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Chreia/Maxim tips (2nd time around)

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    Chreia/Maxim tips (2nd time around)

    I have taught Classical Composition (in our home and in a MP co-op style class) and it has gone OK but... I am entering a stage where I am starting my second round of teaching subjects (as younger kids age up), and I would like to do a little better than I did the first time. I have always struggled with composition yet found that when I taught it there was more sense to be made of it. I guess as we approach this new school year I am looking for any tips or insights, from those who have taught Chreia and above more than once, on what you would do or view differently and what you would continue the next time you taught it.

    So far, my short list includes: Relax more and spread the work out more through the week in smaller sections as opposed to having one long session a couple of times a week. Any other logistics to consider?
    Long time homeschooler with MP

    Good afternoon.

    I would say your list is off to a good start! As it pertains to the upper levels of composition (particularly Chreia/Max and Ref/Con) the best advice I can offer is to avoid being distracted by elements of the program that are not the focal point (e.g. the "research" component of Chreia). In both there is a central focus on a particular skill; for CM that would be the Heads of Development, for RC the Heads of Purpose. You want to spend most of your time making sure your student understands the HoD (for CM) and is able to use them effectively. Include a "pop quiz" component, perhaps, in which he student must define cause, converse, or encomium.

    Another option is to interrupt the study with a bonus exercise in which you ask him to explain something (perhaps something he/she is passionate about? Ex: Why pass interference is an important rule in football. Or, why playing the scales is important to a pianist) by use of one or two of the HoD. Sometimes the essays produced in CM can be clunky and disjointed because we are asking a student to do something they will not otherwise do (i.e. use all of the HoD together in one argument). In most applications the student will need to think about which method of developing an idea is most appropriate and leverage it to explain what you intend your listener to understand.

    Best of luck!
    Ryan Weston
    Director, Cottage Schools and Distributor Relations
    Memoria Press