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Writing Strands vs. IEW

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#1 mom31257


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 05:45 PM

Could anyone please compare these two programs? My dd writes for hours a day creatively (histories of imaginary countries, sequels to books she's read, screen plays for books she's read, etc.), but I feel that the writing process for essays, etc., needs to be cemented. She did some of the Jump In book and attended a free writing class this year, but I want her to continue on.

I have WS 4, 5, and 6 (bought and traded for some), but she has no prior experience in the program. My best friend has IEW and SWI-B that she is willing to let me borrow.

Thanks for any comparisons, pros/cons, etc.!

#2 mom31257


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 10:13 PM


#3 EmeraldGirl


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 10:19 PM

IMO, these are 2 completely different programs. My boys who could care less about writing were not able to do Writing Strands as it was dry and boring to them (and me)...again, JMO. Maybe others will chime in.

IEW was a success for us b/c it covered so much more than creative writing and was a complete program. It does require more teacher involvement, especially if you do not purchase the Student DVDs, but if the student views the Teacher DVDs with you I think it is sufficient.

Borrowing your friend's copy will help you make an informed decision as you know your child best.


#4 Ellie


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 11:07 PM

I can't really compare, as I have not used IEW. However, I have not been impressed with student samples that I have seen. Sorry. Way too many adjectives and adverbs instead of strong nouns and verbs.

I love the way Writing Strands teaches. If I were hsing again, I would do everything I could to make WS work for my dc.

Here's a link to WS's FAQs, which might answer some of your questions (in case you haven't seen the FAQs yet).

#5 3Rivers


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 11:20 PM

I use Writing Strands and really like it. I have not pursued IEW because I wanted a more open-ended approach to writing, i.e. I wanted to be sure that my kids learned the mechanics of writing without borrowing one specific person's style of writing. That may not matter to a lot of people, though.

Writing Strands is simple, incremental, effective, and inexpensive. It's open and go and it works.

#6 nd293


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Posted 30 May 2010 - 01:17 AM

I think you have to look at both programmes. We started with WR and really did not like it. The assignments were boring for dd, the writing examples were imo poor, and I just could not see where the programme was heading.

In contrast, I am very impressed with IEW. We use one of the theme-based books, without any of the dvds (this is against recommendations, by the way). It is easy to use, self-explanatory, the assignments are interesting and the sequence of skill-builiding is very clear to me. The writing it teaches can be too "frilly" for my taste, so we have plenty of discussions about writing appropriately for the audience.