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    Composition classes

    I'm interested in signing my daughter up for Ref/Con for next year. I'm curious how the grading works.

    Does the teacher grade all of the daily assignments, or does the parent do that?

    Also, how is the class different from what the DVDs have to offer?

    Thank you for any and all insight!

    Lauren
    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

    #2
    My two older boys took Ref/Con last year with MPOA and they're now in HS Comp II. It probably depends on the teacher, but I've found that most of the "daily" type work is done during class.
    They have individual screens in the classroom and the kids work in those while the teacher gives feedback, etc. Sometimes they'll pair students to work on the assignment together during class and then present their finished work at the end. The homework is then working on the final paper during the week.

    The classes are amazing. If finances allowed, I would choose them over the DVDs for every child. The kids get sound feedback, they can learn from their classmates' strengths and weaknesses, and the teachers really know what they're doing. We had to streamline some mom-subjects this year so we decided to set composition aside for my 7th grader. He'll take HS Comp I next year with MPOA during 8th grade. It will be a great review for the levels he's already done, and will then cover Ref/Con the second semester.

    In other words, except for keeping an eye on their MPOA-assigned grades and making sure they're turning in their work on time, I haven't had to touch composition for nearly two years
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    2021-2022
    DS18: Almost done!
    DS17: MP, MPOA
    DS15: MP, MPOA
    DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
    DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
    DD9: SC3
    DD6: MPK

    Comment


      #3
      Jenn, thank you so much for that detailed response! Those are the exact things that I needed to know.

      And not having to grade assignments is music to my ears!!

      Thank you again! ❤

      Lauren
      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


        #4
        Hello!
        My name is Abigail Johnson, and I teach Classical Composition online. Refutation/Confirmation daily work mostly comprises of writing our essay, broken down into sections. Parents should ensure work is being done regularly and thoroughly, but that is about all. Some parents assist in final draft editing for spelling and mechanics also, while others do not; it depends on each family. The online teacher grades the essay once it is completed and provides not only a grade but comments and directions for correcting any errors. The online courses differ in two major ways from the DVD's in that a central teacher is grading the final drafts and the students have live instruction access to the teacher (and their peers), both in the classes themselves and in the online "Ask a Teacher" Forum for just their class.I have heard from parents year after year that this is a great time to transition to online, as the essay construction itself is more complex and demands more in-depth instructor comprehension to successfully acquire the skills. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have, and thanks Jenn for a WONDERFUL response as well!
        Abigail Johnson
        Teacher of Classical Composition and Literature at MPOA

        Comment


          #5
          Hi Ms. Johnson! I really appreciate you sharing the teacher's view point of the class. My daughter enjoys words and writing, so I'd like for her to have a teacher that can guide and challenge her in ways that I cannot. I will sign her up!

          I'll ask about composition placement for another child of mine, if that's okay...

          My oldest boy is now in 9th grade. He was homeschooled through 6th grade (writing was Rod & Staff Grammar and one year of IEW), and has attended a year of private school and then last 2 years at a University-model school. Needless to say, his writing instruction has been pretty minimal since being at away school.

          Where would you place him in composition for 10th grade? His grammar and mechanics are certainly adequate, and I feel like he could jump in quickly.

          I am still settling his 10th grade classes for 2020-21, but he will be schooled at home 10-12th grades. For 10th, he will take the 2nd half of Henle I via MPOA, Logic II and then Material Logic, and either Classical Studies II or III through MPOA (it's TBD between those two). Math and science and civics he will take locally.

          Learning to write well is a top goal for him during his 10th grade year. What would you recommend for composition?

          Thank you! I really appreciate your time.
          Lauren
          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


            #6
            Hi!
            I I would highly recommend our high school 1 track for your son who is going to be a sophomore. This accelerated class will cover Fable through confirmation the first year, And then ready him to do common topic through comparison in year two, and then finally characterization through law in year 3. That will get him all the way through the CC program in 3 years.
            We have found this very accelerated, 3-year program to be excellent for students who are older and will naturally pick up things like reduction, amplification, and writing style faster than younger students, who need more repetitions to master the skills. Then, by second semester in high school one, the students are learning very advanced complex writing, like what we've discussed in refutation and confirmation. I definitely have a different standard for complexity vocabulary and polish for high school I students than I would, say, for a year long Ref/Con class all by itself,
            ​​which has younger students in it generally speaking.
            Blessings,
            Abigail

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you so much! This sounds like an excellent plan for him.

