The Dog and the Shadow
It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more.
Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow–Aesop
The West possessed a wonderful composition curriculum for close to two millennia. This composition curriculum is analogous to the meat in the fable. Western culture thought it saw another, possibly better method of instruction and dropped classical methodology. We grasped at a shadow and we
lost the substance
For classical methodology the mark of an educated person was the ability to write and speak well. We identify ourselves as a part of the classical Christian school and home school movement and so our mark might be described as graduating individuals with the ability to write and speak well about God and His creation—goodness, truth, and beauty. To master the skills of composition, whether written or orally, is our vision. We recognize that a successful composition is the successful application of the Trivium. In a successful composition the grammar is correct, the ideas are logical and clear, and the expression is engaging and pleasing. Such application marks a classically educated individual.
For classical methodology the mark of an educated person was the ability to write and speak well.
Good writers, then, are good thinkers, both logically and rhetorically, and good compositions must be driven by both the intellect and the imagination. The Progymnasmata begins to develop logical and rhetorical structures in the mind. Good writing, as well as good speaking, is logically correct and it is a pleasure to encounter. Our minds and imaginations are uplifted by a well-communicated encounter with truth. Such an experience lies at the heart of excellent communication. We rejoice in this type of quality and have taken as our task, as our goal, to ensure that every graduate is a good writer. Our curriculum is suited to both classroom and homeschool writing curriculum.
Good writers, then, are good thinkers, both logically and rhetorically, and good compositions must be driven by both the intellect and the imagination.
Articles for Further Reading