Writing & Rhetoric Year 3
Term: Yearlong 2021–21, September 8–May 28
Target Grade Levels: Grades 6–7; 5th graders welcome (see placement details below)
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.
Course Sections (choose one)
Section 1: M/W 11:00 a.m. ET with Ash White
Section 2: T/Th 11:00 a.m. ET with Ash White
Section 3: T/Th 2:00 p.m. ET with Joanne Schinstock
New Placement Process: Click to Read
- if the student falls outside of the stated age/grade range for the class.
- if the student needs to demonstrate a certain level of skill and proficiency for the course.
- if the student has completed prerequisite requirements somewhere other than Scholé Academy (e.g., at home or with another school). In this case, our instructors will need to verify that the student has adequately fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.
- if a placement assessment has been recommended by a Scholé Academy instructor.
- If a placement evaluation has not been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
- If a placement evaluation has been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted part of their $75 refund: $35 will be paid to the instructor for the placement evaluation, and the remaining $40 of the original deposit will be refunded.
Writing & Rhetoric Year 3 continues the series with Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation and Book 6: Commonplace. In this stage, students start to develop and hone their skills in persuasive writing and speaking. In the first semester, students learn to refute or defend certain parts of narratives according to whether the identified parts are unbelievable, improbable, unclear, or improper—or believable, probable, clear, or proper. After learning to identify the parts of a story that can be attacked or defended, students practice writing refutations or confirmations using sound arguments to explain their opinions. In the second semester, students continue to develop the art of persuasive writing and oration. They learn to create six-paragraph essays that are arguments against the common vices of people and arguments in favor of common virtues. Students also learn to support a thesis statement, use comparison and contrast, introduce and conclude an essay, use a rhetorical device known as “the contrary,” invent soliloquies to support an argument, deliver writing orally, and revise writing.
In this course, students dive deeper into their understanding of narratives to make connections between their lives and stories. Students are exposed to peer editing and are expected to assess their own writing by identifying the main argument, selecting appropriate textual support, strengthening phrasing, and finding grammar errors. Students will be expected to write on average one essay a week and begin to develop the skill of annotation (learning to take notes and comment on the readings). For a closer look at the texts used in this course, please follow these links and click “Look Inside”: Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation and Book 6: Commonplace.
Syllabus: View a sample syllabus from last year here.
Placement: Please read about our new process above.
- Students who have successfully completed Books 1–4 of the Writing & Rhetoric series will be ideally prepared for this course. Students who are new to the Writing & Rhetoric series should be familiar with elements of narration, description, and exposition in writing and should feel comfortable writing a five- or six-paragraph essay when guided by prompts. The course material provides a light review of some of the concepts and program vocabulary that was introduced in the prerequisite material, and the course instructor will work to welcome and orient students who have a foundation in writing skills but are new to the program.
- This course is designed for rising 6th–7th graders. Rising 5th graders who have completed the previous level of Writing & Rhetoric are welcome, though in most cases 5th-grade students require additional support from a parent in conjunction with the course.
- Occasionally students older than 7th grade are well suited for this course. If your student is in 7th grade or above and is new to the series, please contact us for a placement recommendation.
- Recognizing that each student develops keyboarding skills at a different pace, neatly handwritten essays are acceptable, but typed essays are preferred.
- If a student does not have a strong command of grammar and a basic understanding of syntax, outside grammar instruction is advised.
For further information on the Writing & Rhetoric series, please see the Classical Academic Press FAQ page.
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation (Student Edition)
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 6: Commonplace (Student Edition)
- Notebook for Commonplace Journal (Semester 2)
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation Audio Files
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 6: Commonplace Audio Files
These audio files allow students to engage their sense of hearing and their listening intelligence as Dr. Christopher Perrin, Christine Perrin, and Greg Lowe deliver the readings aloud in a thoughtful manner.
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
Ash White holds a BA in English and theater from Mary Baldwin University, and has taught literature, writing, and logic at the middle and secondary level for nearly 15 years. Ash is passionate about classical education and homeschooling, both of which are flourishing in the Shenandoah Valley, where she and her husband, Jon, make their home and perform in the local music and theater scene. If you visit their house, you’ll find it difficult to determine which is largest: their library or their record collection! email@example.com
Joanne Schinstock has been an educator since 2005, with a Master in Humanities from the University of Dallas. As principal, she supervises the promotion, development, and operations of Scholé Academy, building a community that supports students and parents striving for restful classical education. Joanne joined the faculty of Scholé Academy in 2016 and enjoys teaching the Writing & Rhetoric series. Fun Facts:
- After studying a year abroad focusing on Italian language and culture in Florence, Italy, she began her teaching career as a middle school classroom instructor in Language Arts.
- The Dallas Catholic Diocese recognized Joanne as a Work of Heart Award recipient, honoring outstanding teachers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
She and her husband, Brad, find joy in forging their family culture in their Catholic faith and in the classical Christian tradition, participating in their church community, their children’s school community, The Academy of Classical Christian Studies in Oklahoma City, and delighting in weekend family outings.
You can read more about Mrs. Schinstock’s philosophy of education here.
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
Please Note: This recording is a sample of Writing & Rhetoric Year 3 with Mrs. Joanne Schinstock.
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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
Read the Student-Parent Handbook.
Please take careful note of our teaching philosophy, our technology requirements, our school policies, the parent agreement, and the distinctions between our grade levels.
Double-check the course section dates and times.
Make sure they don't conflict with other activities in your schedule or other courses you are purchasing. Our system will not catch double-bookings!
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Our Assistant to the Principal will be in touch with you after your enrollment to help you with next steps, including any placement evaluations that may be required for your course selections.
This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.