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11th grader-- continue with ref/con or move to CT??

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    11th grader-- continue with ref/con or move to CT??

    Looking for some advice from experienced CC moms.

    For 11th grade son.....he is an excellent writer and is advanced in debate and logic. He made it to top 10 at Nationals in LD debate last year and was as LD coach this year. He can turn out a quality and logically sound essay about anything you ask him for.....

    Ok so want to give that background so you can help me decide what to do for his composition next semester.....

    We started CC late and he did Fable, Narrative, and Chreia/Maxim last year. We started Ref/con this year. We have done the model and about 3 stories as well both the ref and the con. It just seems so so easy for him. He can practically do it by himself and he helps guide me and the other 2 in the class!

    So I am trying to decide between making him stay with us next semester in ref/con or moving him into to Common Topic. I really don't have extra time, so he would basically be leading himself. I have the DVDs as well.

    I'm leaning towards moving him up to CT, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something by keeping him in ref/con longer.

    Thank you!!!!!!!

    #2
    I'd move him along to CT! Sounds like he has a good handle on R/C. Older students can often double/triple up on the levels in a single year, and it sounds like he's a good candidate.

    Just as a heads up: you may find he's ready to move on to Encomium by about April as well.

    HTH!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
    DS Hillsdale College freshman
    DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
    DD 8th • HLN & Home
    DS 5th • HLN & Home
    Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

    Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

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      #3
      Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
      I'd move him along to CT! Sounds like he has a good handle on R/C. Older students can often double/triple up on the levels in a single year, and it sounds like he's a good candidate.

      Just as a heads up: you may find he's ready to move on to Encomium by about April as well.

      HTH!
      Thank you, Jessica! What are your thoughts on him just using the Teachers Guide himself to make sure he is on the right track? He would really prefer that to having to have to watch DVD per moms directive. :-)

      Comment


        #4
        Hello! So glad that your teenager is understanding the heads of purpose! I would say that as long as you're 11th grader is thoroughly understanding how to generate an argument in each of those six different heads of purpose, and has been attentive to the style and complexity of the sentence structure in the refutation and confirmation models then you are ready to move on! Thank you pickandgrin for chiming in on this too!
        For common topic, and really all of the classical composition, I think a good rule of thumb is to remember that the teacher's manuals are only a guide and sample of possible responses. Students can certainly write like the teacher's manual samples, but if that is what they are using to drive their essay invention, then they are not going to be activating those discrete skills in the manner in which we want them to. A good strategy, in my opinion, is to direct students to the models and use them to point to the discrete skills of heads of development and heads of purpose for composition.
        The common topic model builds significantly on rhetorical arrangement with very stylized paragraphs that are written for a specific purpose, and students should be actively seeking to mimic the model while implementing the content of each new subject of the lessons. Perhaps it is because I am a teacher myself that I really steer away from using the teacher's guide as a student resource except under strict supervision of minor use. I would encourage your student to watch the DVDs at least for several lessons. You are correct in your concern that your student does need some guidance, and the DVDs will make sure your student is engaging in the discrete skills, not only coming up with something to put down on paper. However, once your student gets the hang of the process, then allow your student to write the rest of the common topics independently. Because it is a fairly short book comparatively speaking, with only 10 lessons, an accelerated student like yours should be able to quickly grasp the purpose of engaging with the subject matter while implementing the heads of purpose.
        One more word of caution I have for you regarding using the teacher's guide as a study resource, is that common topic seeks to have the students take those heads of purpose invention skills out of the "fairy tale land," and into real situations, using them as the basis for generating arguments which then are the basis for not only a head of purpose argument like ref/con, but paragraphs that go beyond the head of purpose alone. This is the first time that they are using those heads of purpose to generate arguments not just for individual heads of purpose paragraphs, but for a wider, applied purpose in a paragraph. This is "real world" writing, much more so than refutation and confirmation, so it definitely behooves the student to ensure that he is properly transferring the heads of purpose skills for argument invention into the essay, instead of looking immediately to the sample of what the teacher's manual has.
        As I always say, classical composition is 90% thinking and 10% writing. Without the sweat of thinking, as you have probably discovered in refutation and confirmation, students do not learn those skills as masterfully as the program would like them to.
        I believe on another post I provided a few samples of masterfully written common topics, and I would be happy to look those up again for you as going forward, you have a basis for how well your student is mastering the content for CT.
        Blessings, and please let me know how it goes!
        Abigail

