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  1. My kiddos will be in 6th & 3rd grade next year. I've pretty much got the rest of our curriculum worked out EXCEPT language arts. We haven't been very classical and really want to do a more WTM/classical approach next year. I think it will greatly benefit both my kiddos. Is there anything (blog, article, flow chart, interpretive dance) that explain how to transition? What levels do we start, which do we skip or move faster or slower? Take First Lang. Lessons. My 8 year old hasn't had formal grammar or writing yet. He's followed along with his brother while watching IEW but its time for more. He's still an emerging reader but going through a big leap in ability right now. Do I start with FLL1 then skip to 3? What about WWE? My 11 year old is working through IEW SICA (older program) right now. When he finishes IEW do we go to WWE? tldr: I'm struggling with how to transition to a more classical homeschool eduction using WTM.
  2. I'm looking into options for what to do after WWE3 for my dd's 5th grade school year. Please share what you did or used! Thanks!
  3. My children are 8, 10, and 12. We've been homeschooling for a few years but have been following a more traditional writing curriculum. It drives me crazy because it's clear that an 8 year old isn't ready to write compare/contrast essays and persuasive essays. After doing some research, I cam across WWE and all kinds of bells started going off. My question is about moving them into this kind of curriculum without setting them all behind. I can't, clearly, spend the next three years practicing narration and dictation with my 12 year old. I bought a copy of WWS 1 (which is amazing), but she's not ready for that either (mainly because much of it seems to assume a progression out of WWE). Would anyone care to offer some suggestions about working them into this methodology at these ages (I'm not as much worried about my 8 year old ... but the older kids). Thanks so much!
  4. Hi y'all, We just received a truckload of our own books that can't be sold in bookstores, since they have tiny dings, bends, or scratches on them (the content is unaffected). So we're selling them for 60% off the cover price. Writing With Ease, Story of the World, First Language Lessons, Writing With Skill, The Top-Secret Guide to Getting Your In-Laws to Stop Nagging You About Your Homeschooling Choices, and more! Ok, one of those may have been a joke. The books are at our office, not our warehouse, so you'll need to purchase them by phone. Call 1.877.322.3445 to find out what's available, and to buy! Justin from Peace Hill Press
  5. We have been faithfully following Writing With Ease and my 6yo is almost done with the first book. She has excelled with the book, she has learned to copy very well! At her best, her handwriting looks phenomenal! I am also very excited about her ability to recall information from reading. She regularly remembers and recalls more than me in life; she remembers so many details, words. It's great!! BUT When she writes original content she is not that fabulous. She is on par with an average or below average 1st grader according to what I can tell by looking at other first graders' work! This is bothering me SO MUCH! My intention is to keep my kids at the same academic level (hopefully better) as what they would be experiencing in schools. NOT OK Please share you experiences with the WWE and WWS books. Does it all come out ok in the end? Are there cases where it hasn't come out ok? I mean, my daughter is NOT on track to be spitting out a 5 paragraph essay in a year or two like the school kids will probably be doing!?
  6. Sometimes our books are damaged in the printer-to-warehouse-to-bookstore journey, and we can no longer sell them at full price. But if you don't mind a bit of minor wear & tear (small scratches, etc), you can save money on all kinds of Peace Hill Press products! We keep a list of currently-available discounted books here. Since they're kept at our office, rather than at our warehouse, you'll need to order them by phone. Call us at 1.877.322.3445.
  7. We are in WWE3, and I am incorporating Classical Writing Aesop because I'd like to use the CW program as a main writing program. This is for A., who is 8 and in third grade and is a quick study. However, I also hope to use WWS in 5th grade -- we school 6 days/week year-round, so this is feasible. Esp. given the WWS goal, is it worthwhile to use WWE for 3rd and 4th grades, or would writing time be better spent moving more quickly through CW? thanks in advance!
  8. I sent this question to Peace Hill Press, but also want to post here see if any ones can help me. I am a Chinese mom and in China. I use Writing with Ease 2 for my son and for another student who are almost 9 and 8 years old. I teach them together. I totally teach them 6 hours per week. 2 hours for Writing with Ease. First hour I normally finish Day one and Day two and another hour I finish Day 3 and Day four. One hour for First Language Lesson 2 and one hour for the Story of the World; another two hours for ESL curriculum, Kid’s Box level 5. I might use another ESL curriculum, New Concept level 2 from UK as intensive teaching after I finish Kid’s Box level 5. Since the curriculum is for native speaker children and we are not native speaker, there are some big words in the text for them. I take the big words out and spend time to explain to them by showing them pictures or saying the meaning in English. My question is that should I have to teach them every vocabulary and let them memorize, or just skip them. If I do them as intensive teaching, the pace would be very slow; or should I skip some of the text and only teach them some of the passages from the book as long as they get the main idea of narration and summarize, so that I can spend more time for using ESL curriculum as intensive teaching, such let them memorize the vocabulary list and memorize the text. Like the passages from Writing with Ease, after I read to them, we don’t review now, and they might forget the words at all. Should I spend more time to review each passage? Comparing Writing with Ease, First Language Lesson 2 is much easier for them. And also my son’s listening is better than my student. I don’t know if my question would confuse everyone here. But hope can get some good idea. Thank you!
