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IEW or MCT for new homeschoolers LA


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#1 lamolina

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 03:04 PM

hello- I will begin homeschooling my 3 kids in March 2012, after they have completed half of a public school year in K, 2, and 5. The older 2 are above average academically (mainly in reading) and I am trying to choose a LA program for them without actually being able to see any in real life.

So far from what I have read about I am most interested in MCT and IEW. Could anyone give me their .02 regarding which they prefer and why?

I need something that will be easy to use!

thanks for any opinions!

#2 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 03:55 PM

hello- I will begin homeschooling my 3 kids in March 2012, after they have completed half of a public school year in K, 2, and 5. The older 2 are above average academically (mainly in reading) and I am trying to choose a LA program for them without actually being able to see any in real life.

So far from what I have read about I am most interested in MCT and IEW. Could anyone give me their .02 regarding which they prefer and why?

I need something that will be easy to use!

thanks for any opinions!


They are as different as you can possibly get from each other. ;) IEW is very formulaic. At those ages, they do key word outlines, re-write from their key word outlines or write parallel type stories (for example, the boy who cried wolf might become the mouse who cried cat.) I have never used the lower levels of MCT, MCT is more the essence of language and doesn't focus so much on the detail.

Part of what I think you need to consider is how comfortable you are going to be as a new teacher to 3 kids. Starting homeschooling mid-stream with more than 1 child is a far different scenario than kids that have grown up homeschooling and moms get the opportunity to grow into the job.

MCT is going to be very unstructured. IEW does have some gist of how to flow.

FWIW, I'm not sure I would recommend either for your situation. I am not an IEW fan. I think advanced kids will find it beneath their abilities. I prefer MCT even though I have issues with it, but even so, I don't think I would recommend it to someone starting out.

I can't think of what I would recommend of the top of my head. I just sat down for a sec break and my brain and body are zapped from working all day. :tongue_smilie: I'll try to post later or perhaps other people might chime in in the meantime.

#3 Joyful_Journey

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:11 PM

You may want to take a look at Winning with Writing from the publisher of Growing with Grammar:

http://www.growingwi...oduct_Page.html

I plan to combine it this year with MCT. I love the beauty of language that MCT seems to give, but my ds 8 needs a little more structure in writing. I did IEW Level A with my dd a couple of years ago, but I wasn't a big fan of all of the rules. I'm hoping that WWW will give him a little more structured guidance as he works his way through MCT. We plan to use the Island books, but we will do fewer MCT writing assignments so that we have time for the WWW assignments. I'm hoping this gives us the best of both worlds!

#4 lamolina

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 09:44 PM

Wow, so it seems that neither of them may be the best option for this first year?!
I like the idea or concept of MCT, it seems to make writing a little more interesting (fun?) and my oldest does not enjoy it at all. My middle does like it and I would love to encourage that in her.
I liked IEW because it seemed to give good explanations and guidance to the teacher.
Any other thoughts or suggestions for me!?

#5 Dolphin

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 10:07 PM

Have you read The Well Trained Mind, and what it says about writing. If you haven't start there, then I would read Writing with Ease. Check with your library, it very well might have both books. Both of these books really helped me to understand writing with the younger (grammar) years. Even though it is k-4, I would especially read it for your oldest if they don't like/struggle with writing. My son struggled, we pulled him out after 2nd grade. Reading WWE really helped me to understand why he was struggling, and how to help. It also gave me the confidence to go backwards and fix existing problems before moving ahead. We used WWE and FLL for our first year of homeschool (3rd grade) It helped as it was open the book and go. It is a scripted program and very easy to implement. I am going to try MCT this year, but I am glad that I had a more structured program for the first year.

Now, this is where someone might need to correct me as I am only someone with one year under her belt. I *believe* that WWE3 and FLL3 are structured to be an entry point. In other words, they have review built into them for people who have not been using the program. I would get those 2 for your 5th grader (in the PDF format so you can easily re-use with your 2nd grader the next year) I think it will help with the basics. For the younger 2, I would do a lot of read alouds, mad libs, handwriting practice, maybe something fun like this(It won't make a link, but i tried to link the blank books from lakeshore learning) that they can all do together, and not stress about it too much until the following fall. Focus on getting your older to enjoy, learn about your homeschool style and what you like and don't like.

