Embracing a Healthy Family: classical christian homeschool curriculum
Showing posts with label classical christian homeschool curriculum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classical christian homeschool curriculum. Show all posts

Memoria Press Classical Composition I: Fable Set Review

Memoria Press

When I think of Classical Christian Education, I think of Memoria Press so I chose the Classical Composition I: Fable Set to review with my daughter. It's important to me that my children have exposure to as much classical education as possible as I believe it's a proven approach to education. How can one go wrong but to be educated similarly as John Milton, William Shakespeare, and Benjamin Franklin all experienced? The Classical Composition I: Fable Set is for grades 4-12 and I've decided I will purchase another set for my other daughter. I encourage all my children to read and write as next to play, there is nothing better to spark the imagination. Knowledge is truly gained by reading and I believe, by writing. 

Classical Composition I: Fable Set

The set included a Student Book, a Teacher's Guide and Instructional DVDs. If you aren't familiar with Memoria Press, it's been my experience with other items I have reviewed, they include these great instructional DVDs that help to reinforce what is being taught. I love them! The 14 exercises are organized in a simple yet organized way to teach.

Apparently, ancient writers invented a way to teach writing known as progymnasmata. It's not only a disciplined approach to communication but fosters the ability to appeal to their audience's heads and hearts. I found from reading the Memoria Press website, Quintilian and Cicero employed the progymnasmata way to teach their students the art of communication. Mr. Jim Selby, of Whitefield Academy, developed the Classical Composition and the students at Whitefield Academy have a 100% qualification rate on the optional essay portion of the ACT and SAT which to me, speaks volumes to the success of this program.

I have to admit that one does have to take the time to read the Teacher's Guide and perhaps watch the instructional DVDs for each lesson ahead of time to gain a better understanding of how the course is taught and to be able to effectively guide the student at first. The learning curve was short for both myself and my student.

Lesson 11

Each lesson is broken down into a fable with sections used to teach the student to think differently and to write something that is truly engaging. Learning from repeating others is a great way to learn how to write. 

Each lesson has steps for both the teacher and the student that is consistent across every lesson:

  • The fable, to include a vocabulary list, provides more student teacher engagement as well as exercises to write synonyms. 
  • I have an older student that this would be perfect for as she's very conscious of speaking out loud.
  • Three Plot Components which is tricky if this is the first time you have heard of this. This is where the Teacher's Guide and Instructional DVDs come in handy to further your own knowledge and provide the confidence needed in guiding the student through this section.
  • Variations Part 1, which is the same as above, required assistance from the Teacher's Guide and Instructional DVDs for me to feel confident in teaching it.
  • The Outline is an excellent exercise that will teach the student how to summarize what they read. It provides clarification of the events and the outline provides the student an aid for the Narration exercise.
  • The Narration exercise continues to foster creative thought and thinking when they have to narrate the fable in their own words. 
  • Paraphrases I and 2 provides the student with an opportunity to use figures of description to rewrite as well as training the student to view a set of ideas from differing perspectives.
  • Variations Part 2 is the same as Part 1.
  • The Final Draft encourages the student to use their work from Paraphrase 1 or 2 to rewrite their work.

Overall, I enjoyed the Memoria Press Classical Composition I: Fable Set due to the ability to really encourage and foster such a way in writing that it will last a life time. The lessons are not like I've seen in any other curriculums which really allows for immense creativity. The set not only teaches students to write creatively but it also adds vocabulary words and the practice of identifying and finding synonyms which I think is critical in the writing process. My student seemed to be really challenged by each lesson and was inspired to excel as each lesson was completed.

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Check out what other Crew members thought about Classical Composition I: Fable Set as well as some of the other Memoria Press products:  

New American Cursive

New American Cursive 1
New American Cursive 2 (Scripture)
New American Cursive 2 (Famous Americans)
New American Cursive 3 (Famous Quotes) 

Traditional Logic: 

Traditional Logic I Complete Set
Traditional Logic II Complete Set

Classical Composition: 

Classical Composition I: Fable Set

Classical Composition II: Narrative Set.

New American Cursive & Traditional Logic {Memoria Press Reviews}

Memoria Press First Form Latin Review: Highly Recommend

Memoria Press

First Form Latin Complete Set

I have always been interested in learning Latin and wanted the opportunity to teach one of my children. My fifth grade homeschooled daughter seemed to be the perfect candidate for this learning endeavor. We've been using the complete set for several weeks now and to date, she really has been enjoying the First Form Latin lessons from Memoria Press. Intended for grades 4-9, it's been the perfect program to introduce and teach her Latin. The complete set has everything needed to begin learning Latin and is affordable. I've tried another language program in the past that worked mainly from memorization but First Form Latin is much more and each product has a purpose:

  • The Teacher's Manual provides an introduction to the person teaching the language which is very comprehensive. It's not the type of program that one can pick up and teach without preparation. It appeared a little overwhelming at first given all the materials provided but once I was able to understand how each product fit into the overall teaching picture, it was easy to follow. 
    • I've tried many different homeschooling programs and curriculum over the years and what I liked about Memoria Press's Teachers Manual is the student text inset with answers in color to ease the teaching process. I didn't have to keep flipping from book to book as everything was right where I needed it to be.
    • I'm a chalk board type of teacher so the "Chalk Talk" portions of the instructions were favorites of mine.
    • The recitations helped to reinforce her oral skill set as well as memorization of each lesson.
    • The extensive teaching notes and FYI sections were also useful references to turn to when I needed extra guidance.
  • The Student Workbook contains lessons that provides practice and tests mastery as well as helps to teach the concepts behind Latin. It can be very confusing understanding things such as first conjugation present, imperfect and future and singular versus plural with the "o, s, t, mus, tis, nt" endings but the lessons helps to reinforce it along with the Student Text. Here is one of the pages from lesson twenty:

  • The Student Text is a smaller more concise 34 two-page lessons that furthers instructs.
  • The Quizzes and Test booklets is used to ensure the student is learning and can be reproduced to reinforce areas that might be troublesome. The Teachers Key has all the answers to the workbooks tests and quizzes making it easy to find without having to search.

Additional items in the complete set continue to reinforce and master First Form Latin by Memoria Press which includes:

  • Flash cards that are provided loose bound so the order can be created however is best for the student's needs. They include vocabulary, Latin sayings and grammar forms.
  • The DVDs, three discs at nine hours directed at 15-20 minutes per lesson, provide further instruction on ensuring pronunciation of the words are understood. The DVDs compliment the program greatly as Highlands Latin School teacher Glen Moore does a great job bringing Latin to life. My only wish here would be for him to slow down when he's pronouncing the words as he does go a bit fast but as time progressed and her learning increased, it was easier to understand.
  • The Pronunciation CD included all the vocabulary and grammar forms for each lesson. We were even able to take it with us as we ran errands to reinforce the lessons.

She really liked the program which I was very happy about! 

I think her only complaint was the length of the workbook lessons but those can be divided up pending the speed and attention span of a particular child. The resources compliment one another to provide an extremely comprehensive program for learning a new language in a pace that meets your's and your student's needs. I liked the ease of use once I got the hang of the program as well as being able to have tools that helped reinforce the lessons. I would highly recommend Memoria Press First Form Latin. I really like the classical Christian approach to education and I am definitely going to look into supplementing my children's education with one of the other subject areas Memoria Press has.

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Memoria Press has other packages in various subjects such as Traditional Spelling 1 and Traditional Spelling II along with many others. Click below to see what others from the Crew thought about First Form Latin and other subject areas from Memoria Press:

Spelling, Music Appreciation & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}

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