Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


23 Excellent
  1. Hi Foofoobunny, I actually teach an online writing workshop class over the summer that introduces children around your daughter's age (middle school age) to the stylistic techniques in IEW. It's a simple, laid-back workshop where students have fun trying out the stylistic techniques on various short stories that I prepare beforehand. There is no homework involved. The class works together during our online sessions to incorporate IEW's stylistic techniques. I think that might be a good introduction and/or a good way to catch up for your daughter if she intends to begin the curriculum this school year. As you may or may not know, IEW's curriculum consists of two broad areas: structure and style. From my own personal experience in teaching IEW, the style portion of the syllabus is much more useful and fun (I use other curriculum to teach structure), so I now teach all of the stylistic techniques in two summer workshops. Feel free to check out my website if you're interested. The first workshop starts on July 13th. http://coramdeotutorials.com/courses/workshops/ Here's an article I wrote which includes sample work from young students applying stylistic techniques to their writing: http://coramdeotutorials.com/2013/04/11/what-are-stylistic-techniques/ Hope some of that is helpful!
  2. I highly agree. I had taught IEW for many years until I realized that my students, while loving the IEW curriculum, were not able to come up with their own content. Then I switched over to LToW, and the invention lessons alone are well worth the entire curriculum. I love the 5 common topics which provide students endless ways to think about a single topic. Very highly recommended! I do teach an online LToW tutorial for high school students. We begin after Labor Day weekend and meet once a week through May. If anyone is interested, feel free to have a look at my website: www.coramdeotutorials.com. After teaching through Level 1 this past year, I must say I have really enjoyed reading what my students were able to come up with just by drawing from the 5 common topics. LToW is the place to go for help on creating one's own content. And, of course, reading good books. :001_smile:
  3. Dear fluffybunny, I have taught both IEW and LToW to groups of homeschoolers over the years, though I just started teaching LToW last year. I have completed LToW Level 1 with a group of young teens and would love to give you a brief comparison. IEW Pros: Very effective for discouraged young writers Uses a very easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach The procedure is the same each time: a basic and quick composition followed by editing through the use of checklists Students love the curriculum because they are told exactly what they need to do to compose a report/story/essay/research paper. Fast results and improvement in the quality of word choices encourages students to love writing LOTS of practice with choosing keywords from a passage (an important skill to develop!) IEW Cons: Very little emphasis on creating one's own content All reports are basically a rewriting of other sources based on keywords After the initial excitement and progress, students get tired of the repetitiveness Doesn't prepare a student for the kind of advanced analytical and persuasive writing that will be required in the university LToW Pros: Very well-organized in terms of lesson structure Greater emphasis on creating content, i.e. coming up with what to say (greatest strength of the curriculum, in my opinion) Focuses on the persuasive essay; hones in on specific types of persuasive essays in level 2 Essays are fun to read and meaningful, because all essays answer a "should" question (e.g. Should Edmund have followed the White Witch?) Students in the dialectic and rhetoric stage love these assignments because they learn many different ways to argue, including learning how to refute counterarguments It is extremely easy to integrate LToW into your other subjects, because essay topics can be taken from any subject (history, literature, current events, etc.). LToW Cons: Lessons on style (elocution) are a bit hard to keep track of. IEW seems to do a better job when it comes to improving style. Students have to work harder, because the assignments require more brainstorming. (This is actually a good thing, of course, and comes naturally to the student who loves to argue.) Does not teach students how to do research, but focuses instead on making one's argument as strong as possible (at least in level 1; level 2 and on may include more of this, but I haven't gotten that far yet) In summary, IEW is an excellent place to start for students who absolutely hate writing. It helps them get over the fear of writing by giving very easy-to-follow steps and showing them fast (and good!) results. However, the curriculum plateau's after a couple years of use. As a teacher, I start to worry at this point that students aren't learning how to come up with their own content, since they are always choosing keywords from other sources and rewriting sentences with those keywords. At that point, I'd switch to LToW, now that students are armed with all the stylistic techniques from IEW. It is a welcome switch, and I try to make the transition as seamless as possible by showing them how many of the stylistic techniques are just like the elocution lessons in LToW. For older students who feel confident with words (e.g. those who love to write fiction for fun), LToW is more interesting for them, because it provides structure while giving them the space to create what they want to say. Well, this is all I can think of off the top of my head for now, but I do hope it is helpful! I also teach online tutorials in LToW and an introduction to LToW here: www.coramdeotutorials in case anyone is interested. I'd be happy to share more if anything I've said here is unclear!
