A Look at Writing & Rhetoric: Refutation & Confirmation

If you have a creative, wiggly child, you know how difficult it can be to find a writing program that fits. So often, creative children have a hard time sitting still long enough to get their thoughts down on paper. {Or sometimes those writing assignments just aren’t that interesting -- we’ve all been there!} 

We’ve tried a few different programs with varying success but the one standout program that my creative daughter just loves is the Writing & Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press. Here’s a look at the fifth book in the series - Refutation & Confirmation.

If you have a creative, wiggly child, you know how difficult it can be to find a writing program that fits. So often, creative children have a hard time sitting still long enough to get their thoughts down on paper. {Or sometimes those writing assignments just aren’t that interesting -- we’ve all been there!}  We’ve tried a few different programs with varying success but the one standout program that my creative daughter just loves is the Writing & Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press. Here’s a look at the fifth book in the series - Confirmation & Refutation.

The Writing & Rhetoric Series from Classical Academic Press

I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. No other compensation was provided.

Before we look at Writing & Rhetoric book five, let me tell you just a little bit about the series. Classical Academic Press created the Writing & Rhetoric series to model the ancient system of the progymnasmata (which means ‘preliminary exercises’) - a series of exercises that are used to prepare students to write and speak persuasively. Each book in the series focuses on a specific step in the progymnasmata.

In the first few books, students learn to narrate and summarize while discussing fables and well-known stories. In the fourth book, they go a little deeper and learn how to write a chreia - a short essay about a saying or proverb. Each book in the series builds on the skills in previous books so students are fully prepared for the six-paragraph essay they’ll learn to write in book four. When they reach the fifth book, they are prepared to continue writing longer papers -- this time focused on proving or refuting elements of a narrative {which is so much more important than learning to write boring book reports!}

An Overview of Writing & Rhetoric Book 5

The fifth book in the series, Refutation & Confirmation, follows the same format as the previous books - lessons follow the same format with similar exercises. Once you are familiar with a book or two in the series you’ll have no trouble using the other Writing & Rhetoric books.

Writing & Rhetoric book five continues the shift that began in book four -- to longer essays. But, while book four centers on six-paragraph essays focused on short proverbs or sayings, book five prepares students to write four-paragraph persuasive essays either confirming or refuting elements of a narrative. While working through Refutation & Confirmation, your children will learn to think more critically about the stories they read -- looking for elements that are unbelievable, improbable, unclear, or improper (and also the reverse - believable, probable, clear, and proper elements of the stories they read).

If you have a creative, wiggly child, you know how difficult it can be to find a writing program that fits. So often, creative children have a hard time sitting still long enough to get their thoughts down on paper. {Or sometimes those writing assignments just aren’t that interesting -- we’ve all been there!}  We’ve tried a few different programs with varying success but the one standout program that my creative daughter just loves is the Writing & Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press. Here’s a look at the fifth book in the series - Confirmation & Refutation.

Students are not expected to begin writing these persuasive essays without preparation. The first six lessons in the book provide a solid foundation before they are expected to write their first refutation. Each lesson beautifully builds on that foundation, and children will easily be able to work through the exercises, writing their own persuasive essays. Book five also includes a ‘Revise It’ section which teaches students to edit their own work -- an important skill for students to learn.

If you have a creative, wiggly child, you know how difficult it can be to find a writing program that fits. So often, creative children have a hard time sitting still long enough to get their thoughts down on paper. {Or sometimes those writing assignments just aren’t that interesting -- we’ve all been there!}  We’ve tried a few different programs with varying success but the one standout program that my creative daughter just loves is the Writing & Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press. Here’s a look at the fifth book in the series - Confirmation & Refutation.

Like previous books, Writing & Rhetoric book five includes two books -- a student workbook (assignments are completed right in the book) and a teacher’s edition with sample answers and details that will guide you as you teach. The student could work independently but we find that this program really comes to life during our daily discussions about the assignments. We’ve had some lively discussions about the believability of various stories because of this book!

The grade recommendation for book five is grades 5 & 6 and up (my daughter is in seventh grade and it’s a very good fit). This level requires more thought and writing (similar to book four) so I don’t recommend using it with younger children. Like previous levels, book five includes twelve lessons that can easily be completed in one semester. 

A week with Writing & Rhetoric: Refutation & Confirmation

The lessons in Writing & Rhetoric book five are more varied than previous books. The first half of the book is the ‘foundation’ for learning to write the essays that are the focus in the second half of the book. But lessons do follow the same general format:

  • Introduction to the topic or the story
  • Chapter Story (adaptations and short historical or fictional narratives)
  • ‘Tell It Back’ - narration exercises (oral, written, outlines)
  • ‘Talk About It’ - discussion about the story
  • ‘Go Deeper’ - comprehension questions and exercises that ask the student to think more critically about the chapter story
  • ‘Writing Time’ - a variety of writing exercises to encourage clear, creative writing including four-paragraph persuasive essays
  • ‘Speak It’ - a time for students to practice oral presentation skills
  • ‘Revise It’ - students learn to edit and revise their own writing
If you have a creative, wiggly child, you know how difficult it can be to find a writing program that fits. So often, creative children have a hard time sitting still long enough to get their thoughts down on paper. {Or sometimes those writing assignments just aren’t that interesting -- we’ve all been there!}  We’ve tried a few different programs with varying success but the one standout program that my creative daughter just loves is the Writing & Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press. Here’s a look at the fifth book in the series - Confirmation & Refutation.

Here’s what a week with Refutation & Confirmation looks like for us:

Day One: I read aloud the introduction and chapter story. My daughter narrates the story (we alternate between oral narration, written summaries, and outlines) and we discuss the questions in the ‘Talk About It’ section.

Day Two: We begin day two by working through the ‘Go Deeper’ section of the chapter then TJ works independently on the Sentence Play & Copiousness assignments in the ‘Writing Time’ section.

Day Three: TJ writes the first draft of her four-paragraph essay (a confirmation or refutation, depending on the lesson)

Day Four: We work on the ‘Speak It’ and ‘Revise It’ sections together and TJ types a final draft of her essay.

It’s been a wonderful semester with Writing & Rhetoric book five. I’m very impressed with the progress my daughter has made in her writing ability and how she’s learning the important skills of editing and revising her own work. The best part -- now that she’s learned the process, she can easily write a persuasive essay about any book she’s reading -- a very important skill to possess!

If you want to learn more about the series, you can read my thoughts about the other books in the series:

The Writing & Rhetoric series is available directly from Classical Academic Press.

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.