From the Late Summer edition of The Classical Teacher:
The progymnasmata, a Greek word that translates as “the before exercises,” encompassed the pre-rhetoric study of all the educated West from ancient Greece to Paul, from Quintilian, Aphthonius, Augustine, and Aquinas up until Lewis and Tolkien. Because our Christian philosophy and expression are so steeped in this tradition, it might be better to ask “Why not?” instead of “Why?” study the progymnasmata. In addition to its tradition, there are two absolutely critical reasons why the progymnasmata holds a significant place in classical education. The first has to do with the quality of virtue we intend when we set out to train a child, and the latter with the quality of mind.
Read the rest here.