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Strong rising 8th grade writer--where to start?

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    Strong rising 8th grade writer--where to start?

    My rising 8th grader is a VERY strong writer. She did Fable in 4th grade but was bored with it. We joined a co-op that used a different writing program for two years (5th & 6th), and this past year (7th in 20-21), we did CAP's chreia & ref/con. She did well, but I am fairly sure she can do more/better work than what was required this past year. I called to get a placement for her and Common Topic was recommended. I am looking through the materials and am concerned that she will not be familiar with the terminology/processes that this level requires.

    She currently is registered for one of the TBD Common Topic classes--hoping the day/time is nailed down soon! Is this the best place for her? Is it possible for me to do a kind of writing boot camp this summer to get her ready?

    Hoping for a little guidance and direction.

    Lisa C.

    Welcome to CC!
    If your daughter is familiar with the heads of purpose (Ref/Con), the heads of development (Chreia/Maxim), and a mastery of the Figures of Description (Fable) and Figures of Speech (Narrative or Chreia/Maxim) then she has all she needs to be successful in CT. However, if you are concerned that CAP's program did not quite bring her to the level of familiarity with these discrete and compound skills, I would purchase the Ref/Con materials and work through a few lessons with her. We do not have a "writing boot camp" review for CC in the summer (although we have an adult class for Fable-Chreia this summer) but we review all previous stages before beginning our new stage. So, she will be taken through a review of Fable-Confirmation first.
    If you are highly concerned with her Ref/Con writing (style, one, complexity, and most importantly argument invention nd development), as longtime teacher for MPOA Classical Composition, I'd be happy to have a phone or zoom meeting with you to ensure she is properly placed. There are several things I can look at in evaluating her to give you peace of mind.

    One more note; I know that the materials look very different than CAP, and there are some changes to Heads of Purpose focus in this stage. But, all changes and new material will of course be explained in the model and introduction lessons. In my experience, our approach to the Progymnasmata really focuses on imitation of the form and style of the models in addition to the argument development. If this attention to detail in the models is new to your student, then I really do recommend getting familiar with Ref/Con models and trying a few lessons in that book this summer. That is probably the best way to adapt to our way of teaching the program.
    Please let me know what you think and how to best help prepare you for a wonderful year!


      Thank you, Abigail. I am taking your advice and we will work through a few Ref/Con lessons this summer.

      Also, is there any idea about when the Common Topic classes will be for MPOA this fall? We are trying to plan some activities and other classes, and it would be so helpful to know when this class will be held. Thanks for any information you can share.



        Hi Lisa,
        I am working with so many teachers to find the right one for that class. As soon as I have that done, I will get that posted.

        Paul Schaeffer
        Academy Director
        Memoria Press Online Academy