Classical Writing

Please watch this 21-minute video introduction for the writing class.

The Lost Tools of Writing is a classical writing program because it focuses on the classical rhetoric of Invention, Arrangement, and Elocution.

Invention has a latin root and means Inventory, or making a list of basic components.

Arrangement is obvious, it means to sort the inventory in a certain order, or create a structure.

Elocution is also a word from the Latin and means to “speak out,” or to use the right words to persuade and teach others. It is sometimes called style.

Any student who knows how to read and discuss will want to learn to write well. Writing well is intimidating. What happens when they see a blank page? How does one begin to write on a particular subject? How should they structure their paper? What words and styles should they use to persuade and inspire their readers?

This class will not only help answer every question above, but it will literally give the student power to master writing. Classical Writing will form life-long habits of excellent writing for all types of essays. To read a little more about forming good habits of writing, read this blog post.

I will use the superb curriculum Lost Tools of Writing at Circe Institute for both age levels. Why? Whether you are 12 or 112, you will want to learn the basic cannons (set of rules) above to form the best habits in writing. The difference will be in how many different essays your student will write, whether it is one, continually improved essay throughout the nine lessons or several essays throughout the nine lessons. Another difference could be a number of classics your student would read during the year, whether it is one or several. It is up to each parent/child companionship to decide what will challenge them in the best possible way.

Courses Offered: See the Registration and Schedule page

Required Materials:

  • Lost Tools of Writing Student Workbook (consumable) Update: As of 2018, I will try to teach without this workbook. I feel it is redundant and too much of a busy-work feel.
  • Any of the following books or any of your choosing to function as a basis to develop the issue of your paper(s).
    • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (this is the book which LTW uses as their example throughout the student workbook and may be a good choice for the younger students who need much more help)
    • The Secret Garden
    • The Scarlet Letter
    • Hamlet, Shakespeare
    • JRR Tolkien’s series
    • Lord of the Flies
    • Jane Eyre
    • Les Miserables
    • The Brothers Karamazov
    • War and Peace
    • Anna Karenina
    • To Kill a Mockingbird
    • Or choose any classic that has a deep and powerful moral lesson and begin reading as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: This course does not teach the basics of grammar and therefore, if your child is lacking in understanding nouns, pronouns, verbs, etc., it would be wise to have them supplement simple grammar lessons.