The History of Classical Conversations
It was a beautiful, sunny day at Clemson University. I was in my sophomore year and had just dropped off my tuition check at the registrar’s office when I got a phone call from my mom, Leigh Bortins. We all have those moments in life that we remember so vividly. Typically, it’s something really life changing. My mom said, “Robert, your dad is thinking about getting you a car for college. He changed his mind, though, and quit his job. He is going to homeschool your younger brothers, and I am going to try to make Classical Conversations a real business. You’ll have to pay for the rest of college, yourself.” So, I went to the co-op office and asked what jobs they had available for the next semester.
In celebration of Black History Month, we would like to commemorate one of the great heroes of American history, Amos Fortune.
Amos was born an African prince named At-mun. When he was only fifteen, slave traders kidnapped and auctioned At-mun into a life of slavery in Massachusetts, where he was renamed Amos.
For nearly three decades Amos endured the injustices of slavery. However, he never lost hope for a future of freedom. Finally, Amos bought his freedom. Thereafter, he started his own tanning business in New Hampshire, saved money, and purchased freedom for many other slaves.
Born into slavery, Booker T. Washington and his family were emancipated after the Civil War. Growing up, Washington endured many hardships. Nevertheless, he learned the value of hard work, education, and perseverance as he ascended the ranks of society.
Our Challenge I students read and discuss Booker T. Washington’s autobiography, Up from Slavery, comparing and contrasting it with the earlier Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
Amidst retelling his life’s story in Up from Slavery, Washington often provides brief yet powerful insights on the importance and true meaning of education, industriousness, happiness, and success.
The latter theme, success, consistently emerges throughout the text. So, as tribute to this influential and inspiring individual, here are three lessons from Booker T. Washington about true success.
What is Memory Master? Who should participate? What are some fun and diverse ideas for practicing? Read this post for answers to all of these questions - and more!
Are you looking for some fun new ways to teach your kids about geography and maps? Here are seven of our favorite hands-on cartography activities!
Learning about the world that God has placed us in can be amazing. Sometimes, however, something so big and complex can be overwhelming for a child to grasp at first. How can we tackle a subject that is literally as big as the earth and help our children understand it? One way is through making it a hands-on experience.
Here are 5 activities you can use to help your child learn (and enjoy!) geography.
The future of Classical Conversations is promising. Today, more than 105,000 students from over 43,000 families participate in Classical Conversations programs in almost 2,500 communities. These communities are led by over 15,000 contracted directors and tutors and are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 15 foreign countries.
In 2012 Leigh stepped away from the leadership of the program she had created 15 years earlier, and it was Classical Conversations’ very first student, her oldest son, Robert, who became the new CEO.
As Classical Conversations began to expand outside the central North Carolina area, Leigh developed the idea of local communities led by directors and tutors for the three programs: Foundations, Essentials and Challenge. The contract workers received extensive training and resources to better offer the Classical Conversations programs in their local communities.
With the help of friends and family, Leigh developed a business plan for her fledgling business and entered it in the annual Piedmont Entrepreneurial Network’s new business competition.