The Before Exercises

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 Read more…

How to Teach Writing, Part 3

by Brett Vaden

Writing is an art. It takes training and years of practice to master. My 7-year-old daughter has been learning piano for several months now under a clear, structured order of training. Her teacher came highly recommended, because, as I was informed, she knows how to take kids from knowing nothing to knowing a lot. The secret for taking a beginner from being a novice to a master is a patient, knowledgeable teacher with a reliable curriculum. A good teacher knows and uses a series of exercises that progress from an introductory, low level of difficulty to more and more advanced challenges, resulting in students’ competence. Is there such a curriculum for writing? (more…)