Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Substitue for Classical Composition?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Substitue for Classical Composition?

    Hello!

    After about four years of assembling my own curriculum, I'd like to try to do an all-in-one package for fifth grade. We have already used and loved a bunch of MP stuff, but I'm really struggling with the Classical Composition samples I can see. DD has done some of Intro to Comp, which I liked and she thought was okay. She is 10yo, a voracious reader, and is writing a book and a magazine over the summer for "fun." She definitely needs work on things like punctuation and grammar, but she doesn't struggle to come up with words. As I look over the samples for Classical Composition (Fable, Narrative, Chreia/Maxim), I think they'd drive her absolutely nuts. I'm pretty sure she'd feel like the lessons are far too slow and belabored for her. I understand that the series builds, and I love the way critical thinking and logic, persuasion, and argument are built into the curriculum. However, I'm afraid that she'll really hate writing by about week 3! I can force her to keep going, of course, but I hate to kill her love for something that seems to be a real strength/developing skill.

    Are there any good substitutes for CC (besides IEW)? Or anything that would be helpful for me to know/consider before I decide against it?

    Thanks so much!

    #2
    Did you look into The Lost Tools of Writing by the Circe Institute? Though your girl will be in 5th grade, so pretty young even for the 2-year pace of Level I - still, it's something you may want to look into.
    Classical Academic Press's Writing and Rhetoric series is a "progym-lite" option.

    You could still try to teach a few lessons of Fable and see how it goes - as with any other subject, you should feel free to adapt the pace to the needs of your student, and while a lot of the time that means slowing down, sometimes it can also mean to speed things up. I will say that, in my experience, kids who love to write tend to resist any kind of formal instruction, feeling they don't really need it. They're to young to see what they need to work on, so writing exercises feel useless or boring to them. But that's their feeling, it does not necessarily correspond to the reality of what they need.
    DS (16)
    DD (15)
    DS (7)

    Comment


      #3
      I shared this a few years ago in the FB group and have been asked to re-share it a few times since. It was written by my then-15 year old. His love of writing never waned and he even won multiple awards for a short story collection he wrote.
      “Fable/Narrative was annoying. It seemed simple, dull and pointless. Until I realized that simple was not the same as easy. Our old composition course was just another subject to get done [CAP'S Writing & Rhetoric]. I wrote a few sentences on a black line and then I went back to playing. That changed when we switched to MP’s Composition.

      That blue-spiraled text became an enemy. Now I was being asked questions that required answers. What where the nine narrative components? How do you paraphrase without copying someone else? What does changing the perspective do? Fable/Narrative forced me to think and I hated it. My mind went as blank as the lines in front of me.

      Through a lot of effort, I got through those first two stages and I started Chreia/Maxim with a sense of dread. The year started, we sat down to write, and I opened my new book. I quickly flipped through the pages and realized: this was completely different.

      Before, I had analyzed stories, written about stories, paraphrased stories, and as I looked at this new book, I suddenly understood. Now I could move my focus to defending those stories. This was a revelation.

      It wasn’t long before I realized that like the former stages, these books were no simple task either. But now I could see how they built on one another. Now, from a perspective of almost five years of MP’s composition completed, I can look back on the effort it took. But I can also see what it was worth. Aragorn was right when he said: ‘All that is gold does not glitter.’”
      Jennifer
      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

      2022
      DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
      DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
      DS15: MP, MPOA
      DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
      DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
      DD10: SC3
      DD7: MPK

      Comment


        #4
        Having taught two years of CC as a class in my home, I am in love with it. Had MP not included it in their packages, I NEVER would have sought it out or given it a chance. The previews make it seem unapproachable and arcane. I don't know how to fix that for the newcomer, but I'm going to give you my best try.

        The reason I like to call CC a thinking program is that, combined with EGR and the "logic" of Latin, it causes your student to identify and practice, first in isolation and then across multiple applications, the many components of effective writing.

        Your student might be a very creative writer for her age. Especially if your child is a voracious reader (as is mine), she will already have a "syntax bank" full of beautiful turns of phrase. But CC forces a child to play with the many ways we can rephrase a noun, verb or adjective and consider how that changes the mood, pacing and general plot thrust of a story. One of the most undervalued exercises in the TM is analyzing diction (word choice) and what each word "adds" to the composition/story. Variation gets the student thinking about whether to go broad/general or narrow/specific. I could say: All nine feet of the mammal's muscle- and fur-wrapped skeleton nestled into a rock cleft the size of a large suitcase. I could also say: The hulking brown Kodiak wedged itself into a 4-square foot crevice at the base of Mt. McKinley. One sentence is broad; the other is very specific. Both say the same thing. Either sentence could fit into a paraphrase that has a brown bear as a character in a story, but over time, students will see and hear how each option changes the plot, characters, mood and formality of the story. Through the editing process, my students realized some details leave unanswered questions, and some contradict or distract from the main idea. The reduction process helps students weigh the importance of each sentence, seeing gaps in the narrative that leave the reader wondering how a character got somewhere if not included. Students then add figures of description, first awkwardly and later seamlessly. That is a process that can only be taught by doing (trying, failing, and trying again).

