’re gathering your little guys and getting them to their classrooms, and you’re making sure they have their supplies and the lunches are out of the car and that kind of thing. So your older students are in a cooperative with up to 12 other students. That’s their cohort. That’s who they hopefully will travel through from Challenge A onwards and you know people move. So you don’t have to stay with …

Yvette:                         And Challenge A begins in seventh grade, correct?

Leigh:                           Right. That’s our middle and high school program. And so that very much is more peer based with one of the parents that’s already at the facility tutoring. Usually doesn’t have to be this case, but usually the tutor would have their own children in the program. So, me and mom, a mom and dad, if both come are also on the same church campus with their little guys. And we encourage the parents to stay with the children that are four to 12 years old in the Foundations and Essentials program because there’s two things. Those children need the most help. And that’s generally the age group that the parents most involved with and wants the most help with, right? Once you’ve been homeschooling for six, seven years, those older kids know how to do quite a lot on their own.

And so, but we still encourage you not to treat the Challenge program like a drop-off program. Let the tutor know of your older child, how old or what’s going on with your younger ones and say, “Hey, let me know. But, if my kid’s struggling in a course, tell me what time you’re going to be talking about that and then I’ll be there in the room with them.” I’ve also had parents in there, so welcome to stay the entire time with the Challenge program. And they just sit in the back, and they’re quiet, and they do the work and they figure out what’s going on with Latin, and history and, and chemistry and all those things we’re doing, and can go home and help their older child. So at lunch time, the little guys, they’re pretty much finished for the day and sometimes there’s an afternoon nursery kind of opportunity. It’s not really a nursery like you think, it’s more like playground time.

Yvette:                         Yeah.

Leigh:                           And then the fourth, fifth and sixth graders have an additional two hours of the Essentials program where it’s just too hard for the little guys and they’ve been sitting for a long time. They need to get out of there. I mean, while the Challenge students continue. So they, the Challenge students have a six hour day and then everyone goes home around three o’clock and it’s one day a week. And so it’s a big commitment, especially to we homeschool moms. We don’t like anybody tell us one when to be where. So we have to … you got to have lunch, you got to have their shoes on. You got to have the pencils in the case.

And so, it’s this one day of work and hard to work, not just for your own benefit and learning more, but compromising, being part of a community and saying, “You’re good. Yeah. You didn’t get to do your speech today. Did you listen to three other kids?” Right? It’s not all about you. We need a bit of give and take in our school situation and with education. So there’s just a lot that goes on and the older kids are working on six different subjects over six hours, versus the littlest ones through third grade are really, it’s the parents that are doing the work, right? They’re the ones that are trying to understand the Classical Model.

The younger kids are there playing games and singing songs, just doing various activities. And so everything’s kind of designed for the age of that student. And the fact that no matter who you are as a parent, you’re going to juggle between kids and there’s no way to make it perfect for everybody. And so we all come together and work on, just as a community, how do we get better at Christian classical education?

Yvette:                         Yeah. One of the things I love about the Foundations program, which is kindergarten, so it starts at four years old and goes through eight … yeah. Eighth grade. No, no, no.

Leigh:                           Well through about 12 years old.

Yvette:                         Right. Sixth grade.

Leigh:                           Sixth grade, yes.

Yvette:                         And, it’s so much fun because these kids get to come together, and they get to learn what Classical Conversations calls memory work. And they just, they memorize different things about all different subjects, science, history, Latin, English. But it’s really fun and so they get to do it, with jump roping and I should say jumping rope. And games and all kinds of fun activities and stuff. And so it really makes school fun. But they also get to do it with their friends and they get to build those relationships as well, which is really, really exciting for them. And so my girls always loved it. We couldn’t wait until CC day, except for the packing of the lunches. That was always the dread of my weekend. My favorite week was always when we had potluck, and I only had to think about bringing one thing and we always had a wonderful feast. It was lots of fun. Or pizza day, so that was fun.

Leigh:                           Yeah. And also, the only thing is it’s one day a week you have to not wear your pajamas all day.

Yvette:                         That’s exactly right.

Leigh:                           You have to get dressed.

Yvette:                         I always would think, “I cannot believe people actually do this five days a week.”

