Classical Conversations’ founder Leigh Bortins was one of the keynote speakers at last week’s 2018 Global Home Education Conference in St. Petersburg and Moscow that almost a dozen members of the Classical Conversations’ leadership team attended.
Bortins was a keynote speaker in both cities at plenary sessions titled, “You CAN Homeschool.” She also was a member of panels in workshop sessions on curriculum and content in both cities.
Homeschooling is neither officially encouraged or discouraged in Russia, but it is a rapidly growing movement there.
“The right people are here at this conference,” Bortins said. “They share many of our views on homeschooling, and there is a lot of interest right now. There are many members of the Federal Assembly of Russia (parliament) who support homeschooling, and several of them are here at this conference.”
Classical Conversations is one of the leading sponsors of the GHEC and one of the family education pioneers in Russia with more than 350 students in its tutoring programs in Moscow this past year, the first year CC has been active in Russia, according to CEO Robert Bortins, who also spoke at the conference.
Robert Bortins, son of Leigh Bortins, was homeschooled, K-12, by his mother, which was the genesis for Classical Conversations.
“We don’t know what will come of this GHEC meeting,” he said, “but we see homeschooling growing internationally, and we’re excited to support it in any way that God leads. Leaders from countries all across the globe are interested in bringing CC to their country, and many of them are here at this conference.”
Alexey Komov and his wife, Irina Shamolina, were organizers of the 2018 GHEC. Komov is the CC Director for Europe and Asia, and Shamolina writes CC’s Russian language curriculum. Komov is a GHEC board member and was also a keynote speaker in the “You CAN Homeschool” plenary sessions and at the “Homeschooling Around the World” plenary session in Moscow.
The Classical Conversations contingent also included Classical Conversations’ Chief Marketing Officer Mary Alphs and her daughter Amanda, Chief Operating Officer Keith Denton and most of his family, Chief Financial Officer John Collins and most of his family, Chief Information Officer Bob Rose and his family and Marc and Jamie Hayes, lead curriculum director and international product liaison, respectively.
Robert Bortins and Amanda Alphs both spoke at the plenary session, “Homeschool Graduates in their Own Words” on the benefits and challenges of being homeschooled. Mary Alphs also spoke in a workshop session on “Enjoying Community in Homeschooling.”
Leigh Bortins encouraged members of the CC community to check out the citizenGO.org website and sign petitions in support of homeschooling in various countries.
Home education is currently illegal in Germany and essentially banned in Sweden. Parents in these countries frequently face hefty fines, court battles, jail time, and the removal of their children from the home—simply for their decision to teach their children. In addition, a number of countries around the globe seek to limit severely a parent’s right to make decisions about their children’s education. These countries include Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Greece, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain.
Classical Conversations® is a classical education resource used by homeschoolers in all 50 states and 22 foreign countries. CC now has more than 117,000 students enrolled in its tutoring programs, which are provided by more than 2,500 CC communities. CC provides resources, guidance and a community for a Christian home school curriculum using classical education in three developmental stages: grammar, dialectic and rhetoric.
Leigh Bortins started Classical Conversations in 1997. The family-owned company is headquartered in Southern Pines, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.classicalconversations.com.