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Abigail Johnson View Post
          Hello! So glad that your teenager is understanding the heads of purpose! I would say that as long as you're 11th grader is thoroughly understanding how to generate an argument in each of those six different heads of purpose, and has been attentive to the style and complexity of the sentence structure in the refutation and confirmation models then you are ready to move on! Thank you pickandgrin for chiming in on this too!
          For common topic, and really all of the classical composition, I think a good rule of thumb is to remember that the teacher's manuals are only a guide and sample of possible responses. Students can certainly write like the teacher's manual samples, but if that is what they are using to drive their essay invention, then they are not going to be activating those discrete skills in the manner in which we want them to. A good strategy, in my opinion, is to direct students to the models and use them to point to the discrete skills of heads of development and heads of purpose for composition.
          The common topic model builds significantly on rhetorical arrangement with very stylized paragraphs that are written for a specific purpose, and students should be actively seeking to mimic the model while implementing the content of each new subject of the lessons. Perhaps it is because I am a teacher myself that I really steer away from using the teacher's guide as a student resource except under strict supervision of minor use. I would encourage your student to watch the DVDs at least for several lessons. You are correct in your concern that your student does need some guidance, and the DVDs will make sure your student is engaging in the discrete skills, not only coming up with something to put down on paper. However, once your student gets the hang of the process, then allow your student to write the rest of the common topics independently. Because it is a fairly short book comparatively speaking, with only 10 lessons, an accelerated student like yours should be able to quickly grasp the purpose of engaging with the subject matter while implementing the heads of purpose.
          One more word of caution I have for you regarding using the teacher's guide as a study resource, is that common topic seeks to have the students take those heads of purpose invention skills out of the "fairy tale land," and into real situations, using them as the basis for generating arguments which then are the basis for not only a head of purpose argument like ref/con, but paragraphs that go beyond the head of purpose alone. This is the first time that they are using those heads of purpose to generate arguments not just for individual heads of purpose paragraphs, but for a wider, applied purpose in a paragraph. This is "real world" writing, much more so than refutation and confirmation, so it definitely behooves the student to ensure that he is properly transferring the heads of purpose skills for argument invention into the essay, instead of looking immediately to the sample of what the teacher's manual has.
          As I always say, classical composition is 90% thinking and 10% writing. Without the sweat of thinking, as you have probably discovered in refutation and confirmation, students do not learn those skills as masterfully as the program would like them to.
          I believe on another post I provided a few samples of masterfully written common topics, and I would be happy to look those up again for you as going forward, you have a basis for how well your student is mastering the content for CT.
          Blessings, and please let me know how it goes!
          Abigail
          Thank you so much, Abigail, for such an in-depth reply! I will take all of this into consideration. He is not prone to use the TM as a crutch and even feels quite free to argue a different point than the manual does and can justify it as well. lol I was thinking that he could use the TM to "check" himself and make sure he is on the right track after he has done the work himself. I love CC so much for that very reason you mentioned above, "90% thinking and 10% writing". It really seems to go right along with all his debate work. He writes his own LD cases and CC seems to fall inline with a debater's thinking. My 9th grader also is in LD debate, has done both TL 1&2, and CC is really show casing his abilities as well. How many CT lessons do you think that my 11th grader should make it through or which ones specifically before moving on to the next book, Encomium, Invective, and Comparison???

          Comment


            #6
            Hello!
            As with all classical composition, it is about mastery, which is a personal journey. While our older students will accelerate through the essays, you will probably find it necessary to do at least five lessons, at a one lesson a week pace, to ensure that your student has developed the stylistic and deeper complexity of the essay as well as the rudimentary mastery of the heads use.
            I would plan on doing at least five, and then evaluate where you are to see how many more you need to do.
            As I said, I have posted some common topic paper mastery samples in another thread, let me know if you want me to go hunt those out or if you have been able to locate them easily!
            Happy New Year!
            Abigail

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