Leigh:                           I know. It was exhausting.

Yvette:                         I could never do it. I can barely do it one day. I want to talk about the high school years. I know that this is even for myself, my oldest is 13 so she’s in seventh grade respectively, and as we’re getting into those high school years, it’s starting to become a little bit terrifying for me. I did not like school as a child and so those years kind of scare me, but I know enough about homeschooling now to know that God has gotten us this far. He’s going to take us all the way through. How can you encourage the mom who is going into the high school years and give her some support?

Leigh:                           Yeah. Well, I’d love to say, think back to your own high school years. I know that my mother and father were involved in my academic work at that point. They were around for resources. They were around to ask questions. Around to say, “Well, did you talk to the teacher?” That tends to be what happens with homeschool older students, too. They do a lot of the work on their own and they really use their parents as a resource.

One of the things I found very helpful because I had split, right? I had two in the Foundations program and I had two in the Challenge program. Those little guys can take up a lot of your time and home schooling stops being home schooling for the older ones, and can become what some people call loans school and you don’t want that to happen. So one of the things that I would do was schedule specific tutoring appointments with my older two twice a week for two hours each, and we could get so much accomplished in that one. The one time that they were able to do everything else thoroughly the rest of the week.

So academically I wasn’t doing all that much with them, once they got to about ninth grade. And then with Classical Conversations you’re there once a week and their classmates are using the same materials. Their tutor’s trying to help them with the assignments so we would make a list of questions to ask when they got into 6th. And so besides our encouragement and then … it’s your mom and dad are going to be good at some of the subjects that they’re studying. And then of course the program itself, that was adequate. But one of the things that I think that parents forget about, or actually you don’t forget about it, you don’t really even know about it since this is your first time through with having older children. You don’t know what it’s going to be like having them.

And so, you had this in your mind, this kind of imaginary world that they’re about to enter. And a lot of it’s skewed by your own schooling experience. And that’s not what you’re doing. Your life is very different. They’ve been at home, they know the ropes, the part of the team, they enjoy their family. You figured out what their activities are that they’re going to focus on. And what’s really interesting is they’re finally old enough to be responsible and we send them to a room and stick them there and tell them to do it. Some stranger that doesn’t have our worldview wants them to study and to do. So, don’t do that. The high school years is when it’s finally fun to homeschool. They’re finally beginning to think like adults. They’re able to engage in these conversations we’re preparing them for, and they’re able to be trustworthy.

That’s one thing that I just really focused on a lot, especially being the mom of four boys. They have a great dad. He was around a whole lot, but we began looking for mentors that were males and other adults for them to hang out with, and because they were homeschooled, they had the time for it. And so it wasn’t just mom and dad, their CC tutor and their books. They had each other and they took other courses. They all had different interests, whether it was sports or art, or we found other folks and engaged with them. All my boys were very interested in Bible studies and they, every single one of them had jobs and their employer oftentimes became their best friend through high school. Provide a lot of opportunities for them. Sometimes when people tell me their high schooler’s not happy in homeschool, I’ll ask them, “What are you doing?”

And all they did was brought school home. And I would be unhappy, too if I was in high school and that’s what happened. The world really is our classroom. And then if you mean that, raise children who you trust and then stick them on a bus and say, “Go to New York City. I want you to study what it’s like at the art museum there. I’ll see you in three days.” See, people won’t do that with their high school students anymore. They’re frightened by what the world has opted, and we didn’t have that attitude with our boys. They were all over the East Coast when they were in high school. And our one rule was, “You have to tell me what state you’re in.” Just in case they get lost.

Right? We meant what we said. And I think how fortunate people are who live at where there’s like a bus system or like in Europe, I mean goodness, I would never be home, homeschooling. I would be, have a backpack on my back and get on the bus or train and be somewhere different every day if I was in high school. So really mean it that this is the … We’re missionaries to the world and then the opportunity to learn how the world works, get them on planes, trains, buses, and boats.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Oh. So funny.

Leigh:                           Yeah.

Yvette:                         I love that. You mentioned a few minutes ago, worldview, and it’s one of the things I love about CC is that you teach everything from a biblical worldview. Why is that important, to teach from a biblical worldview?

