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Found 17 results

  1. DS (2nd) enjoys storytelling and fiction writing. He has plenty of creativity, a decent grasp of story arc, and a willingness to physically write but doesn’t often read for pleasure, so may need a bit of support developing a broad vocabulary and variable sentence structure. He’s fairly descriptive, making frequent use of adjectives and occasional use of adverbs - but I’d like to see more variety in his word choice. We are using IEW ATFF / FMFT, which hits on this a little bit with “banned words,” but I’d like to expand on this idea. Evan Moore’s Writing Super Sentences looks too simplistic for what I’m wanting. Fabulous Sentences and Paragraphs is closer... it starts off pretty simplistic, but the later parts may be useful. I’ve seen little posters along the lines of “Instead of <over-used word> use...” followed by a selection of choices. I’ve also seen activities discussing “shades of meaning” to describe emotions - giving alternatives to sad and mad and happy. Should I simply provide these to him when he writes? Would it be better to brainstorm the lists together? I own Killgallon’s Sentence Composing... when we last tried it (over a year ago) DS was a bit resistant to the idea, but now he’s grown accustomed to having an “editor”. He is solid on parts of speech and familiar with the idea of phrases and clauses, so I don’t anticipate any hiccups there. Is it time to pull that out again?
  2. I am searching high and low for a writing curriculum that I think would help my son. He is 8 1/2 and in 3rd grade, but his writing looks like a kindergarteners on a good day. And he really struggles with organizing thoughts to put into writing. He may be considered dysgraphic, though I have never had him evaluated for that. I am looking for a program that will really lay out all of the steps and build incrementally. I've tried the more open-ended approach with Brave Writer and free writing and giving writing prompts. We are working through BJU level 2 and Moving Beyond the Page language arts as well, but none of this is clicking with him and it seems to be making it worse. For example, today we read a short chapter from Story of the World and he was just supposed to write a few sentences about Alexander the Great. Now, if I ask him questions, he has NO problem answering them. Even if they are more open-ended kind of questions. He can verbalize easily...and I have spent the last 2 years letting him mostly dictate and I help guide his thinking. But when he tries to even write one sentence alone, it either isn't a complete sentence (not even close), or it is a complete sentence, but it has nothing to do with the assignment. He was supposed to write a couplet about weather the other day, picking a type of weather and choosing some rhyming words that went along with that type of weather. he was able to choose the kind of weather and even a list of rhyming words. But man....there was NO way to get him to understand that he was supposed to use THOSE rhyming words he came up with, to write a couplet about that kind of weather. He would either write a sentence fragment that didn't rhyme, or he would come up with a couplet that didn't have anything to do with weather, etc. Later that day, he read a couplet on a cereal box and came running to tell me that he found a couplet about weather! It was about snow (he was writing about rain)...so I ended up letting him copy it for his couplet. I am considering Essentials in Writing because it is DVD based and MAYBE having someone else trying to teach him would be better for him....? I'm also considering WriteShop Primary Level B. But I really don't want to be bogged down with crafty things, as he has a really hard time with fine motor and that wouldn't be helpful. I do NOT like IEW, so even though I have it, I don't want to use that one. Please help!
  3. I have decided to try out Easy Grammar next school year for my 9 year old son going in to 4th grade. He is behind in his language arts. We are enrolling him in a local public charter school that allows me to choose my own curriculum (no religious content for the most part). I need to find a writing program to go along with EG and would like some input on what writing program goes well with it. He has worked on copywork and does fine with it but we haven't done much dictation (some, but not much). I need to find a less parent-intensive course, however I know I will need to help him. I was looking at Excellence in Writing (EIW) because it combines writing and grammar but EG appeals to me. One easy option is to use "Daily 6-Trait Writing" as Timberdoodle suggests to use. I can order from Timberdoodle.com, Rainbowresource.com, and exodusbooks.com. I need something that is comprehensive yet doesn't take me all day to teach it. This last year we used Sonlight Language Arts 2 and it was just okay. I tried R&S English but even as a Christian I feel that it goes over the top when it comes to references to God. Here's what I plan on using so far: Writing: ??? Spelling: Spelling You See (I had no eye-rolling when using this program!) Grammar: Easy Grammar Reading: Teaching the Classics??? Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting Thanks for your input!