#6 cjgrubbs

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 10:32 PM

Wow, so it seems that neither of them may be the best option for this first year?!
I like the idea or concept of MCT, it seems to make writing a little more interesting (fun?) and my oldest does not enjoy it at all. My middle does like it and I would love to encourage that in her.
I liked IEW because it seemed to give good explanations and guidance to the teacher.
Any other thoughts or suggestions for me!?



Well, for what it's worth, I love IEW! We just finished our first year of homeschooling with a 5th and 2nd grader (4 year old hanging around too!) I used IEW SWI - A with the older 2 very successfully. I also used Fix-It grammar for the 5th grader, as well.

Next year my 6th grader will use Medieval Writing (that's the time period we are studying) and 3rd grader will use Fables, Myths and Fairy Tales Writing. 6th grader will continue Fix-It and we will add in a free grammar workbook type program since he has to do SAT testing this year. K'er will use PAL.

I love IEW and their approach to writing. Now if I had girls who loved to sit down and write pages and pages of beautifully constructed stories, I might feel differently. My boys are average boys, the oldest is probably a little below level on writing (though his reading level is 8th-9th grade!) At least go on their website, watch some of the free webinars, join the yahoo group, and see for yourself. The other thing I love about IEW is their 100% money back guarantee! You just can't go wrong with IEW!

#7 SneguochkaL

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 02:48 AM

There is a new writing curriculum with DVD and worksheets which had been recently released.
www.essentialsinwriting.com

I never used it but I thought I would mention it.

#8 tennismomkelly

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:44 AM

Have you read The Well Trained Mind, and what it says about writing. If you haven't start there, then I would read Writing with Ease. Check with your library, it very well might have both books. Both of these books really helped me to understand writing with the younger (grammar) years. Even though it is k-4, I would especially read it for your oldest if they don't like/struggle with writing. My son struggled, we pulled him out after 2nd grade. Reading WWE really helped me to understand why he was struggling, and how to help. It also gave me the confidence to go backwards and fix existing problems before moving ahead. We used WWE and FLL for our first year of homeschool (3rd grade) It helped as it was open the book and go. It is a scripted program and very easy to implement. I am going to try MCT this year, but I am glad that I had a more structured program for the first year.

:iagree:
I highly recommend reading Writing with Ease. I also pulled my oldest DS out of PS after 2nd grade. We used WWE/FLL for 3rd grade. I moved him into IEW's SWI-A while continuing FLL for 4th. I love, love, love IEW's writing products! But keep in mind that teaching writing isn't one of my strengths. I'm a math gal. ;) For 5th, we're using IEW's SICC-A with MCT Town level. I doubt that I will use the writing assignments in Paragraph Town but I'll make that decision as we move thru the program. WWE and IEW have given me a lot of confidence as a new home schooling mom. There's not one right way to do it but the WWE/IEW sequence has worked well in our house. :)

#9 boscopup

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:56 AM

Now, this is where someone might need to correct me as I am only someone with one year under her belt. I *believe* that WWE3 and FLL3 are structured to be an entry point.


That's true for FLL3, but not WWE3. WWE is a skill-based program. Some older kids can start at WWE2 and be fine. Most don't start any later than that. :)

I highly recommend WWE for a reluctant writer! You can always start with WWE, then switch to MCT the next year (or add MCT the next year - I'm going to do both next year in 3rd grade, as they work different skills, and my goal is to use WWS in 5th grade).

#10 lamolina

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 02:04 PM

Thanks again for all this information. So, if I went with FLL and WWE, would that work for both the 5th and 2nd grader but they would be in different levels? How do I determine which level? And does this cover everything or do I need to add in other portion from another curriculum?

When you talk about combining MCT with WWE... how do they differ and isn't that just a whole lot of writiing for a child to do? And this would be recommended to start somewhere down the road and not the first year?

I have read TWTM, but will check into reading WWE. Please keep the ideas coming!

