Monday, December 17, 2007

Reconsidering Classical Writing

,My first reason to revisit my decision to use Classical Writing was to see if all 14 levels of the progymnasmata will be covered in the CW series of books. Amazingly this information doesn't seem to be readily available on the website; however, being the persistent person that I always am when I want to know the answer to something, I decided to go googling. The best answer that I found came from a post on the classical message board. Based on this post it looks like the breakdown is:
1. Fable - Aesop
2. Narrative - Homer
3. Chreia - Diogenes
4. Proverb - Diogenes
5. Refutation - Herodotus
6. Confirmation - Herodotus
7. Commonplace - Plutarch
8. Praise - Plutarch
9. Blame - Plutarch
10. Comparison - does not seem to be covered
11. Personification - Shakespeare
12. Description - Shakespeare
13. Argument - Demosthenes
14. Law - Demosthenes

So it looks like basically all the levels but comparison are covered, which I could do with some history writing at some point on my own probably. (If you have used the other books and have covered that step in one of them please let me know.)

My second reason for revisiting my decision was to plan out a plausible plan for the next couple of years. The Aesop book has been easy for Jessie so far, which is always a good thing when starting something new. Since we will be dropping back to only 1 math program next year, I feel like we have covered reading and math well and now is the time to emphasize writing. In order to do this, I think the best course of action will be to speed up our progression through CW for the next 2 years. My preliminary plan is to finish Aesop next fall and move on to the first half of Homer in January. Then for 5th grade we could work through both the Poetry for Beginners and the second half of Homer. By the end of Homer I think we should have a much better idea of whether CW will work well for us as a program or if we need to make a change.

My final reason for looking back at CW was to decide whether or not I would need to continue using the Instructor and Student books or if I could get along with just the core book. Since the only way to really know was to give it a try, I decided to set the instructor book aside this week and use the core book only. I actually believe we did a better job in our analysis of the Diogenes model this week without the instructor's guide. On day 1 we actually discussed the model (using the questions in the core) instead of just reading it. I also remembered to review the definition of a legend thanks to the core. We don't do the spelling analysis. On Day 3, we worked our way through the grammar using the core guide. Overall I think it worked very well although I think for the next story that I will try copying the model for Jessie to mark up rather than working through everything orally.

That means we already have the Aesop core book so no further cost for that level next year. The Homer core book costs $34.95 new, but hopefully I can find a used copy for less.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Deanna,

I'm a homeschool mom comparing writing curriculums and your blog popped up. I thought "Classical writing" included grammar. Did their grammar not work for you? Thanks.