  9. I've been expending time and brainsweat the past few months on trying to really *understand* the similarities and differences between SWB's approach to writing, and the Bravewriter/Peter Elbow approach to writing (Peter Elbow is one of the main influences behind BW - TWJ lists three of his books as inspiration - and I loved TWJ so much I looked them up on the spot - and I love Peter Elbow so much I now have five of his books and still haven't gotten back to TWJ because of it :shifty). Anyway, after many hours of thinking and typing today, I finally reached something of a breakthrough on part of it, and I'm so chuffed I'm posting it here in the hopes it might be helpful to others :). I'm putting my sum-up and sum-up of the sum-up ;) up top, and then I'll post the big, long analysis that led to that, so as to not clutter up the main post. To sum up: I agree with SWB that developing fluency and automaticity in producing Standard Written English (SWE) is a good thing, and that it takes time and effort to achieve. I disagree that SWE is effectively a foreign language compared to unplanned English speech, and that you cannot/should-not harness spoken competence in teaching written competence in SWE. (And, actually, SWB sorta-kinda gives a nod to the importance of involving the ear and the tongue: she is a big advocate of lots and lots of reading of SWE - helps internalize the patterns and feel of SWE - and I think she's a fan of reading aloud, even when students are fluent readers (even if she isn't, I still am :shifty:giggle). And of course she uses narrations in spoken SWE as a key component. So I'd say she *does* value spoken competency in learning to write - she just doesn't think non-SWE language (whether spoken or written) has anything to offer in teaching/learning SWE - that "writing is a foreign language" thing.) I agree with Peter Elbow that we can and should build on our spoken competency (regular ol' unplanned speech) in teaching how to develop written competency - that writing is basically recorded speech, and that our intuitive knowledge of spoken English is a powerful help in learning to both speak well and to write well - is in fact the *core* of our language knowledge, and all our conscious, explicit language learning should build on it and be rooted in it and continually refer back to it. I disagree that the better solution to non-fluency in mechanics and surface conventions is to adopt crutches to get by (learn how to separate the bulk of writing from the parts you aren't fluent in, so you can write effectively in spite of your lack of fluency, dealing with that lack by pushing it off until the very end, when you either rely on handbooks or friends or paid professionals to copy-edit), instead of working steadily to achieve fluency. (In fairness, Elbow does actually value learning to be fluent in those areas - and offers up ways to harness our intuitive knowledge to get us most of the way there with knowledge we already have - but his primary audience is college students and adult students - who have already passed by their main chance to become fluent in those mechanics - and Elbow doesn't want to feed into the idea that you can't be a writer until you can churn out error-free prose. And I *do* agree with him, strongly, that it is much easier to turn good writing into correct writing with a good dose of copy-editing at the end than to attempt to turn blah correct writing into *good* writing - the latter is in need of much more than a quick polish. He's totally right that they are surface issues - I just am concerned 1) about the practical issues of not being able to turn out workmanlike relatively error-free prose on the first try, because so much day-to-day writing goes infinitely smoother with that skill, and 2) the lingering negative effects of not being fluent, no matter how good the kludges - I understand doing the best you can with what you've got, but when starting from the beginning with new writers, who have *time* to work to fluency, I don't want to settle for a second-best kludge-y non-fluency unless I *have* to, due to issues outside my control.) To sum up the sum up ;): The key difference does indeed seem to be the idea of writing as a foreign language - is our intuitive spoken knowledge of English a base to build on, or a parallel track, with no intersection with writing? - and there I fall on Peter Elbow's side. However, I do indeed value all SWB's goals, and want to achieve fluency in SWE (not just be able to edit my way there) - I just also believe that I can get there better/faster/simpler if I build on our intuitive knowledge of spoken English, instead of ignoring it as having nothing to offer. Implications for homeschooling: *the basic plan of brave writer plus WWE seems sound *big mod to WWE will be grammar teaching that builds on intuitive knowledge of English - gives words to concepts we already know, and teaches us how to consciously use our intuitive knowledge at will, to achieve specific goals - instead of teaching and practicing explicit rules so much that we internalize them; planned approach - work through Patterns of English, plus some diagramming, plus Whimbey's sentence combining, plus Killgallon, plus Elbow's techniques for training the ear. *biggish mod to brave writer will be a possibly? greater caring/emphasis on correct mechanics. Might not be a huge deal, as planning to do a serious spelling program (most of which do indeed take full advantage of training the ear to hear, in addition to teaching the eye to spell), and the grammar/WWE will address punctuation and conventions in terms of enhancing understanding - not that BW doesn't address that, but I believe it's more in the copy-editing phase, as opposed to practicing it to fluency.