  4. Please share your experiences. I found this thread, which was positive, and also shared the book list. Anyone else?
  5. Hello. I am investigating composition/writing programs for next year for my upcoming 9th and 7th graders. I have been using WordSmith, and I am not satisfied with it. I am only just beginning to be aware of other programs and was wondering if people would be willing to just LIST the programs they use for middle school and high school. If you want to comment on what you think of your choice(s) feel free, but I am mainly looking for a list of programs to research. Once I get a grasp of what is out there, I will likely come back with more targeted questions. FYI -- I have 4 girls (currently 8th, 6th, 4th, and 1st) and writing instruction has been hit or miss. The older two have spent a few years in public school and are currently dual enrolled, so anything I chose has to be easy to implement and not take TONS of time because history is our time-consuming priority. Also, I am really looking for JUST writing curriculum. . . I, at this point, am planning to use Biblioplan's lit recommendations for my literature. Thanks!
  6. In 3rd grade my daughter stopped receiving adequate composition and language arts instruction. Her 5th grade year also saw no language curriculum - just packets of suffixes and prefixes, no writing. She is currently in the 6th grade. Due to a variety of circumstances I will be homeschooling for language for the remainder of the year. I need a ready to go curriculum that relies heavily on composition. I would prefer a non-religious text, but am not opposed to a good Christian based curriculum. Thanks.
  7. I vaguely recall, perhaps from a few years ago, that there was an online writer's (and as I recall free) website, a virtual village, set up to look like virtual buildings that one could "go to" for various things--poetry ideas perhaps in one spot, or discussion in another, and that also sent a daily or weekly, perhaps writing prompt. It was not meant for children, but in my recollection or dream, would be suitable for children. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
  8. For those of you who struggle with: · teaching your student writing, · your student’s inability to handle your evaluation or criticism very well, · questioning whether or not your student’s writing is on grade level, or · wondering how an objective third party would view your student’s writing, Would you consider purchasing an evaluation/critique of your students writing, put them in an online class, or enroll them in dual credit at the CC? If classes or CC are not an option because of money or you’re afraid your student would not rise to the challenge, how much would you be willing to pay for a one-draft evaluation? What would you pay for a three-draft critique? I have definitely been struggling with these very issues with my ds 17. I am interested in hearing all ideas, suggestions, and information! Jennifer
  9. Harvey's grammar looks good but I was wondering if you could tell me what the difference is between the Revised Grammar and the Elementary Grammar and Composition? The Revised English Grammar covers orthography, syntax, and prosody, according to an Amazon review. It sounds a little unusual and I'm not sure whether or not it covers standard grammar, since the descriptions are kind of unusual? I can't find too much info on the Elementary Grammar and Comp. Can someone tell me about these books? Thanks!!
  10. I'm looking for a list of all the different options available for teaching writing/composition. Specifically: What's out there? If you've used it, what do you like about it/not like about it? What does it cover--creative writing and/or technical writing (paragraphs, essays, outlining, research papers), something else? How is it used? Daily, 3x/week, per project, etc. Thanks!
  11. My boys wrote daily and enthusiastically for hours during NaNoWriMo. I hate to go back to forcing them through WWE again. Should I? Is there a writing program that won't make my sons hate writing again? If you had kids who were reluctant writers, what programs did they tolerate? If you have kids who weren't reluctant, what programs did they love?
  12. Any suggestions for a writing program that teaches middle school ages how to write a topic sentence and develop a paragraph? I am wondering if I should just have him stick with WWS or try to focus on more specific writing skills.
  13. I'm about to pull all my hair out over the whole writing issue. Since the beginning my daughter has had some hand issues. She was a late eater due to her being very left handed. Her drawing and learning to write have also been behind her peers in a noticeable way. She has just finished a cursive program for lefties and has beautiful penmanship. Because of all these delays I have not done any formal writing or grammar program with her. We gave CW a go but she disliked it because in general she dislikes Aesop and fairy tales. I couldn't understand how the program worked and why I had to read two books to understand it. We gave up on CW. I did a lot of research and decided that Writing Strands would work well. It hasn't. She actually hates how the text talks down to her and expects her to make mistakes. I don't like it because it's just about creative writing, which my child can do in her sleep. So yesterday I looked at WWE and FLL at the book store. Now, WWE 1 looked great but maybe too simple - remembering to stare a sentence with an upper case and end with the correct punctuation. But when I looked at WWE 3 it was all dictation and narration. Then the FLL books were all about diagramming, which is too advanced for my daughter. What I want in a writing/composition/grammar curriculum is the ability to express herself in the written word. I don't need her to learn how to write a term paper just yet. Is there anything out there like what I want?
