Classical Composition from Memoria Press {A Writing Curriculum Review}

We're back in school mode around here and with it came a few new curricula that we are trying our hand at. One of them is Classical Composition: Fable Stage. I don't know about you, but finding an excellent writing program is something that has been difficult for us. One day I was flipping through my Memoria Press catalog when I came across their Classical Composition series. It intrigued me because I know classical studies are solid and I want to provide that kind of foundation for our children. 

Writing well is a crucial skill to have and sadly, one that seems to be diminishing in our society. Learning to articulate one's thoughts in a way that are logical, meaningful and persuasive is a skill that will easily give our children an advantage not only in the workforce, but will also help them articulate their faith when interacting with others. 

The Fable Stage in Classical Composition is what we're using and it is geared towards 4th grade and up. We're currently using it with our 5th and 3rd graders.

How We Used It

The lesson plans and instructions are all laid out and include examples when necessary. I find this extremely helpful. This is such a meaty writing program that it's reassuring to have things explained well as well as many examples given along the way.

The beginning of each lesson I find it easy to stick to the lesson plans, but some of the daily lessons about mid-way through may require a little more time and effort so on those days I just set a timer for how long we're going to work and then we come back at it again the next day. 

That being said, it will take us more than one school year to complete this curriculum. If you were to follow the lesson plans exactly, each lesson would take two weeks to complete. That's not such a bad thing because I know that our children will learn a great deal from this program and the important thing is to make sure they are grasping everything instead of rushing through it. 

Knowing it will take us a little longer is also to be expected considering that all of this information is completely new to them. As I mentioned, we have struggled to find a solid writing program and this is thorough. I'm confident that by the end of this program, our children will have an incredible knowledge of how to orally narrate a story back to us, be able to summarize it in their own words and have the ability to put it into outline form. I know I can't take a whole year before I publish this review, but I can't wait to see where we're at in our writing after an entire school year working through this program.

A Closer Look at What's Involved in the Fable Stage

In the Fable Stage, we read each lesson's fable. By looking at a single story over a period of time, they learn how to use words to draw the attention of their reader in a short story. After using this program, they will learn to recognize things from real life in the fables and then be able to rewrite that fable in their own words while still holding true to the story. 

Their ability to retell a fable with the use of synonyms and their ability to structure that fable in an outline will be quite helpful as they develop their thinking skills and writing techniques.

What a Lesson Looks Like

As I mentioned, each lesson is designed to take two weeks to accomplish. The teacher's manual clearly explains exactly what is to be done on each day and provides the correct answers. I found this very helpful! Here's the breakdown of each lesson:

Day One: Fable Introduction

Day Two: Read and Discuss the Fable

Day Three: Variations of the Fable Part 1

Day Four: Outline

Day Five: Narration

Day Six: Correct and Improve Narration either orally or written

Day Seven: Paraphrase 1

Day Eight: Paraphrase 2

Day Nine: Variations of the Fable: Part 2

Day Ten: Final Draft (student picks a paraphrase to perfect and present to the teacher)

Things You Should Know

It's always a good idea to check out sample pages before you buy so here are the two you will need: 

Sample Student Page
Sample Teacher Page

Current Promotion: Buy any two sets of the Classical Composition Student + Teacher Guides at the reduced package price of $75.00. Add any two sets to your cart and the discount will automatically be applied.

As a side note, we've been using Memoria Press for our Latin curriculum for the past 2-3 years and I'm very happy with the thoroughness of it. I'm so grateful that our children have the opportunity to learn such a vital language at a young age. Memoria Press has excellent suggestions for how and when to teach your children classically. Our homeschooling style is more eclectic but I will say, if you want some solid direction in what to teach your children start by requesting their catalog. I'm completely re-inspired every time I get mine. :)

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