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Posts posted by 1Togo

  1. I guess my point is that there really aren't lots and lots of forms. Learn the basic essay and use it for different topics, subjects, etc.Then, work on improving those essays


    LToW I does this. Lesson 1 - very, very basic essay.  Lesson 2 - add a technique. Lesson 3 - add another technique.  The final, persuasive essay is a complete, persuasive essay with every point generated from the student's thinking. Using invention worksheets may seem tedious, but the goal is internalizing the tools of invention to use in other essays and arrangements.


    Bravewrite EE also teaches the persuasive essay, but the particulars that support the points come from research and outside sources, so the student learns paraphrasing and documentation.






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  2. I am just going to throw this out for you to think about. If your son got everything from Lively Art, then he is ready for more advanced topics/concepts. I have Lively Art..., and it does an excellent job of teaching essays. Although I love Bravewriter Expository Essays, your son has learned the same material in Lively Art. Lively Art..., Bravewiter EE, and even LToW I, although in a slightly different and more structured format, all teach the 5-paragraph/basic essay. Have you looked at SWB's suggestions for writing at your son's level? "The high school student will be writing continually about history, science, and everything else he studies." I haven't listened to the lectures in a while, but the high school lecture has suggestions about how to do this.


    Although the writing samples aren't stellar, Format Jensen's "Format Writing" shows how the 5-paragraph form can be used for example, classification, definition, process, etc. etc. essays. An additional way to add complexity is to expand the basic format and require 2-paragraph openers, conclusions and/or support. Also, add deadlines; i.e. 2 weeks for a persuasive paper on a topic from history or science or... 


    It sounds like your son has concepts to learn from LToW I, but if he is a quick learner and strong writer, then he can easily move through the material in a few months, including independently practicing a few complete persuasive essays.  At that point, you might want to consider SWB's suggestions for writing within subjects or her suggestions for rhetoric. Since your son has the ability to write a basic essay, outline, etc. from the curriculum you have used, he can shift from needing direct instruction to help from a mentor.


    Speaking from experience, it's sometimes difficult to let go of the idea that a student has learned enough of the basics and just needs to get in there and mix it up with the writing process; i.e. choose a topic, develop a thesis...write an essay, get input, improve the essay. (Possibly produce some bad writing along the way.) Rinse, repeat.



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  3. Just curious. If your son mastered essay writing with Lively Art.., why not have him write essays this year on topics from his studies? Lots and lots of short essays where he practices and expands on what he already learned For example, our dd took Bravewriter Expository Essay class at the beginning of the summer, and she is going spend this year practicing that form, which includes most of the skills she needs for college writing, until she achieves fluency.

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  4. P.S. The ANI chart is the basis for thinking through both sides of an issue. It is as much about critical thinking as writing. The ANI chart and the other invention tools generate original thinking not just a rehash of a teacher's thoughts or the typical essay consisting of quotes or paraphrases from someone else with a bit of interp.

    Just curious. What else have you used that helped to generate original thought for writing?

  5. A suggestion. You and your wife should look at a sample(s) of the complete essay from the last lesson. Then, the question to ask is simple. Can our son independently write an essay like this? Can he decide on an issue, develop an ANI chart, use the other invention tools to generate original thoughts, outline the essay, and write the complete essay using all the elocution techniques on his own? If so, then your son might more than LToW. If not, he has something to learn. Go from there. Decide on the pace. Use complex issues from complex novels for more challenge. The first lessons are simple for a reason. Level 1 moves from very basic to more complex thinking and writing.

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  6. We are using Monarch for a credit in computers, and contrary to what I expected, the course is good.  It thoroughly covers material; there is a reasonable amount of writing; the projects are connected to the lesson content; and the quizzes and tests aren't overly difficult.  Dd has to study but not for hours and hours.  Also, the online format works great for us.  I assign the work, and dd does the work, prints the lessons to study, and takes the tests.  Work that needs to be graded is sent to my account.  The software generates several types of grade reports.  It's an efficient system.  


    I don't know the answer to your question about moving between courses and grade levels if you pay the monthly fee, but I am going to find out on Monday.  If the monthly fee allows access to all the courses, that is a great deal.  We have more courses that just need to get done, and I would love to use Monarch.

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  7. We do know a girl who earned the highest level; i.e. Gold (?).  I don't know what fits where, but she taught ballroom dancing, basically developing her own business with that, as well as participating in and winning numerous competitions,  and she visited a friend in another part of the state and attended public school for a week.  She had never been to any type of school, and I don't think she even took many co-op classes, so the experience was different than her life as a homeschooled student.

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  8. Adding this. If you are considering a writing curriculum, input from mothers who have used the curriculum for a few years might help you understand how that curriculum worked for them and their children. There are mothers on this board who have worked through the first level of WWS. Others have worked through a few levels of Classical Writing, IEW, etc. There is a wealth of experience on the boards.

  9. Sadonna,



    We're using CW Maxim, and the work is not based on narrative retellings, which is the primary composition work in CW Aesop and Homer. I think of fiction writing as story writing and that wasn't our focus in Aesop/Homer. In addition to the skills I mentioned in a previous post, we worked on narrative analysis, precis writing, and summaries. DD is using the skills she learned in Aseop/Homer with Maxim, which teaches a variety of paragraphs. Maxim also includes essay analysis, copia and grammar work, and in the last unit, it covers modern essays, which include all of the paragraph types learned in the maxim essay. Although they are not long essays, dd writes daily with her history and Bible curriculum and applies the skills she has learned with her progym work. Recently, she has been able to use events and characters from Bible, history and literature in her maxim essays. The CW lessons take a fair amount of time, so I don't assign much additional writing.



