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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. I'm guessing it depends on the kid. For both my son and me, it is difficult to read an outline and understand the topic well enough to write a composition. We have to read some books on the topic first and then SWB's outline makes sense. This is true even for topics that we know something about. Perhaps it is just the flow of the text vs the choppiness of an outline. But my son finds it easier to pull topics out of text than off someone else's outline. Go figure. All this means is that we have to read on the upcoming topic in the days leading up to the assignment. Then, we can follow th
  2. This is a x-post from the k-8 writing workshop. I decided to put it here because I ended up comparing WWS with IEW. The question concerned a student who was writing really well using IEW but more "amateurish" using WWS. My response: My ds used IEW for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade, MCT PT for 5th (a bust), and WWS for 6th. Although I think WWS is very effective, ds is finding it to be difficult. And I do not think that it is as independent as people keep saying it is, at least it is not for my son. We often have to discuss the writing style or assignment for 20 minutes before he start
  3. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Topoi-expanded.pdf SWB posted it on post 131 on the WWS thread. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=303489&page=14
  4. Thanks for this. LToW is all about guided discussion. It teaches the student how to ask questions about topics and how to organize the answers into an essay. IMHO it is a program that is easily compacted depending on the skill of your student upon starting the program. It is much easier academically than herodotus, and *requires* a teacher. Herodotus, on the other hand, could be a self-study IMHO. In general, Herodotus is much more analytical. For example, here is a random paragraph about the common topic of similarity/difference. Herodotus: "In general, we argue from similarities o
  5. Extrapolating Herodotus to the next books, it will definitely replace D'Angelo because it covers all the Progym exercises. Weston might have a few extra little tips in it, but Herodotus is far superior. SWB chose Weston because it is a non-threatening intro to Rhetoric. Herodotus is Rhetoric. I have not seen Kane, or the upper levels of CW, so not sure about Kane. Herodotus makes a good stab at Corbett. However, Corbett has some nice, long modern essays with evaluations that take up about half of the book that would definitely be worth doing. Also, Corbett has some nice info on improving
  6. Well, I have finished Herodotus, and to inform my opinion I have read the OWL Purdue site, Essays and Term Papers, The Student Writing Handbook, and listened (again) to SWB's high school writing lecture. I have not yet read through the AP lit and comp syllabi and examples (they are detailed :001_huh:). Big Picture First of all, let me say that Herodotus is by far her best book IMHO, (and I went in with pretty low expectations because the progym exercises are not my favorite). Its layout is clear, its writing style is engaging, and its compact size feels approachable. In addition, in
  7. If you want to use CW, place him in Homer (but there are other programs out there besides WWS and CW that you could choose from). Homer is all about story writing, whereas Diogenes is more analytical. Plus, the readings in Diogenes are NOT at 5th grade level. You could, if you want, do Homer in a year rather than 2. There is a schedule at the back.
  8. I have just finished a very close reading of CW Diogenes, and have noted a number of contrasts that hopefully will be helpful to those trying to decided between the 2 programs. I still want to evaluate Herodotus, but it is looooong. Plus, having read 8filltheheart and Angela of OH's ideas about high school writing http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=350368 , I feel that I need to read the OWL Perdue website and AP English comp and AP English lit syllabi to help inform my analysis. This might take a month, but I will post it when I am done. Ok, so here is a comparison
  9. I let my ds read this and he was very pleased. He is tolerant of me posting his work but being 11 is a bit nervous. Your positive comments are so helpful. He wished I had posted the edited piece, but I told him that people would love to see what he could do on his own without my advice on how to edit. Until about a year ago, my son thought he was a terrible writer, and perhaps he was, but we have been making slow and steady progress. My favorite part of his description is "For exercise, my brother likes to destroy bushes with a very large stick." I love this:001_smile:. I think that
  10. No, we will finish in a year. We keep to her weekly schedule by compacting the 2 easy days into 1 so he has 2 days to write. Also, I have a 1 hour time block during the day to focus on whatever part of his schedule that he needs help on. For example, this week, Monday was on how to use the calculator to calculate simple and compound interest (kind of complicated!), on Tuesday and Wednesday this week we had to spend that time on discussing WWS. Usually WWS only gets one of the 1 hour time blocks for pre-writing discussion. We edit on Fridays during his "writing" time. We have never be
  11. Here is DS(11) description of his brother. (unedited) My brother, B****, loves to play in the woods. His light brown hair is often dishevelled and black with dirt contrasting greatly with his sanguine cheeks. When he is in the forest, his bright blue eyes sparkle with joy and exhilaration. Sometimes B****'s entire body is covered with dark brown splotches of dirt and he is often dressed in a dusty brown shirt, shorts, and sturdy sandles. Normally, his pockets are bulging with pine cones, twigs, pebbles, and dirt. He likes to carry a home-made dagger and a huge stick for whacking bush
  12. Funny, I was just thinking about writing this idea up on the k-8 writing workshop, but am happy to put it here. :001_smile: We are on Week 16, which is where WWS switches from Narrative writing to more descriptive writing (this is a simplification). The first assignment is to write a description of someone you know. Well, my son has always done non-fiction report writing -- not a story to be seen, so I knew he would be completely flummoxed by this assignment. After he had outlined the example and then read SWB's description of the type of writing, we had our conversation. First
