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    CM-ing the Progym: Readiness is Key

    January 30, 2014 by Brandy Vencel

    Before I really get into the meat of this series, I think we should talk about readiness. I’m going to give real examples of my child’s writing, and so I want to make myself clear that comparison is not going to be helpful.

    Some children are ready to write much earlier than others. I know this, because there is a huge variation among children in my own house. So, while my firstborn was ready to write daily written narrations in third grade, my second child {who is currently in third grade} isn’t ready to write a narration at all.

    And that’s okay.

    It is what it is. Her gifts lie elsewhere.

    I don’t want anyone to see this series as a prescription for a certain age group. I started this because I believed my child was ready to take his narrations up a notch, and the proof that I was right is that he rose to the occasion.

    In my opinion, a child is ready to begin the progymnasmata once he is already writing good, solid, daily narrations. The first two stages of the progym, which is really what I’m going to focus on here in this series, are basically variations of narrations. If a child cannot accomplish a basic retelling in writing, he isn’t ready for variations.

    That’s okay. Now we know where that child needs to focus their attention.

    I do sometimes wonder if these variations could be done orally. I mean, why not? I think, if I had a weak writer who was older — really too old not to be writing daily, and I was fretting about it somewhat — I’d add in oral progym variations.

    I know that, at this point, most of you don’t even know what those are, but we’ll get there in future posts. For now, my main point is that I think that these exercises are best done when the student is ready for them, regardless of their age.

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