I have been inspired by the thoughtful posts here by Willa to again to dig out some resources I have around the house and on line, as well as ordering this textbook from the library, and look at the progym again. The whole idea of the progym I find makes sense. If there was one thing I detested in school it was writing- period. I loved math, loved science, (could have loved history if it wasn't taught in such a dry and boring way), but could never stomach writing- having topics like 'what was the best thing you did last summer?' or 'write a story about a mouse' didn't help a lot.
So this concept of using various good models of literature- myths, fables, narratives, proverbs, and so on- and using exercises to work with them to develop a writer really sits with me. No blank page phobia there!
Because of my interest in these exercises I ordered Classical Writing Aesop about four years ago. I read it, reread it, tried it a little with my then resistant 9 year old, then ditched it.
Now, a few years later, and with kids that are not resistant to writing (hat tip to Julie over at Bravewriter), I feel like we are ready for this again. I had bought Homer (from the Classical Writing folks) last spring, but once again ditched it- the format doesn't work with me, makes me squirrley just looking at it! (But I know it works for lots of folks).
So our first step this week will be to work through this sample.
This will give me another week to plan. I am thinking of writing out a basic framework for the first few exercises (the forest), then plan the next three weeks writing assignments (the forest). In this time I hope to recieve the text and start to peruse it. I tried last night to get further into this planning, with the help of a large dose of dark chocolate and a not so hot cup of tea, but I got a little lost on the internet searching around (funny how that happens- too many good blogs out there). So I retired to bed with the Classical Writing Homer- it looks like it would be such a good book for one of those types of moms that love all that organization- but for me, it's back to the basement for Homer again!
The progynasmata... a good outline here.
Note: sorry about all the post edits... I need to proof a little more before I post!