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Intimidated by classical composition

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    Intimidated by classical composition

    I received my CC Materials in the mail. I looked at the student and teacher guides and thought- This looks great! We can do this!

    Then I watched the DVD and saw the sample paraphrases....

    It would take my 9 year old son 3 days to write that much, let alone think about it and then write it!

    We may have to do this over 2 years!

    Anyone else intimidated by this?

    Tanya, or anyone else, can you comment on the output we should expect compared the the example paraphrases in the video? At this point I don't see similar output coming from my son and am wondering if he is not ready for this? This seems like a huge leap from the 3rd grade Intro to Composition.
    Last edited by Mama2Two; 07-25-2013, 08:25 PM.

    We have used the Fable stage with a 9 year old boy as well, and now he has started Narrative. We do not have the dvds, so I cannot speak specifically to the examples offered there. I can say that while I use the examples from the teacher book to help me know what the task is to be done, I do not use it as a benchmark for where my son should be. Also, his only previous experience was the writing exercises in rod and staff 3.

    Instead, I try to take it one day at a time, and judge: did he make a concerted effort? Do I see him trying to stretch himself from what he has done before? Has he included all the items he was assigned? Is what he wrote something well done and interesting? If I have a reasonable certainty in all of these areas, then I pat him on the back and tell him Good Job! And then we move on...

    Try to simply help your son complete the assignments and make progress in his skills. Keep in mind that he has a whole year to use this book...and that improvements come little by little throughout the year. There were some weeks where my son really just went through the motions and did the work, and other weeks where I would see such creativity come through that I would be amazed!

    It does get easier the more you do hang in there!
    Last edited by KF2000; 07-26-2013, 07:15 AM. Reason: added something
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    DS, 2


      I agree with Sarah. Take it at your student's pace. In the classroom, we model all of this so that we are doing it together. You might consider getting a board (if you don't have one) and working through the Fable lessons orally together, with you writing the answers on the board and helping your student with them. Then, once you are both satisfied with the work you have done together, your student can copy it into his study guide. This modeling is very helpful to students and results in much less frustration. In fact, they tend to love this time. It does mean that you have to be right there in the midst of it all, but it will pay off in the end! And don't feel his paraphrases need to be as detailed as our teacher's model. Your goal is to see progress in your son's writing, so if you start with 3 sentences, but they are really good sentences, then you can maybe do 4 sentences the next week.




        My 9 year old son........ about half way through fable stage. I let him type his paraphrases. (he struggles with handwriting) and this really alleviated a lot of stress for him. At the beginning I did a lot of hand holding and walked through each assignment with him. We are on lesson 10 right now and he is pretty much doing it on his own. I think it's worth giving it a try. My son is NOT a writer. If I asked him to describe the book 'Lassie' in a sentence he'd probably write "Lassie is about a dog." This program has really helped him understand how to break apart a story and write good sentences.

        You could always start it, and if he's not ready just put it on the shelf for next year.


          Thank you everyone! Some great suggestions. My daughter is doing it too, but she loves to write so I don't anticipate any problems there. I think I will approach it as something fun to do together. As everyone said we'll go slow if we need to. I appreciate all the feedback!