Leigh:                           Well, if for me, the point of education is to learn how to pursue truth, and to me, truth is a person whose name is Jesus Christ. So if you’re not pursuing truth, why are you even engaged in that activity? Right? You say what it is, it’s entertainment. So to me, the difference between them and so recognize when you’re being entertained and recognize when you’re actually are trying to understand how the world works. And so the world’s kind of confused in that. So maybe that’s why it’s important because we’re, … I got up every day when the boys were at home and for people who don’t know all four of them, now they’re all grown men. But I literally would when my feet would touch the floor, I would say, “Okay, I’m the Queen Mum. I’ve got these four kings to raise. What am I going to do today with them, Lord?” Because his mercies are new every morning and we will fail throughout the day.

But just thank God that we can go to bed at night and die, and be resurrected again in the morning with this mercy being new. And so if you have that as your worldview, fear just escapes and it just goes away. There’s no place where it’s reside because you know who you’re serving each day. And people, a lot of times they’ll say, “My kids have to be prepared for the real world.” And I’ll say to them, “Do you mean the one where every knee will bow and every tongue confess?”

Yvette:                         Oh yeah.

Leigh:                           Is that your real world? We’re confused by what in the world is going on, even when we claim to be Christians. And so this whole trying to recapture worldview and knowing, whose we are and remembering it. It really difficult and no one is going to try to help you in that endeavor except, I would say, your Christian friends.

Yvette:                         Yeah, and homeschooling gives us the opportunity to continuously train our kids in that. Constantly reminding them you are here for a purpose and, God is so good and he’s so big and being able to teach them all of those things through the things that we teach them, is so powerful. And, I think that moms, I love that you talk about his mercies are new every morning, because I think so often moms just get into the drudge of that everyday homeschooling and just dealing with the responsibilities and pressures of life. And we forget. We forget the importance of what we’re actually doing and what’s in front of us. You said you’re raising four kings and that’s right. We’re raising queens and kings and we’re raising the future generation who is going to … they are the church, they are the future leaders of this world.

And so, it’s so important to keep that focus and be reminded that God has a big job for us as moms and dads, and he will continue to use us as long as we continue to be used by him, and allow him to use us to do these great things. I want to talk really quickly, we’re almost out of time but, about two more things. So …

Leigh:                           I’ll make it shorter.

Yvette:                         Okay. Oh no, no. I’m loving your talking. So in Challenge Two, Classical Conversations offers what’s called concurrent enrollment, which is different than dual enrollment. Can you explain that a little bit?

Leigh:                           Yes. So what we’re doing is we’re working with a variety of universities. One or two in particular who have just looked at us and said, “Wow, your high school students are doing what our college students should be doing. Is there some way we can partner with you?” And we were actually on the lookout for folks that would do this with us. I mean we initiated this and we knew what we were offering. And so concurrent enrollment means that somebody else has looked at our materials and said, “We will credit that. Accredidate that for you.”

So, you don’t go somewhere else or do something else. It’s all CC. It’s all about CC. But a accrediting body has said, “Concurrently, we will call that college credit.” So we don’t have it for every subject, every year. We have it for about two for Challenge Two, Three and Four. And you can pick and choose, you can do them all or you can just do one of them. Because there’s a little bit of extra work you have to do. You got to get the assignments to the person who’s grading them for you. So you just have to be willing to be organized in order to get those credits. And it does cost a little bit more each year for those. And so I’m not going to say what the price is, because I don’t know what it is. It’s not particularly expensive.

Yvette:                         Yeah. That’s awesome though. Because that gives them the opportunity to go into college already with some credits, that they would otherwise have to do once they get there.