    However, from the description of the WWS work you enjoy, I don't think CW would be a good fit for you. It's a blessing you have found a writing curriculum that works for your children, and I suggest you stay the course with it. Since your children are only 9 and 10, you have lots of options for reviewing WWS I skills, especially if you work on mastery. That should keep them busy until you can be part of the beta-testing for WWS 2.



    LToW I, which we have used and love, teaches the comparison essay in the last lesson of the course, although the persusasive essay lessons include invention work that involves comparison. LToW I is suggested for 7th grade and above. CW Herodotus includes comparison in its lessons, and it is definitely high school level.




  10. I agree that I wouldn't use Windows to the World with a weak writer before high school. Teaching the Classics is not a composition curriculum, but it is a fun way to begin literature analysis,and the work can be done orally if you need to focus on writing with a composition curriculum. I would not use anything with Classical Writing. It is complete. As I mentioned, we are using CW Maxim and have completed CW Aesop/Homer. I didn't need to add anything, and the lessons keep us busy. Likewise, WWS. Why would you need to use anything else? It's supposed to be a complete curriculum.

  11. Adding and agreeing with Cleopatra.


    I would like to add a few, general comments about CW and also CC. Since I've used both of them, I can say they are similiar in that each level focuses primarily on a specific level of the progymnasta, and the student really learns the types of writing needed for that level because the focus is narrow. However, the skills are universal. CW teaches many copia skills at the word, sentence and paragraph level, and it also includes modern writing, although I would agree with Cleopatra that the maxim writing isn't "un-modern." CC teaches less copia than CW and focuses strictly on the progym forms.


    Diogenes Maxim has five units, and the last unit covers modern essays. Only one unit covers modern essays because the first four units teach the parts of modern essays through the ancient maxim essay. After the student works through the first four units, he is taught to see the connections between the maxim essay and a modern essay. For example, in maxim essays, the student learns to write cause, opposite, analogy, example, and testimony paragraphs. The body paragaphs in modern essays are essentially the same and learning a variety of ways to support a thesis is a plus. I also did not see an emphasis in CW Homer on creative writing. In my opinion, the focus was internalizing narrative order, outlining, retelling narratives from various points in time, and extensive copia development at the word, sentence and paragraph level. In adddition, Homer provides systematic instruction on writing narrative summaries and a precis. The process used to take a five-page narrative and reduce it to a two-sentence precis was easier than anything we had used previously.


    Posts on this thread have also mentioned CC Fable and Narrative as a creative writing curriculum, and while both of them include instruction in various figures of description, the real focus is teaching narrative order through outlining, retelling narratives from various points in time, and developing copia skills at the word and sentence level.

  12. justamouse,


    I wasn't really suggesting LToW as a writing curriculum, though it is that. Instead, I suggested it as a way for mothers to help their children think deeply about the books they read without lit guides, prescribed lists of questions, or trying to cobble together questions that may or may not be effective. If pre-fab curriculum and lessons plans aren't appealing, mothers won't find that with LToW. Also, the ideas discussed in the podcasts, etc. are inspiring, but many mothers struggle to understand how to actually do what Andrew describes, especially if they want select, write and discuss books that interest them and their children. Andrew's curriculum offers that. Since we have used LToW, I see the connections between his ideas and the "how" mentioned in other posts.

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  13. Adding this. I asked my question about the "how" of all this because I don't have the time to do lots of research and plan. I need something simple and powerful to guide us through the stacks of books and ideas.


    When Andrew speaks of asking should questions, that's just the beginning. From there, his approach takes you much further; i.e. defining the terms of the question, which usually includes the main actors, deciding on and ordering support for the should question, why the should question (an issue) matters and to whom it matters, etc. The rhetorical tools in LToW work with any issue from any source; i.e. the Bible, real life, history, children's books, good books, great books, and even weak books. There's nothing like working through the above process to show a child that characters are poorly developed or there isn't a strong message/point. Also, our work with LToW was collaborative because my child had a concrete way to develop her thoughts, and I could sit back and steer. The entire process was natural, unforced, and it was definitely relational (borrowing from Mommyfaithe).


    LToW deserves a look or second look for those of you interested in his approach. There are teachers (home school and classroom) using children's books; i.e. Lang, The Secret Garden, etc. to teach LToW to groups; there teachers using the material to lead discussions; and others are teaching the first lesson to elementary-age children. It has a wide field of application.

  14. Connections and Others,


    So, exactly what does the "how" look like for you? Exactly what do you plan to do with all the books in your bookcarts? Read them aloud or just get your children to read them? Will you read them first to develop discussion points? Will you read them aloud and stop your reading to ask questions? Will you wait for your children to see what is valuable, true or beautiful? In other words, how do you plan to make concrete the lovely ideas and inspiration?

  15. If you are looking for practical appplication of what Andrew describes in his lectures, essays, and blog posts, take a look at his curriculum, The Lost Tools of Writing. He led a webinar several months ago, which gave me ideas about how to use LToW with history, science, and Bible. Camille Goldston is leading a webinar on April 28 -- Using Writing to Integrate the Curriculum.

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