Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Classical Composition 1: Fable Set (A Homeschool Crew Review)

If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you'll know there are a handful of Homeschool Curriculum companies that I really enjoy and feel are leaders in the field.  Memoria Press would be one of those vendors.  We absolutely love their Latin curriculum and Ashleigh has done really well with it so when we were offered a chance to review Classical Composition 1: Fable Set, I thought it might be a good option for Ashleigh, since she enjoys Aesop's fables.

About Memoria Press

A family run company, Memoria Press aims to produce easy to use classical Christian Education material for both homeschool and private school situations.  Using a educational philosophy that focuses on training in liberal arts as well as familiarity with the great books and great thinkers of the Western tradition, Memoria Press believes a true Classical Christian education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue though meditation on the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

Memoria Press overs a wide variety of subject material for grades K-12.  From Latin and Greek to Math, Penmanship and Language Arts, Memoria Press provides quality curriculum in a format that can be trusted to uphold Biblical beliefs while offering challenging material throughout your students educational career.

Classical Composition 1: Fable Set

The Classical Composition 1: Fable Set is written by James A. Selby and is for grades 4-12th. The set consists of three components:

Classical Composition 1: Fable DVD set - This 4 DVD set contains video instruction taught by Dr. Brett Vaden, an instructor at the Highlands Latin School and the Memoria Press Online Academy. Each DVD contains 5 lessons, for a total of 20 lessons of video instruction total.

Classical Composition 1: Fable Student Book - This 101 page spiral bound softback workbook contains both the reading selection as well as the written assignments for each weeks lesson.  Lessons are broken into 6 sections:

1.) An individual Aesop fable that the student will be focusing on for the assignment

2.) Plot Components - Students focus on the plot components: Recognition, Reversal, and Suffering.  Students must identify and give examples of these plot components from the reading selection.

3.) Variations - Each lesson contains two Variations exercises that are used to teach students how to
paraphrase both words and sentences by first identifying synonyms for given words from the reading selection and then using those synonyms to rewrite sentences from the same selection.

4.)  Outline - Students begin to identify plot structure from the reading by summarizing what they have read in the form of a structured but abbreviated outline by giving a basic account of the sentences used in the reading.

5.) Paraphrase - Students are asked to paraphrase the lesson reading twice in this portion of the lesson.  In the first paraphrase, the student tries to rewrite the fable as near to the original as possible.  They will then write the fable a second time, using their outline to write a more abbreviated version of the story.

6.) Final Draft - Using one of the two paraphrase activities, students can be asked to practice proofreading and correcting by creating a final, polished writing.

Classical Composition 1: Fable Teacher Guide - 101 Page Spiral Bound softback book provides sample answers for each of the 20 lessons, as well as offers both teaching and grading tips and guidance for assisting with the curriculum.

How We Used It:

Fable is the initial curriculum for the Memoria Press Classical Composition Series. This series focuses on the Greek ideology of learning called progymnasmata, which used rhetoric activities in order to teach composition.  Memoria Press's author James A. Selby is one of the leaders in using this method of learning to teach students compositional writing. 

Garrett isn't quite ready for this type of a curriculum, so I knew that I would be using this exclusively with Ashleigh.  Ashleigh is always up for something a bit challenging so I knew this would be perfect for her, but I also knew that it would be something we would use at a slower than recommended pace.  Because of this, we worked on one lesson over the course of two weeks.  This gave Ashleigh enough time to work on the larger sections of the lesson, such as the outline and paraphrase assignments, without feeling overwhelmed.

We started each week by watching the video lesson, so Ashleigh was able to watch each lesson twice during the course of the two weeks.  She liked Dr Vaden well enough and by watching the DVD lesson, I knew that she was being presented the lesson the way Memoria Press feels is proper, rather than Mom bumbling her way through it.  This took the pressure off me, allowing me to also focus on the lesson being taught by Dr Vaden, so that when we got to the workbook, I would have a better idea of how to instruct her if necessary. However, the structure of the lessons are pretty repetitive and easy to follow, so once Ashleigh understood what was expected from her, she basically could do much of it with little instruction from me.

The curriculum is a good one. It is well written, easy to follow and the structure seems as if it accomplishes the goal of teaching students how to paraphrase and rewrite passages they read.

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For more information about Memoria Press and the Classical Composition series, visit their website. You can also find more information on the following social media platforms:

While Ashleigh and I worked on Classical Composition 1: Fables, members of the Crew were given the option to review not only Classical Composition 1 and 2, but also Traditional Logic 1 and 2 and also New American Cursive. Be sure to click the banner below to read those reviews and see if Memoria Press is right for your student.

New American Cursive & Traditional Logic {Memoria Press Reviews}

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