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Found 6 results

  1. Confession: I stayed too long with Adventures in Phonics; thus, we just finished our review of Book 1/FLL and full-on completion of Books 2 & 3, cruising through the letter writing/dictionary usage/oral usage at the very end. DS is a rising 4th grader, an advanced writer/reader with a vocab (and the ability to spell it!) of a high schooler. He grasped the diagramming, lingo, rules, etc. with no problem. My questions is this: What comes next for us? WWE, I fear, would be rather basic for him--as it was for his older brother. Any recommendations on what to use next to cement the grammar skills, develop non-fiction writing skills, outlining, and the like? I've been reading through the WTM guide and value that very much; however, "here's what I've done, here's our experience" is so valuable to me. Thanks--in advance, Tracie in TN :thumbup1:
  2. Is the prominence of essay-writing in younger and younger grades (6th, 7th, etc.) because of a spiraling, keep trying so sooner or later they figure it out, kind of thing? Or is it because there's actually VALUE to doing it? That's really hard for me to sort out. For instance someone on the hs board was discussing needing her students to do weekly 5 paragraph essays to do Omnibus 1 (curriculum aimed at 7th+). So if we WAIT, under Karen's premise that not all children are ready at such and such age, do we do harm or good? Mercy, I'm not trying to destabilize Karen. I'm saying I had so BOUGHT INTO the level of assignments (me and my "do a good job" goal) that it had never occurred to me that it wouldn't matter a flying fig if she does them now or later. So what say you? What are the potential holes in that logic? I could see both sides. It seems to me WTM has a delayed approach to longer essay writing and stays at the paragraph level a long time. I need to go read those sections for the higher grades and see. I know I didn't have much worth saying at certain grades. In fact, I think the most kids would be doing is parroting what they have been told. (We discussed this in class, you decided what you think based on the spin I gave you through the discussion and the way I steered things, now go write an essay on your oh-so-informed opinion.) Yes, I guess that's cynical. But seriously, what are the things to consider here? If you do something like the upper level CW stuff or get into a rhetoric study, yes you're doing some thinking and analysis. But really, after watching lots and lots of posts on the boards over the last how many years, I'm not sure how many people do that. I'm not sure that *most* people ever do more than basically trying to get their dc to write a logical multi-paragraph essay with an outline and clear thesis. If they get that far, they praise the saints. At least that's how it looks to me, just watching things. So if that's the case, then maybe Karen's assertion is accurate? In fact, there was a noble voice on the boards years ago (Kpzzz) who maintained that discussion was the foundation for writing and would cover a host of ills. Very interesting, as it seems to flow from the same point. Then I bring this full-circle to the out of the box thread. (And my apologies for making this long!) If the imperative need is for discussion and thought, NOT extreme or detailed writing tasks, then I think people might feel more comfortable getting out of the box. So there, clear as mud? Anyone have any thoughts?
