Postcards is revisiting some archived articles that have not been lost, but may have been forgotten and are worth a fresh read. Jennifer Courtney now serves as Communications Director for Classical Conversations MultiMedia. She served as State Manager of Oklahoma from 2006-2010.
The Core Part 3: The Core of Writing
by Jennifer Courtney
I hope that this article finds you collecting fall leaves with your children, wandering through corn mazes, and savoring great books with a mug of apple cider. My family has leaped fully into the joys of autumn!
This article is part three in a series of articles looking at the core or foundations of classical education as presented in Leigh’s book The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education. In previous articles, we looked at the reasons for pursuing a classical education, chiefly that the classical model works with a child’s natural stages of mental development and teaches them how to think rather than what to think. In the first core subject article, we looked at applying the classical model to teaching children how to read.
Now, let’s turn to the core of writing which Leigh outlines in chapter five of The Core. Teaching a child to write classically involves following the trivium skills of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. To lay the foundations for writing in the grammar stage, the fundamental skills are handwriting, spelling, and copywork. Then, dialectic students can progress to the technical vocabulary of grammar and analysis of sentence structure. Finally, rhetoric students can hone their skills of expression by employing stylistic techniques which allow them to express complex ideas.