  13. :iagree:This is why I have spent so much time reading about this topic. I have felt very much like an ill-informed teacher for the past couple of years. I can do the basics very easily, but as we have hit more advanced writing I felt like I was floundering. You cannot just throw a curriculum at a kid (even one as good as WWS) and expect them to flourish. Writing takes a coach. And I have also found that reading just one week ahead in a writing curriculum does not work either, because you cannot see the big picture, and you cannot see the teachable moments because you don't know what to te
  14. I did not find that I needed to augment IEW's instruction in style when we were using it in 2nd-4th. For us it was more than enough. Killgallon's focus is on improving sentence style through imitation. I will only be using Killgallon during the middle and high school years. But obviously it depends on the child. Good luck on finding Corbett for cheap! Mine was used but in great shape (now it is not :D) Ruth
  15. As soon as I finish reading it, I'd be happy to. But I might be a week or more. Ruth
  16. Great. I will be buying another copy for my son to read (as I have completely marked up my copy) and will make sure to get the newer edition. :iagree: What confused me for a long time was that different people in different posts would say: 1) CW uses the progym to teach writing 2) CW moves into rhetoric by Herodotus (and even a bit before) 3) The progym is taught *before* rhetoric. These just did not line up until I really studied the curriculum/books. So what I am trying to clarify for others is that CW uses the progym in a slightly different way than it was initially desi
  17. I forgot to mention the BIG jump in understanding that happened after I read all those books. It seems so obvious now, so maybe everyone else already see it:glare: Writing includes 2 major parts that need equal time spent on them up through 8th grade (or earlier/later depending on the kid). 1) how to mechanically get words down on paper. This includes mechanics, spelling, handwriting/typing, grammar, and memory. 2) how to organize and develop your thoughts (developing arguments, organizing essays and paragraphs, using descriptive language, etc). What I finally realized is that all of #
  18. I cannot really recommend K-4th because I have not done an analysis of what is out there. So all I can tell you is what we have done. My kids do NOT like writing stories, so we focus on non-fiction. K and first half of 1st: copywork (building up to 50 words per day) second half of 1st: easy dictation (like easy Dr Seuss) and continuing copywork 2nd - 4th: dictation and oral narration (like WWE but from our own books. This is what she recommended in WTM before she wrote WWE) and IEW structure and style (IEW started at age 8, whenever that falls in the 2nd grade year), I like d
  19. I am considering Excellence in Literature because it is simple. It gives me the references and the questions, and allows my son to be self-sufficient. But at the same time it allows me to teach him directly, without a curriculum in the middle. It really just depends on if *I* can teach the literary essay, which I think I can if I get something like Writing about Literature and read through it first. http://www.amazon.com/Writing-About-Literature-Edgar-Roberts/dp/0136014569/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3N8DPAR2GAY5W&colid=22J4BQVB72WNT Also Six Walks in the Fictional Woods look
  20. Well, I have not ruled it out. I really like it. But I am a bit with 8filltheheart and find that MY instruction is so much better than a curriculum's instruction. Also, I am concerned that the progym including CW is not focusing on modern writing. I know that CW always has 1 unit on modern writing, but that kind of means that 4 units are not on modern writing. Given that my son will be a STEM major, I feel like I should teach him what he needs to know directly, and I am concerned that CW is having him support a maxim or chreia for example, when he could be writing about a scientific disc
  21. I have copied some of my ds(11)'s writing for WWS to help you see the difference. In the first person description you are trying to describe a scientific event as if you were there to make it seem more real. When the volcanic cap was blown off, a huge black cloud of ash swiftly obscured the sun turning noon into the darkness of midnight. It was a stunning picture, glowing, white-hot tendrils of lava flowing down the side of the volcano obliterating everything in their path. Soon, the ash started falling, covering everything in its warm blanket. It was possible to feel it in a
  22. Well, the problem is that you have the same words in both lists like maxim, comparison, analogy, law. I have spent more time than I care to think about trying to understand how the progym attacks the Common Topics. If I had only been able to make it through D'Angelo's book, I might be of more use. For example, he says that the ways you amplify the Anecdote is through contrast, comparison, and example. Well, these are some of the Common Topics. And for the topic of Refutation/Confirmation: your topics of invention are the probably/improbably, possible/impossible etc These are als
  23. Ds just asked me yesterday what is the difference between first person scientific description and a scientific chronological narrative (both taught in WWS). For example, let's say you are describing the volcanic explosion in Pompeii from a first person point of view, telling about how the explosion felt, smelled, moved from an eyewitness point of view; and then you are writing a chronological narrative about the volcanic eruption. He wanted to know how they are they different? I told him that it has to do with your goal. When you are describing of a scientific process even from the first p
  24. :iagree: Sorry about the confusion. I was really confused about the progym for a long time, and then when I first read Corbett, I was more confused really. But it is finally coming together. In case it is helpful to anyone, I've list of the progym and the Common Topics below so people can compare them. The overlap is what has confused me in the past. The progym studies the Common Topics through the progym exercises, which are done before Rhetoric is studied. Rhetoric is uses the Common Topics to develop arguments to support a thesis. It is assumed by the ancients who developed the pr
  25. Since WWS is a 4 day program, I plan to do the 6 sentence shuffle on Fridays. Word and sentence analysis and imitation I will do with Killgallon, also on Fridays but not at the same time. Diagramming we do with grammar. I plan to use Theon's 6 questions when discussing literature and working on critical reading, but we will not be writing stories. WWS has LOTS of summaries, precis, and outlining, so no need to add more of that. Bitsy I know, but my ds(11) loves WWS and his writing is improving very quickly. We will not be switching off of it even though I really like CW.
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