  14. I am hoping for some input here. :-) My 9yo son will be in 4th grade this year. He is definitely a RELUCTANT writer. He is very musical and learns very easily by hearing, but hates to pick up a pencil. Every sentence is a struggle. I started him on WWE 2 this spring. His narrations are really coming along, and he fights the dictation tooth and nail. :-) I can see that it is helping him though. How much writing should I require of him? (including all subjects but math) He reads very well, but I read our history and science out loud. I have not required much writing in these subjects and he loves them! We will be using Easy Grammar, WWE 3, Time4Learning, and HWT Cursive. Spelling will mostly be on the computer. (Spelling City) Should I require more writing (notebooking or lapbooking etc) for history and science? I hate to squelch the love that he has for the subjects and make it something he dreads, but I know that he really has to start doing more writing this year. Should I keep most of his writing separate? He is working on typing, and I hope to integrate that more this year. Writing almost looks painful for him. Any advice would be welcome. He is my oldest, and I really don't know what the minimum writing requirement would be. My two daughters love to write and almost always have a pencil or crayons in their hands. At least I'll get a break there. :tongue_smilie: I get so tired of the having to push him to write. advice anyone? :bigear: Thanks! Angela
  15. I am currently using R&S English 5 and I don't particulary like it. Mainly because it is drudgery to do for both me and my ds. I am considering switching to CC or WT and would like to know which one you like and why. I am leaning toward CC because it continues thru the whole Progymnasmata. I am not too concerned with the grammar portion as my son takes grammar at a local coop, but he is not a good writer and I want him to improve his writing skills.
  16. Has anyone used the Composition in the Classical Tradition by Frank J. D'Angelo? My 12th grader would like to tackle a progymnasmata type writing course. I read a bit about it and it looks like you're guided through various writing assignments. If you've used this, I'd love to have a review... If not, I'd love to have your ideas for a student led book to write/do. My dad is willing to help with this, and it an author by trade. (and college/seminary prof) Suggestions?? Thanks!! Carrie :D
  17. Ohh I feel so lost today. My dd really wanted to do the Narnia class from Potter school. After spending several hours on the test- which was supposed to take several, they said she is not ready. I am not sure I agree now with why they are saying and lost with how to go from here. I agree she proabably should not take the class though its their attitude that concerns me most. has anyone had similar expereince? She wanted narnia because some of the other english writing online courses I had looked into, involved books that she does not care for. I agreed and we love Narnia so we pursued this. From all the posts I have read, potter school is very good but there is an attitude of superiority sometimes from the teachers. I have heard this from the science ones as well. We have never done an online course and it is expensive. They had this requirement about not using "be" verbs. While I agree it is good to not do this too much -I now wonder if they go to far. My dd had to write an essay using bible verses to support her view. She could not use more than 2 "be" verbs per paragraph and only 4 total in the 400 word essay. She had to eliminate verses and rearrange and not use any be verbs on her own writing to allow the bible verses to have some. When the bible has be verbs you have to wonder about things not being allowed to have them. FYI "be"verbs = be, being, been, is, was, were, am, are. We learned quickly that the bible is full of be verbs. Basically in order to wite the essay she had to not use many verses as there would be too many be verbs. We consider the bible to be good literature, so I am beginnning to wonder how far some of these things make sense. Again, standards are good and be verbs can be oversued, but can it maybe become legalistic? I do not know what to do. my dd is devastated to be told her writing is immature. the course was going to take 10+ hours a week, so maybe for 9th grade it is a blessing in disquise. But now what to do. Do all these online classes have an attitude of superiority? Does it go too far? Is their help for writing that is not sooo involoved. Bravewriter?? Or is the discipline of an online class a good thing and worth putting up with how difficult they make it? Mh dd tests every year (and IOWA results come back she is way above grade level-granted it is not writing though) and even sat for the SSAT and did well, and for this she had to do a 5-paragraph essay. Yet they want her to take an 8th garde course instead of 9th. Am I missing something??:confused: Kathy
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