  4. Hi Christina, I had the same question when I first discovered the curriculum. I own the entire set, and unfortunately, the student workbook alone would not be very useful if one were trying to go through the curriculum alone. It is a very full collection of student worksheets, outlines, and templates for completing the lessons, but it does not come with actual lessons, instructions, or examples (which I find most important). You might be able to get away with purchasing the workbook and the teacher's manual, or the workbook and the DVDs, which would cost you a bit less than the entire set. Hope that helps!
  5. I wholeheartedly agree. I have been teaching The Lost Tools of Writing curriculum in my online tutorials and students have really loved the approach. It is especially helpful for students who are always complaining about not knowing what to write, because it provides students with the tools for coming up with ideas and organizing them. Rather than throwing a topic at students and asking them to come up with something, it provides systematic categories for thinking through any particular topic before writing. I am teaching Lost Tools of Writing again this coming school year. I'd be happy to give anyone more information if they are interested! My website: www.coramdeotutorials.com
  6. Hi! I just noticed your post asking about online IEW courses. I'm excited to share with you that I am actually teaching two brief online writing workshops beginning on Monday, June 24th. We are meeting for one hour each day (June 24th-27th for the basic level and July 1st-3rd for the advanced level) in a Webex online conferencing room. I will be teaching IEW's stylistic techniques during these two workshops. I have taught students online and tutored public school children using the IEW method for several years and they absolutely thrive with this curriculum. I especially like the stylistic techniques portion of the curriculum, because it provides students with an easy, step-by-step method for improving the quality of their sentences and paragraphs. During the school year, I give an online tutorial in writing using the Lost Tools of Writing curriculum while implementing IEW's stylistic techniques. I use LTW rather than IEW to teach the content/structure, because I believe it does a better job of helping students produce their own ideas in writing. IEW uses a keyboard outline method which is useful for gathering and reporting information, but not as helpful when students have to present their own ideas or opinions on a subject. If you are interested in my workshops, please feel free to check out my website at www.coramdeotutorials.com. Click on the "Live Online Classes" tab. Registration is still open ($50 per workshop) and we are beginning very soon! Best wishes on your planning!
  7. I have taught Wheelock's Latin for 6 years now and find the structure of the book to be very beneficial for older beginners and those wishing to learn Latin at a faster pace. For those who are getting started in classical education with older students, it is sometimes tricky to find a good curriculum or outside help that will be practical and fast-paced enough for an older student to catch up. Additionally, many online classes exist which are geared toward students who can afford to spend 4 or 6 years on Latin, but very few that offer intensive Latin throughout the school year. With that in mind, I've decided to teach a live online intensive Latin tutorial for high school and adult beginners for the 2013-2014 school year. I use Wheelock's Latin and finish the entire book in one year (equivalent to two years of high school Latin or one year of college Latin). It is fast-paced, but not as fast as those Latin-in-one-week type classes. If you are interested in having your child learn with the help of a tutor, please feel free to check out my website which has a more detailed description of the class: http://coramdeotutorials.com/courses/latinintensive/ Best wishes on your planning!
  8. Hi mothergooseofthree, I have taught IEW to homeschooled children for many years now and would recommend it mainly for the Stylistic Techniques portion of the curriculum. I have found the techniques to be a very useful and concrete way to teach children how to compose sentences with variety, flavor, and precision. The structure portion of the curriculum is also easy to use with children, but it is lacking in teaching students how to come up with what to write for themselves. Most of the exercises involve summarizing pre-written material and rewriting it in your own words. While it is a good exercise for younger students, eventually, I believe it does not meet the needs of older students who must gradually learn to speak for themselves and come up with their own content. Especially as students begin to face the persuasive essay in high school, they cannot simply gather resources from various paragraphs and combine them into their own paragraph (which is how IEW teaches the persuasive essay). They will eventually need to formulate their own arguments and opinions on an issue. The creative effort involved in this last step is better addressed in LTW. With that said, I would recommend LTW instead of IEW for teaching structure AND content. I personally teach short, online writing workshops over the summer time that cover the Stylistic Techniques portion of IEW, and then I teach a year-long online tutorial in LTW. Please free to contact me if you are interested! You can also take a look at my website here: www.coramdeotutorials.com Best wishes on your planning!