              Forgive my ignorance in asking this next question, but I'm trying to wrap my head around high school credits and such. Are there any other styles of writing that my son will need to have in high school, or does the progym cover all that he will need to be adequately prepared for college?

              I'm only familiar with Fable, Narrative, and Chreia/Maxim since those are the only levels I've taught my other children. I don't have enough of the "big picture" to understand if MPOA's High School Comp I-III will adequately prepare him for writing college papers.

              Thank you again for all of your time in answering my questions! I'm super appreciative.

              Lauren
              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


                #8
                Hi Lauren,
                The HS levels of Comp are worth 1 HS credit per class, so as far as actual required credit hours of "English," that is a question for your state coordinator, or MP's diploma program. The CC course is meant to be a preamble to the rhetoric writing courses (the word progymnasmata, which is the ancient writing stages that CC is based on literally means the "before exercises after all). Ideally your students would finish CC and have a year or so of Rhetoric or other styles of writing, to polish, refine, and adapt to the technicalities of today's writing styles apart from the "stage models." However, I have heard from many, many students over the years who went on to college straight from CC and had no difficulties at all. The SKILLS we learn in the models themselves (or the toolbox, as I'm afraid I'm cliched enough to say) are the important thing. A few students who struggle a lot with writing need more overt, targeted instruction in the college essay specifics and strategy, especially breaking down those essays and showing them how to take their already-possessed knowledge and skills and apply them to different assignments. However the vast majority of my students continue on very well into either more writing instruction in HS, or straight to college.
                Hope I answered what you needed!
                Abigail
                Teacher of Classical Composition and Literature MPOA

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi Lauren,
                  One more thing I ought to add, and forgot! Students should NOT be only writing essays in CC in high school. Rather, they should be regularly called on to summarize, critique, analyze, and comment on literature, history, and any other subject, to practice the CC skills of description, Heads of Development, Heads of Purpose, style and tone in "real life" essays." This is, in my opinion, a critical step in helping them make sure those writing skills don't just stay in CC class but become a part of their whole writing style. Some of the most rewarding moments I've had as a teacher is when a student excitedly tells me about that moment when they realized that "this head of development made this head of purpose clear" in their argument, or when the whole paper came together because they started with Heads of Purpose and chose the best ones to include, each one in a new paragraph... etc. (I could go on and on, I LOVE this beautiful moment when they realize the precious gifts they've been acquiring!! It is manna for the composition soul.)

                  I just wanted to make clear that high schoolers should be prodigious writers. We don't want to kill them (most definitely not) but at the same time we need them to practice thoroughly!
                  Blessings,
                  Abigail
                  Teacher of Classical Composition and Literature MPOA

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi again, Abigail Johnson As I get further into planning my son's 10th grade year, I have another question, if you don't mind.

                    The MPOA HS Composition I (which he will take with you! yay!) counts as 1.0 English credit. It's my understanding that it would be best to have 'English II' on his transcript and not 'Composition I'. I understand that most colleges are looking for an English credit, which includes composition and literature reading/analysis.

                    I'm looking to add his already scheduled literature line-up of the Iliad/Odyssey/Aeneid to his English to make possibly an honors English for his 10th grade year.

                    My question to you: how much time do you think the average student needs to devote to this particular MPOA class?

                    Thank you for any insight you can offer!
                    Lauren

                    PS - And thank you for the last couple of comments about him continuing to write in multiple subjects. For 10th, he's reading those three novels with MP guides, History of the Early Church (lots of writing!), and I think he's going to take American History II through MPOA, which requires at least an essay each semester. I feel like all of those combined with HS Comp will help achieve our goals of this year being a 'Learn to Write Well' year with lots of practice. I appreciate your reminder that he needs writing in most every subject!
                    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


                      #11
                      Bumping this up again, and hoping Abigail Johnson might have a moment to answer the question about the time commitment for MPOA's High School Comp I.

                      Here's the short version question again: How much time do you think the average student needs to devote to this particular MPOA class?

                      Thank you!
                      Lauren

                      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


                        #12
                        Goodness!
                        So sorry to keep you waiting! I guess I missed the PS. I think that the online course description says about 60 minutes a day, five study periods a week. Expect this to be a little bit higher when you're just getting going, because we're building a lot of discrete skills, and there are a lot of steps to follow, but I would say about an hour a day 5 days a week would work. Some of my students prefer to do it in four days just based on where their class falls during the week, or they prefer to work ahead the day off that they have between the final draft due date and their class day.

                        Abigail

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you so much! That is very helpful in trying to plan my son's class load for next year.
                          Lauren
                          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

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