Leigh:                           And a lot of parents don’t know this, but that looks good on your resume and it’s a good thing to do. But it’s not an important thing to do because think about it, wherever your child goes to school, they’re going to have their own standards. And so the credits may not transfer. And a lot of schools have stopped taking credits from other people because they want your money, and they want you to pay for their credits. So don’t think it’s this great big amazing thing that’s going to solve lots of problems and save money for you. You’re doing it more as a resume builder and it’s something to help your students know, kind of, “Yes, this is college level material. You’re doing a really good job, someone else has approved it.” Then you may save some money by doing this.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Well we have, in filming for the movie, we’ve actually talked to several college professors and hands down, every one of them have said that they can almost always spot the homeschool students because they typically are our better students in college. Not always, but oftentimes they are, and there’s just something different about the way that they learn, the initiative that they’re able to take. They’re not always surprised by being handed this whole syllabus of something and saying, “Hey, go do this,” and waiting until the last minute.

Leigh:                           Because you’re self-directed by then.

Yvette:                         Exactly. Exactly. They’ve learned to be self-directed and so that really will benefit them, not just in college if they choose to go to college, but in life because that’s important in life. I want to ask you about one last thing. So you’re working on a math curriculum. You’re developing a math curriculum right now that maps the structure and learning, K-four through 12 math, from a Classical Christian perspective. I know that’s in the process right now. Can you talk just a little bit about that?

Leigh:                           So, basically, I feel like, and I know I’m short in time. That may put pressure on me now.

Yvette:                         That’s okay. Go ahead. It’s okay if we go over for a couple minutes.

Leigh:                           I have to gather my thoughts and make it quick. So basically one of the confusions about math, why people don’t like math, is they don’t know where they’re going or where they’ve been or why they’re doing it, right? That’s number one question, “But why do I have to do this?” Right? “And I’m never going to use this.” And so most adults don’t know why either. And so we raised kind of kids that are cynics. We make them do something that then they go and they never do anything with it anyway. And so it is, it’s an odd situation. Especially all of us went through K to 12 math. So I feel like one of the reasons we don’t know what’s fun is curriculum is not really well designed. It doesn’t lead you through a specific map, year after year that you recognize. A mathematician will recognize it.

It’s not set up to train the student or the teacher, even if it’s a school situation, to understand why you just did and how it’s going to apply next year. And there’s also, if you have an age range of children, they’re going to be in different books at different levels. And you can’t turn to page 78 in all and say … if you got three kids. In my curriculum, if you turn to page 78 in all three years, the kids are going to be doing the same activity. At a different level. So I as a parent, well no, I have one thing to work on with all of them, whether it’s in calculus or whether it’s in digits. Right? And so that’s what’s unusual about the curriculum we’re developing, and it’s going to be really hard for people to wrap their brains around that. But so far so good. It’s coming along.

Yvette:                         Yeah. Very cool. Well that’s exciting. We will definitely keep an eye out for that as it is going through development and, I’m excited to see it when it’s done. So Leigh, thank you so much for your time. You are an absolute blessing to us and to many, many others and we appreciate all that you guys are doing and all that you continue to do. I know you’re not stopping anytime soon. You guys, every time we talk to you, there’s something new and exciting and so it’s really neat that God is continuing to use what you’re doing there.

Leigh:                           And we can’t wait for Schoolhouse Rocked to make it into the screen. It’s not just because my Robert’s in there and I know half of your cast, but it’s really important what you’re trying to say. So thank you very much.

Yvette:                         Yes. Well we appreciate the encouragement and the prayers very much. God is, he is such a big God and I can honestly say that all the glory goes to him. Because the things that have been accomplished over the last two and a half years make no sense, except that we can just point to God and say, “Only you, God. Only you could have done what you’ve done. So thank you.”

For those of you who, maybe you’re listening to this for the first time and you’re not sure what we’re talking about, go to and you can see a couple of our movie trailers there. Learn more about the documentary that we are in production on. Many people know this, but many don’t. We are supported completely by donations at this point. So if anybody feels led to support us, what we are kind of like missionaries right now and God has been so faithful to provide.

But if the Lord prompts you to do that, you can actually go on, under support and can make a donation to help us as we are working on this. A much needed documentary that’s all about homeschooling and debunking the myths and misconceptions of homeschooling and encouraging people to do it. Because it’s a fantastic opportunity that we have and a fantastic freedom that we have in our country to be able to homeschool

Books Written by Leigh Bortins

The Core

The Question

The Conversation

Echo in Celebration: A Call to Home-Centered Education

Helpful links

Photo by Jasmine Coro on Unsplash