        The program also explicitly teaches the components of a narrative, which are incredibly helpful both in literature class and creative writing. It should not be lost on students that they're identifying the "cause" of a work, or why the passage has been written. This dips a toe into the philosophical "telos" of a thing, and our class has had some great discussions from this question. The program also has a teach-identify-practice cycle. If I give you an example of a leitmotif, then have you construct one, you are going to recognize it when you hear it in other works of music. As you recognize them in a variety of applications, you will have a deeper well from which to draw inspiration and craft your own. Likewise, reading examples of and then employing figures of description in their own writing, students will identify them in other literature and pay attention to how their use engages the reader and adds to the storyline. I have my students bring me examples of FOD that are excellent, and we briefly discuss the mood that is created or the effect the description has in the story.

        What I like is that writing-averse and creative students thrive in this writing program. My older male student, who has an analytical, engineering mind and is concise by nature, is growing by adopting more complicated syntax and elevated vocabulary. My daughter, well-read and artsy, is learning how not to bore the reader with endless extraneous detail and rabbit trails.

        CC is like guardrails on a bowling alley to build success until the individual mechanics and skills of writing and effective argumentation are mastered. After the introductory levels, students will have everything they need to effectively communicate through the written word. At the end of this year, I took ONE HOUR to teach the 5-paragraph essay to my students. After that, my eldest student wrote a 5-paragraph essay identifying themes of wisdom and foolishness in a Shakespeare play he had finished (via MP), and it was pretty good. So, that's two years of CC, and all the work outlining, paraphrasing, editing, reading, writing and rewriting did the heavy lifting. Layering on some of the more modern writing styles is easy when the important parts, the thinking and the art of writing, have been taught.

        I know that not everything I just said is "inside the book," but effective home educators know "good bones" when they see them. You can effectively teach it at home with these insights, or you can tap into the wonderful online resources (both the Teacher Training conference and MPOA) that augment a student's journey.
        Mama of 2, teacher of 3
        Summer: First Start French I
        SY 22/23
        6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim in group, and Koine Greek
        MP2 w/ R&S Arithmetic 3


        Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
        SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1

        Comment


          #5
          You could try a more CM approach, just doing written narrations across subjects, like a Literature question in the guides, or on a history question in one of the classical studies guides.

          There's a series called Classical Writing recommended in Andrew Campbell's LCC back in the day, which I believe was written before MP came out with their CC series. I haven't used it but you might look at it.

          WTM's 8filltheheart wrote a curriculum called Treasured Conversations for anyone roughly in the range of grades 3-5 that comes very highly recommended and is specifically for homeschooling moms. She sells it for about $30 I think, by popular demand.

          There's a small paperback called The Lively Art of Writing that was recommended to me for my 7th grader who is a natural writer. I'm going to try it. There's a companion workbook and teacher guide available as free downloadable resources. I can give you that link if you're interested. It looks good so far, but also light. I was looking for something light for him to help on his style, like varying sentence openers and choosing strong words, and developing a thesis, etc.

          If her style is already there and you just want grammar and punctuation type help, you might just consider Rod and Staff English lessons. MP sells plans for those I believe, as they use it in Simply Classical to provide more explicit grammar instruction. I have used many levels of R&S English and it is excellent.
          Emily
          2022-2023: first year with MP cores

          DS - 12 MP 7
          DD - 9 MP 4
          DD - 7 MP 2
          DD - 5 MP K
          DD - 4
          DS - 2
          DD - new baby

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Emily L View Post
            You could try a more CM approach, just doing written narrations across subjects, like a Literature question in the guides, or on a history question in one of the classical studies guides.

            There's a series called Classical Writing recommended in Andrew Campbell's LCC back in the day, which I believe was written before MP came out with their CC series. I haven't used it but you might look at it.

            WTM's 8filltheheart wrote a curriculum called Treasured Conversations for anyone roughly in the range of grades 3-5 that comes very highly recommended and is specifically for homeschooling moms. She sells it for about $30 I think, by popular demand.

            There's a small paperback called The Lively Art of Writing that was recommended to me for my 7th grader who is a natural writer. I'm going to try it. There's a companion workbook and teacher guide available as free downloadable resources. I can give you that link if you're interested. It looks good so far, but also light. I was looking for something light for him to help on his style, like varying sentence openers and choosing strong words, and developing a thesis, etc.

            If her style is already there and you just want grammar and punctuation type help, you might just consider Rod and Staff English lessons. MP sells plans for those I believe, as they use it in Simply Classical to provide more explicit grammar instruction. I have used many levels of R&S English and it is excellent.
            We did most of the Lively book last year with my older two children, and they really liked it! We also used the download from WTM which made it so much easier to keep up with. For those of us who don't teach writing well (thank the Lord for MPOA), that little book was a gold mine of help especially with writing a thesis statement.

            I am so glad we took the time to work that in at the beginning of the year before their regular MPOA comp classes started.
            Mama to 5 Sweet Ones

            2021-2022:
            11th grade DS: Mix of MP materials, MPOA, and BJU
            9th grade DD: Mostly 9M, MPOA, and French
            7th grade DD: 7M
            5th Grade DD: 5M
            4.5 yo DS: Outside as much as possible beating on things with sticks; MP Jr. K and Mom made fun things

            Comment

            Working...
            X