#11 lamolina

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 02:09 PM

:iagree:
I highly recommend reading Writing with Ease. I also pulled my oldest DS out of PS after 2nd grade. We used WWE/FLL for 3rd grade. I moved him into IEW's SWI-A while continuing FLL for 4th. I love, love, love IEW's writing products! But keep in mind that teaching writing isn't one of my strengths. I'm a math gal. ;) For 5th, we're using IEW's SICC-A with MCT Town level. I doubt that I will use the writing assignments in Paragraph Town but I'll make that decision as we move thru the program. WWE and IEW have given me a lot of confidence as a new home schooling mom. There's not one right way to do it but the WWE/IEW sequence has worked well in our house. :)


It sounds like we have a son the same age... Would you recommend starting in the first year with just WWE or would you combine MCT also? I have never taught writing (or anything else!), but would call myself more the writing/English type than a math type. Would a 5th grader use FLL or is that just for younger kids? My daughter will be half way through 2nd when we start... any thoughts on what might be best for her? She really does seem to enjoy writing. Thanks for your advice!! :)

#12 lamolina

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 12:02 PM

If anyone has another opinion please chime in!!

#13 tennismomkelly

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 12:44 PM

It sounds like we have a son the same age... Would you recommend starting in the first year with just WWE or would you combine MCT also? I have never taught writing (or anything else!), but would call myself more the writing/English type than a math type. Would a 5th grader use FLL or is that just for younger kids? My daughter will be half way through 2nd when we start... any thoughts on what might be best for her? She really does seem to enjoy writing. Thanks for your advice!! :)

I was very happy with only using WWE and FLL. Both programs matched my goals for my 1st year. I would recommend taking a look at the Table of Contents for FLL to help you decide. You may find that the next book in the series ALL would be better suited for your 5th grader. Also, definitely use the placement tests for WWE for both students. Every student will be different so it's hard to give a recommendation. My one piece of advice would be to not overload yourself with too many programs from the beginning. Give yourself some time to get adjusted. You'll soon figure out how much you can add to your schedule. :)

#14 Dolphin

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 12:54 PM

Just to clear up, I used FLL and WWE last year, for 3rd grade. For 4th grade I will be using MCT only. I will them decide whether I will stay with MCT, or go to the program that is in development for 5th grade on (FLL/WWE continuation)

To keep your costs down to start I would get
WWE 2 That will work for your 2nd and 5th grader. If your 5th grader finds it way to easy, they could worker quicker through the book. If they have been struggling though, they might enjoy a easier time for awhile. IT might help gain confidence.

I would get FLL3. I think an advanced 2nd grader could handle that. If you get it pdf, you can print double student pages. You could also teach them together as you are getting started.

If you start there, you haven't put out too much money, and they are both really good, strong programs that are scripted for you. I made lots of decisions before I started homeschool, and found that I changed a lot my first year. Just start slow, and give yourself time to get used to what you are doing.

#15 Penelope

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 08:55 PM

I am using MCT and Susan Wise Bauer's materials (WWE) with a 4th and 1st grader. I have viewed IEW TWSS and read the longer manual by Webster, but have chosen not to use it for various reasons. For background. :)

Your choice is probably going to depend on what level of writing your 5th grader is ready to do and how much grammar she has had. I don't feel the MCT program is a complete LA program for our needs, which is why I would not use it alone. There are some here who variously agree and disagree with that opinion.

One thing to be aware of is that IEW does not involve grammar instruction, so it would also not be a complete LA program for a 5th grader. In fact, it is less complete as a LA program than MCT, though perhaps more complete if you only want explicit, detailed writing instruction. To me it seems easier to use than MCT if you get the SWI, because the structure is put in place for you; you would just need to add something for grammar, possibly spelling, and possibly vocabulary studies. MCT has all the components but you will have to provide much of the structure yourself. And the writing instruction might not be enough, depending on your student. And as others have said, the writing approaches are completely different.

I don't know if you have looked at Writing With Ease, Writing With Skill (due out in the fall/winter but with samples available) and First Language Lessons, but it doesn't really get any easier than that as far as "easy to use".


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