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Thread: Huge jump to Rhetoric?

  1. #1

    Huge jump to Rhetoric?

    I have an 8th and a 9th grader who are both doing dialectic for Y2. We started with U3 this week because we had previous done U2 before life turned into an upheaval for us and we took a break. This will be the last and only time that my 9th grader will do this unit. I am worried about her missing things though, particularly some of the deeper aspects of world history. So I was considering moving her up to Rhetoric very slowly. I printed out the student sheets for Rhetoric just to look at the content and WOW!!!! What a gigantic jump in content and expectations. So I am feeling kind of lost in the middle. I think my 8th grader could eventually do all this, even this year. But because he's got another round with this year AND his involved in debate (which requires very extensive research and time), I am going to leave him where he's at. I don't know what to do with my daughter though. She does NOT like answering the discussions questions. She's a writer and just prefers to write out several notebooking pages with written narrations of what she's read and learned. I encourage her to do this by following the discussions questions. We just finished our first discussion questions and she was able to participate very well (which was a surprise at but totally witnessed God's grace on her.) My husband and I suspect that there may be some learning difficulties on her end. She's very slow in her work and highly distracted. She tries so hard and I am really, really trying to work with her to help her be successful on her level while also teaching her how to handle high school level work and prepare for the possibility of college. We're praying about having her tested for problems but that's obviously not going to happen anytime very soon. My daughter is also involved in the speech and debate club that we are in and wants to compete in Lincoln Douglas this year. She's going to be going through all the camps and club training but I am still not certain if she will be ready and have time with all the work with have with TOG. She's the one I am wrestling with most right now. I don't think she's specifically ready for a move up the Rhetoric. By age, she "should" be ready because I actually held her back in 8th grade. She's 15yod and would be a sophomore by age. Is there a way to still do the work with Rhetoric without overwhelm this sweet child. I was overwhelmed looking at the work and I was a secondary social studies teachers. I guess I need some input on how to make TOG on the Rhetoric level work for a child that struggles with school. She bright and very smart but the processing just doesn't come as quickly as it does her peers.

    Thanks for any input.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Others are going to talk to you more gently, but as a debate mom, I'd like to sharpen your iron a bit on speech and debate involvement.

    My son is a senior this year. Last year partnered with a novice, 14 year old partner, he broke to regionals in debate in a tight year in our region. He did every bit of research for his team and wrote 1NC briefs for his partner to use. He also pitched baseball in the spring and ran a successful fund raiser using his baseball to raise money for the Salvation Army in our area. BUT we still did Tapestry full bore. And if I had had to cut, I would have told him to cut debate. Because debate is an extra-curricular and Tapestry is school. Students need to learn that.

    I am well aware how obsessive forensics can be and if you are in NCFCA how you can be surrounded by equally obsessed parents and students. Don't forget what part of your life is what when you are in that pressure cooker. You don't have to go to every regional tournament. You can do less work if you need to do school work. (You can start your research in the fall.)

    However, I do want to point out that I think Year 2 is the the toughest year for literature Tapestry offers. I think the history materials for Year 3 might be the most difficult but year 2 is tough too. Tapestry provides literature cutting lists for a purpose and you might consider them and begin by blending between D and R. Maybe do Year 3 with a cut down R literature and a few key R history books but mostly D materials.

    What I did with my children to break them into the questions was to give them a few questions at first to answer and then slowly raise that. It sounds like with your daughter you'll want to go very slowly at this, but if she hopes to go to college, she'll need to work on this skill. The longer you wait to work on it, the quicker she'll have to get up to speed.
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon

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