The Classical Conversations curriculum was designed to incorporate a classical model of education with a biblical worldview. By harnessing the classical stages of learning – grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric – this innovative curriculum ideally suits children’s natural learning style. In the grammar stage, children devour facts. In the dialectic stage, children ask many questions as they sort and evaluate these facts. In the rhetoric stage, teenagers synthesize their knowledge and apply it.
From beginning to end, Classical Conversations is founded on the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Students are taught that all subjects are not only interconnected but that God is the author and creator of each subject. Each subject informs us more about the true nature of God, and a better understanding of God informs us about each subject that is taught. Classical education combined with a biblical worldview makes Classical Conversations a wonderful tool to mirror the three learning stages in the Bible: knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
A collection of short stories represents the works of some of the world's most famous authors, many of whom students will revisit in later Challenge levels.
The framework of literary construction provides the content outline for this study guide, so each of the twenty-two works, published in its entirety with illustrations, appears to illustrate a specific element of the writer's craft. Twain's "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," as well as classic stories from O. Henry demonstrate plot twists and surprise endings. Character development is represented by Dicken's "The Schoolboy's Story"; theme is studied in two works each of Hans Christian Andersen and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Mood is richly apparent in excerpts from two of Shakespeare's plays, and moral application is examined with selections from Saint Augustine.
After studying each aspect of writing construction by classic example, students are then provided with ideas and a framework for building their own short story.
Review Questions for content and comprehension, Thought Questions for deeper analysis, as well as a brief biography of each author are provided with each selection.