  9. I was homeschooled from 4th grade through high school and am currently a PhD student in Classics at the University of Minnesota. I've been tutoring homeschooled children in writing, Latin, and Greek for 8 years now. One area in which parents are always anxious about is teaching their children how to write. I have done a good deal of research in various methods of teaching writing and tried them with my students. So far, I have found that the Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum has worked really well with my students who are extremely hesitant to write and need specific, step-by-step guidance. They quickly gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment using the Structure and Style method developed by Daniel Webster and Andrew Pudewa. I have also found that the Lost Tools of Writing curriculum, published by the Circe Institute, provides a very organized and less-complicated (when compared with Classical Composition or Classical Writing) way to teach the structure of classical composition. With that said, I would like to share with you all that I am personally offering online live tutorials in these two areas. This coming summer, I will be giving two short workshops (3-4 days long) on the stylistic techniques from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Then, beginning in the Fall of 2013, I will offer a year-long tutorial using the Lost Tools of Writing Level One. You can find further information on all the curriculum mentioned of through the links below. http://coramdeotutorials.com/ - Information on my tutorials http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/ - Institute for Excellence in Writing http://www.circeinst...t-tools-writing - The Lost Tools of Writing by the Circe Institute
  10. I have been raised through the ATI program from 4th grade through high school, and after coming out of it, I would not recommend the Wisdom Booklet curriculum or ATI to anyone. The website that jgalicinski found, recoveringgrace.org, offers some very true accounts of the kind of "biblical teachings" and "doctrines" that we were brainwashed with. I encourage you, especially, to read the essay "A Call for Discernment", written by the Elders of Calvary Bible Church (http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/10/a-call-for-discernment/), which points out the hermeneutical errors Bill Gothard makes in supporting the main areas of his teachings. Some of the stories shared on the site are more extreme than others, but you will get the sense of legalism that pervades ATI teaching. Almost all of Bill Gothard's teachings, including the Wisdom Booklets, has to do with step-by-step procedures for attaining God's blessing. If you don't follow the steps, you are liable to Satan's attacks, and you will lose God's blessings. The problem is, these steps are wholly conceived by Bill Gothard, while using Scripture verses often taken out of context to support his points. He also often takes his own standards and sets them up as "God's standards", so that you must follow his rules in order to be a good Christian. It is a very formulaic, works-based approach to Christian living, and there is hardly any room for grace. After my parents attended seminary at Columbia International University, they realized that many of Bill Gothard's biblical principles and doctrines were supported by verses taken entirely out of context or misapplied. There are many logical fallacies and hermeneutical fallacies throughout his publications. Yet he manages to twist Scripture in such a way as to make it sound convincing to those who do not dig deeper and study Scripture for themselves. Here is one, for example, taken from The Journal Of Virtue: "Some Christians try to justify 'social drinking' on the basis that Jesus turned water into wine. That Jesus did this is inconceivable. Fermentation is a process of death, and He is life." Here is Bill Gothard's definition of grace: "Grace is the desire and the power that God gives us to do His will." And here is one of his points supporting his argument that dancing is sinful: "The sister of Moses danced after victory... The next time we hear of Miriam, she is again taking a leadership position--this time speaking against her brother Moses. God's anger was directed toward Miriam for this, and she became leprous... Assuming that Miriam was acting properly in leading the women, it is still significant that the next event recorded about her leadership was negative." He makes the same points with Jephthah's daughter, David and Saul returning from battle with the Philistines, and David dancing before the Lord while Michal despised him. All of these points are examples of the logical fallacy, post hoc ergo propter hoc (because an event happened after that one, this event was caused by that one). You can read his entire article in the Journal of Virtue, pgs. 32-35. Note also that Bill Gothard never properly footnotes his citations or his numerous anecdotes so you can never go back and verify his supporting arguments. I am in seminary myself at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, trying to relearn how to interpret the Bible without committing the same hermeneutical fallacies by exegeting the original texts. It is impossible for me to give a thorough explanation of this system of teaching, but I would caution anyone looking into this program to examine the materials carefully and consult your pastors, elders and trusted Bible scholars on Bill Gothard's interpretations. I hope this at least gave you a little taste of what is wrong with it. I am utterly grateful for God's faithfulness and grace to me to allow me to come out of this program and have the opportunity to see his Word with fresh eyes.
