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Pondering Speech/Debate and Socratic/Dialectic discussions

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    Pondering Speech/Debate and Socratic/Dialectic discussions

    (Posting here in addition to the K-8 Board)

    As we move toward switching to MP for my boys I am wondering how you all tackle the need some kids (perhaps more than others) have for more group discussion time, as well as things like speech and debate. Our move into MP as a family and away from Classical Conversations means a loss of those Socratic discussions my son will greatly miss. I'm a bit concerned about this and the coming few years. How do you meet this need with older kids (8th grade and up?) My understanding of a truly classical education is one where the kids have time to engage in discussion and practice their rhetorical skills. I could really use some help thinking through this. I'm so overwhelmed since coming back from the MP Sodalitas, still don't have anything ordered, and feeling like a lone island here, not knowing how to make decisions. (Example: I've belabored the decision on which literature guides to order for my son and, as a result, have nothing ordered for either of my boys!)

    Any thoughts to help put this restless mind at ease? Thanks!

    SusanP

    #2
    Re: Pondering Speech/Debate and Socratic/Dialectic discussions

    Susan,

    This is part of the reason why we are seeing such a great interest in starting what we term "cottage schools." There is a need for middle school students (and beyond) to dialogue, talk, converse, and disagree. So starting a one-day program for other homeschoolers is an option.

    There are also homeschoolers that are starting virtual programs, leveraging technology to do the same.

    Our guides have been designed to foster discussion between the parent and the student by providing "discussion questions" for the student and answers for the parent. That way the parent doesn't have to read the whole book to have the conversation. The parent doesn't have to be involved in everything, just those open-ended questions.

    One thing to remember is that not all "rhetorical skill" is linked to speaking out loud, but written work serves the same end. Some of those discussion questions can be turned in to essays and the thought process the student has to go through is the same as if they were conversing (except they have the time to think even more carefully)!

    Paul
    Paul Schaeffer
    --
    Director, Schools Division
    Memoria Press

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Pondering Speech/Debate and Socratic/Dialectic discussions

      Hi Susan,

      Paul makes some great points -- especially about the benefit of written rhetoric! For the discussion portion, have you heard about Delectare Online? It's a free, virtual discussion group for MP students (we're not affiliated with MP -- just families that love their program!). It is brand new and for ages 9-14; we hope to cover more high school level discussions in the future. You can find out more at: www.delectareonline.com and feel free to email me if you have any questions: delectareonline@gmail.com

      HTH!
      Jennifer
      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

      DS16
      MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
      MPOA: High School Comp. II
      HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

      DS15
      MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
      MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
      HSC: Modern European History

      DS12
      7M with:
      Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

      DS11
      SC Level 4

      DD9
      3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

      DD7/8
      Still in SC Level 2

      DD 4/5
      SC Level C

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Pondering Speech/Debate and Socratic/Dialectic discussions

        Thank you, Paul and Jennifer.

        Paul, yes, I understand the interest in Cottage Schools is due, in part, from this very concern I have as a parent. Unfortunately, for us, I am not assessing a great need here in my small town and surrounding areas for something like that. And here's why.... the families with kids my kids' ages are either:

        1) Doing Classical Conversations and getting their needs met that way
        2) Making use of the couple of different "pay for" homeschool classes in the general area (which fall more under the category of general Christian education with the purpose of meeting transcript requirements, rather than distinctively classical)

        Jennifer, yes, thanks! I was thrilled when I saw you launch your Delectare website venture. Unfortunately my hopes were shattered when I saw that my son was basically a grade beyond the levels you are offering, which might line up with where your own kids are at. SO if you continue year-by-year where your kids are, my son wouldn't be able to participate because what he really needs is what MP deems 8th/9th grade for Classical Studies and Literature. Know what I mean? Thank you for your email....I'll write you back tonight!

        With much gratitude for responding to my post,

        SusanP

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Pondering Speech/Debate and Socratic/Dialectic discussions

          I feel so bad that we couldn't do more this year with Delectare. I knew it was important to cover as many middle schoolers as possible and I desperately wanted to include Greeks/Homer and Rome/Virgil for the older set, but it was going to be too much our first year in. It was a necessary decision, but it left my own 13 year old out of Delectare as well. Perhaps our two boys could meet on their own once a week? If you think that could work, just send me a PM or email -- I know my son would love it! He will be taking Greeks/Homer for Classical Studies and Literature 8M.
          Jennifer
          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

          DS16
          MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
          MPOA: High School Comp. II
          HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

          DS15
          MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
          MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
          HSC: Modern European History

          DS12
          7M with:
          Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

          DS11
          SC Level 4

          DD9
          3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

          DD7/8
          Still in SC Level 2

          DD 4/5
          SC Level C

          Comment

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