Classical Writing About Us

About the Authors

Lene Jaqua lives with her family in Colorado. She is an associate professor of physical sciences at Colorado Christian University. In her ‘spare time’ she works and writes focusing on classics and the humanities. The three oldest kids in the family are all in college. Her youngest son Benjamin was born with Down Syndrome, and special needs parent-to-parent support is one of Lene’s many interests. She also quilts, knits socks, cooks Indian food, sings in an acapella choir, and writes novels.
Tracy Gustilo homeschooled her four children, all of whom have graduated. A native Midwesterner, she studied philosophy and biology in college and graduate school , earning her doctorate in 1995. Tracy’s enthusiasm for classical education grew after meeting many accomplished homeschoolers online, and she founded the Classical Co-op website to promote cooperation between Christian parents and teachers. Her work on Classical Writing springs from her interest in persuasive writing (rhetoric) and in the classical world, especially the Church Fathers. Currently, she is finishing her thesis on St. Irenaeus at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Yonkers, NY. Tracy and and her family reside in Kansas.
Kathy Weitz lives in Virginia. She has educated her children at home since 1994, and has graduated her oldest three sons, Joshua, Caleb, and Ethan. Grace, Daniel, and Connor remain at home. Kathy, who holds a B.S. in Home Economics from Virginia Tech, is continuing to pursue a classical education for herself as well as her children, and has developed a passion for Latin and the classics. The Weitz family enjoys practicing hospitality, reading aloud together, and long—and often loud—  discussions around the dinner table.

Carolyn Vance  lives in Minnesota with her family.  Carolyn has always been drawn to languages, and enjoyed them so much in college that her major changed from Computer Engineering to Russian. In 2003, she had the privilege of editing a portion of Classical Writing—Poetry. She has been editing and proofing for Classical Writing since then. Her favorite leisure activity is curling up on the couch under a homemade quilt with her knitting, a book, and a cup of tea.


The Classical Writing series has its beginnings in 2002, when Tracy Davis Gustilo and Lene Mahler Jaqua wrote the first Classical Writing book, entitled Aesop. Their aim was to help other parents and teachers following classical educations methods to teach students the first exercise in the progymnasmata series.

Our second book was Poetry for Beginners, was written in 2003. It is a supplementary enrichment text for teaching writing, specifically with analysis and imitation of poetry in mind. Both of these books were field tested prior to publication by several home educating parents from the Trivium-at-Home group. At this point Carolyn Vance joined us as editor-in-chief.

2004 saw the publication of Homer, the second book in the main series. About this same time, Kathy Weitz, a homeschool mom and fan of our books, was beginning to make up her own workbooks to ease the preparation work for teaching her students using the Classical Writing series. Kathy showed Lene and Tracy her workbooks, and they were impressed. In 2005, she joined our team, and with blazing speed had Student Workbooks and Instructor’s Guides with answer keys ready. In addition, she put together long asked-for workbooks for Harvey’s Elementary Grammar.

In 2005, Tracy decided that it was necessary to step back from writing and developing Classical Writing books due to family committments, but she remains an integral part of the team as Lene’s consultant and first field tester.

Since then, Diogenes Maxim and Intermediate Poetry, our first books for middle school and up, along with their accompanying Student Guides, have been published. Diogenes Maxim includes beginning writing of standard five paragraph essays. The second book in the Intermediate level, Diogenes Chreia, is currently in beta testing.

For the high school level, Herodotus, Plutarch, and Advanced Poetry are completed. The final books in the Classical Writing series, Demosthenes is in its final stages of production, and next year, 2014, will see the writing of Shakespeare.

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