  3. I would love to start from the beginning of a writing curriculum and use it as it was meant to be used - incrementally all the way to the end. However, I just don't have time for that! My kids are not in elementary. I read a great thread here (which I can't find at the moment) where a lot of the moms shared what they've done to teach writing. I have implemented a lot of those ideas but I feel like my approach is so disjointed and I'm afraid that at the end of my homeschooling journey that my results won't be what I hoped. The biggest thing I got from that thread which came from 8fillstheheart and Lori D. was just have your kids write. Duh? One of the first things I did after coming to that realization was have my kids participate in HSLDA's essay contest. The prize money was a great motivator for them. One daughter wasn't really up to the challenge. She just couldn't get words down on paper so I created a blog for her to post random writing assignments. Thus far she has written about subjects that she is passionate about - attending Nickelodeon's Day of Play in WDC, baking cupcakes (process essay), and a recent field trip. So I found out that she can write she just has difficulty if she isn't interested in the subject matter. So what is my issue? I guess I want someone to tell me I need to do more, I need to do less, or not to worry I'm on the right track - just tell me something to ease my anxiety. I feel like writing is so hit or miss b/c I'm not following a pre-printed plan, which I love so much (a plan that is). I am all over the place. Here is what we do in the way of writing: 1. I always have them write 5 sentences that summarize their history readings (I got this from SWB's WWS sample that I have). She further suggests connecting these sentences to make a summary paragraph but I feel like I give them so many writing assignments that they start huffing and puffing if I ask them to write paragraphs after we spend so much time reading the history assignment. 2. We use the assignments in IEW's US History Based Writing Lessons as they tie in to our history assignment in MFW. We haven't worked in this for weeks as the workbook started out with assignments on Jamestown and the Mayflower Settlement, Colonial Times and doesn't pick up again until French/Indian War. So as I am writing this I just picked up the book and see that tomorrow I need to start this lesson. If I had a written lesson plan telling me to do this I wouldn't have missed that.:tongue_smilie: 3. I also give them practice sentences in Writing Strands to practice expanding on a core sentence by adding details. The who? what? where? why? method. The assignment coming up in this resource deals with describing a friend. I usually do this when I realize that haven't had a formal writing assignment in some time. So I do all of this b/c I like all the different resources as they focus on many different aspects of composition. I research contests and plan for them to participate if I find one up their alley. My problem is cohesion, continuity, consistency (oooohh that's alliteration). That is why I love packaged programs (those 3 C's are built in). This piece meal I'm doing with writing worries me. I'm I confusing them? Is it not enough reinforcement in one area? I am all over the place! I realized after excusively doing IEW's SWI last year that given a blank topic to write on, the kids didn't transfer what they learned in IEW to "freestyle" writing. To me, that was a problem. So I went to the other end of the spectrum. Each assignment I give them shows me what we need to work on grammar wise, etc. So then I go down a grammar rabbit trail to fix that problem. I often bring in IEW concepts of varying sentence openers, using vivid verbs, topic sentences and clincher by repeating and reflecting. So all the IEW training isn't lost. I would love to know what you guys think of this plan (or lack thereof) and if you have suggestions on getting on a executable plan so it isn't so hit and miss.
  4. Ok, I know that everyone will have a totally different opionion on that but I want to know what everyone's opinion on that IS!! We are so weak in that area, grammar and writing just seem to fall behind in my house :( I'm trying to decide what would be best for my boys this next year.
  5. Do they need how to write a report, an essay? (Is a report an essay?) Do they need experience with compare/contrast, descriptive, etc? OR more generally-How are the types of writing classified, and in what order are they generally taught? Obviously they should write a good sentence, then a solid paragraph-that's the start. What next? Would it be ok to teach how to do a five-paragraph essay and then they can use that format for all their academic writing-compare/contrast, literature analysis, etc.? I am having trouble coming up with a big picture plan for logic stage writing because I don't know what needs to be taught over that period of time! (I have the SWB lectures and I think that's a good start, but I think there needs to be more creative writing, and more genres of writing than that.) Sorry, I have been having a ton of questions lately, trying to get our big picture for logic stage, but I'm hoping my questions and everyone's gracious and informative answers are helping others too!
  6. A few threads about spelling and journaling have me wondering if I'm going about my daughter's writing all wrong. The *only* writing that my daughter does is spelling and journaling. Some threads have me thinking that my daughter doesn't need to do spelling. She is a natural speller and makes very few spelling errors. Although her spelling could use improvement, she spells above grade level and would probably improve even without using a spelling program. Thus, a spelling program is a waste of our time and I should drop it. In other threads, I keep reading how journaling is bad and unnecessary. Since my daughter doesn't like journalling, I shouldn't require it. But if I drop spelling and journaling my daughter wouldn't be doing any writing at all!!!! That doesn't seem right. Between spelling and journalling, she writes 6-8 sentences, or about two short paragraphs, per day (with very few errors). I can't go from that to nothing. Should I drop spelling and journaling and start a writing program? I want to do cross-curricular writing eventually, but I don't know how or where to start, especially since we aren't even doing history, science, or literature right now. Should I keep doing what I'm doing (spelling and journaling), even if it is a waste of time, because I am comfortable with it and DD is young (6 years old / 1st grade)? Something else?
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