What if you could teach your child using the same writing program that produced such masters of the language as John Milton, William Shakespeare, and Benjamin Franklin? What if you could have the same composition curriculum used by Quintilian, the greatest teacher of ancient rhetoric, and Cicero, the greatest persuasive speaker of all time?
Jim Selby has blown the dust off the writing curriculum that was used in schools for over 1,500 years and put it in an easy-to-teach format that will revolutionize your home or private school curriculum. Presented clearly and systematically in a structured curriculum, Classical Composition will give you a clear road map to writing excellence.
Ancient writers invented a way of teaching writing known as the progymnasmata, which provided a method of teaching composition that not only taught budding writers a disciplined way to approach communication, but also helped them appeal to the heads of their audience. The progymnasmata gave them the stylistic tools to appeal to their hearts as well.
The greatest communicators of ancient times, Quintilian and Cicero among them, employed the progymnasmata to teach their students the art of communication. The 14 exercises, organized from the simplest and most basic to the most complex and sophisticated, were the core education of a classical speaker, designed to produce what Quintilian once called “the good man, speaking well.”
Students gain the ability to create a story through the use of the narrative categories and variation through paraphrase. Students learn to demonstrate the truth of the Commonplace through what the ancient Greek writer Aphthonius calls “eight heads of development,” and students deal more explicitly and thoroughly with what in modern composition theory are referred to as “support points.” The ability to invent four specific types of narrative through these “heads of development” and to paraphrase in two specific ways are the foundational skills to be learned in this stage.