  11. Hello! I have a degree in Music and have taught piano for 8 years. I've used Bastien, Alfred, John Thompson's, and Faber & Faber's Piano Adventures. After trying out all of the above, I've found that F&F's Piano Adventures are the best method for little children. One of the biggest problems I've found with teaching beginning children is that, instead of recognizing that each note is associated with a key on the piano, they begin to associate the note with a finger number. Then whenever they see a Middle "C" for example, they automatically use their thumb. Thus, they are not really learning the notes, just learning the finger numbers. Piano Adventures does an excellent job of making sure that doesn't happen by making the student play the same song over with different fingers. Then, the student can no longer rely on finger numbers to figure out the song, but has to actually know the note they are playing. I've also found that the songs are more catchy than Bastien or Alfred. Piano Adventures teaches technique very systematically and creatively. The theory book not only teaches music theory, but also has training in sight-reading, rhythm, and aural skills. My students love playing the listening games in the theory book. As for John Thompsons, the pieces are by far the most fun and beautiful sounding, but they are harder for any beginner to learn. I use it mostly to supplement the method books, especially if there is a recital coming up, and spend more time per piece. Hope that helps!
  12. Hello! I've been tutoring students in writing for several years and have been considering these three as well. I have experience using IEW and CW, and have looked through samples of Classical Composition. IEW Pros: This is a very easy-to-use, homeschool-friendly curriculum. What's more, it produces fast results, which builds confidence in both the students and the teacher. It gets young students writing right away and allows them to produce polished compositions by following a checklist of step-by-step instructions. Even if you don't use their method, the stylistic techniques (i.e. ideas for embellishing sentences) is worth spending a few months to learn. Cons: I've realized that after a year or two of using this, the curriculum gets pretty boring. Every composition starts out with a keyword outline, which is an outline based on keywords chosen from various sources. Then the student crafts sentences using those keywords. It gets a bit repetitious after the initial blast of progress. Also, IEW doesn't teach you how to craft different types of paragraphs for different purposes. It emphasizes topic sentences and supporting sentences, but not variation in types of paragraphs. CW Pros: The goal of the Progymnasmata exercises is to help students develop a collection of different types of paragraphs and essays to use for different purposes. There are a total of 14 types of essays (or "exercises"), each one for a specific purpose. Each essay consists of several types of paragraphs that each support the purpose of the essay. For example, in the Maxim essay, students learn to explain the meaning of a maxim using a set of 6 or 7 types of paragraphs. Each paragraph has a specific function for supporting the explanation. This method focuses on writing at the paragraph level and not so much at a sentence level. Cons: While this method doesn't produce quick results and takes more consistency and a long-term commitment, I believe the end results produce a more persuasive and creative writer. After all, these were the exercises used for teaching rhetoric in ancient Greece. As for the grammar component, it is a little clumsy and disorganized, so I just skip over those lessons. They analyze English sentences using grammatical terms from Latin (Nom, Gen, Dat, etc...) which just gets confusing for students who haven't had Latin or Greek. Another difficulty with this curriculum is that the organization is harder to follow than IEW. The progymnasmata exercises are interspersed with rhetoric lessons, grammar lessons, background/historical studies, and model essay analyses. It's hard to see a clear pathway through the book. By the end of one book, students will only have produced one complete essay with all the paragraph types in it. CC Pros: The subject material is the same as CW, but it is laid out much simpler and does not include miscellaneous lessons in between. This curriculum gives you much more practice. Instead of learning one paragraph at a time, it presents all the paragraph types in the first few lessons, and then gives students repeated practice in writing complete essays. I think this is a good approach for slightly older students. It gets them writing and allows them to feel more accomplished, since they write many essays and get better each time. The teacher book is excellent because it gives you sample answers for every essay the student has to write. This means a lot more examples than CW offers. Cons: If you are new to the Progymnasmata, it may seem a little confusing to figure out at first. The page formatting doesn't look as user-friendly as IEW or CW, so it will take more patience to sit down and read through the lesson (like reading a popular magazine vs. reading an academic publication). With all that said, this is how I approached these: I first used IEW to get my students confident and writing. After a year or so, when they've learned all of the stylistic techniques, I would switch over to CW or CC, depending on whether you want the grammar component or not, and on how old your students are. Happy writing! -Homeschool graduate, Classics major, and Grad student
  13. Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum but I'm so glad to have found it! I am a home school graduate and currently in grad school. Our family discovered classical education a little bit too late, but I absolutely love the educational philosophy and teaching methods, not to mention subject material (I'm a Classics major). I receive a lot of requests from parents who ask me to tutor their children in writing. Does anyone have any experience with teaching classical writing to public school children (mostly Junior High age)? Is it possible to teach through the progymnasmata if I only tutor the students once a week for an hour? Thanks for the input!
  • Create New...