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Rhetoric Companion: Timberdoodle Review

One of our goals for our children is that they would know the Truth and be able to communicate it clearly, whether they are writing or speaking, formally or informally.

The Rhetoric Companion aligns beautifully with that goal, as it is designed to help students become skillful and persuasive speakers.

Rhetoric Companion: Timberdoodle Review & Giveaway

What exactly is Rhetoric?

In Classical Education, rhetoric is the third component of the Trivium. In the first, Grammar, students learn the basic mechanics of language. In the second, Logic, they learn the basics of critical thinking and analysis. In the third, Rhetoric, they learn to apply the foundational knowledge acquired in Grammar and Logic to communication and persuasive speech. Each level builds upon the last.

That being said, I believe The Rhetoric Companion would be helpful to students from all educational backgrounds.

Our family is familiar with the Trivium and have devoted a some time to teaching grammar and logic, but not in as rigorous a way as many families involved in Classical Education. Nevertheless, we have greatly benefited from Douglas Wilson’s books in the past, and this one is no exception.

If this material is new territory for your as a teacher — or if you just want to be able to quickly find solutions to the review questions at the end of each chapter without having to scan back over the text — you’ll want to get a copy of the answer key, as well.

The things I like most about The Rhetoric Companion:

  • It is written from a Christian perspective
    We are always excited to find quality educational resources written from a distinctively Christian worldview. This book definitely fits that description.
  • It is logical and well-organized
    Just take a look at the scope and sequence in this table of contents:

    Rhetoric Companion: Timberdoodle Review & Giveaway

    Rhetoric Companion: Timberdoodle Review & Giveaway

  • It is witty and fun to read
    … which is true also of Douglas Wilson’s other books.
  • It’s non-consumable
    I love being able to buy a book once and use it for several successive children. Although this one has writing prompts and suggestions, none of the writing is done in the text.
  • It dovetails nicely with other books we’ve studied
    …including (but not limited to) Wordsmithy and The Amazing Dr. Ransom’s Bestiary of Adorable Fallacies, both by the same author.

The author encourages students to keep a running list of proverbs, pithy sayings, or “commonplaces” to use in their own presentations. One of the quotes he included in the margin of the text speaks to my thoughts concerning this book:

“For a long time . . . we should read none save the best authors and such as are least likely to betray our trust in them.”
—Quintilian, Institutio
Oratoria, vol. 4

I’ve read enough of Wilson’s books now to know he is a trustworthy author. That’s why I’m thrilled to be able to offer a copy of The Rhetoric Companion as a giveaway to one of my readers this week. Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter for your chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special thanks to Timberdoodle for providing both a copy of this book for me to review and another for the giveaway. The Rhetoric Companion can be purchased as a stand-alone product or as part of Timberdoodle’s 12th Grade Curriculum Kit.

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