  10. Hi all, I'm new here so I hope I don't unwittingly break any rules. :-) I have several children, one (a stepdaughter) is public schooled, I have a toddler and newborn, and 4 that I homeschool. I love and use SWB's tools for history, grammar, and language. We really aren't having any challenges except this: when following the scripted instructions for Writing with Ease, my 4th and 5th grader have MUCH trouble with dictation. I have to read the dictation sentences a dozen times before they can remember them, and they still need my prompting them one word at a time. It's frustrating and I find myself asking, "What's wrong with my children?" It makes me have bad feelings. :-( This year is the first year we've done dictation. Is it simply because it's a new exercise for them? Any advice? Thanks, Carrie
  11. ...what do you supplement with? We are HSing our 9 yo son for the first time and are planning to use Calvert 4. But we'd also like to supplement and personalize the curriculum. I've seen a couple of posts where people have mentioned using Calvert but also using (if I'm sorting out the acronyms right): --Writing with Ease --First Language Lessons --SWB MCT materials for poetry Does that mean you are using these in addition to the regular curriculum? Also, what do you feel these give you that is not in the Calvert? I want to add that I read SWB's Well Trained Mind and love the ideas, and want to incorporate these into our son's curriculum. I just think that the Calvert provides a great structured curriculum this year rather than trying to pick and choose. Thank you all so, so much for all of the wonderful suggestions and thoughts so far. It has been so helpful. Amy
  12. Hi... I'm relatively new to well-trained mind materials, but definitely like what we've seen/used thus far. 1st grade (last year) - we used 1st grade portion of First Language Lessons Questions for 2nd grade (this fall): 1st... I'm confused what I need to order for grammar... I have the original 1st language lessons book, so I guess I'll use the 2nd grade portion for 2nd grade... but now that it has been separated into 2 books, will we miss anything by using the older text? Should I buy the new book too?? 2nd... We didn't know about the Writing with Ease series until after the school year was over, so now I'm wondering do I need to go through both workbook 1 and 2 during 2nd grade? Also, what is in the Writing with Ease text vs. the Writing with Ease workbooks... is there duplicate information in the Writing with Ease text? I'd like to thank you in advance for reading this and taking the time to respond! Much appreciated!!! Julie
  13. My son is finishing up his 3rd grade and we have used WWE 2//3 this past year. I listened and watched Susan Wise Bauer discussing teaching writing to grammar-age children and liked everything she had to say. But trying to teach classical-style writing skills (narration, dictation) to my son, who is a natural writer already, has been challenging! I still think those are valuable skills to learn, but I am curious as to why WTM also recommends Writing Strands, which is a completely different approach to teaching writing. Would WS be a better fit for my natural-writer son? But would something be lost if he no longer did narration/dictation? I am wary to do both as I fear we will be overloaded but do some of you do both? Would love your responses!
  14. My 9 yo son has a sloppy handwriting, not so great spelling, and has never had any formal writing instruction, aside from FLL and R&S English 3. Even then I didn't have him write that much. My excuse? He has speech delay, so I've been concentrating on having him catch up in that department. We haven't even been doing R&S 4 this year at all. I think he should be doing more now, so I'll be adding in R&S 4, and handwriting practice. I'd like to try Writing with ease, but I'm not sure with which level to start. What do you think?
  15. A couple weeks back, someone posted a link to the placement test evaluation for Writing with Ease. For the life of me, I can't find it by searching here or with Google. Can anyone help me out? I'm trying to decide if this would be of use for my 6th and 7th graders. They can write pretty good sentences, but are too casual with punctuation and capitalization. I'm thinking that a more narration/dictation focused approach might be a better route than continuing with ABeka, which seems to lean toward grammar exercises and then big compositions.
  16. Does anyone have any ideas for dictation passages I can use with my 12 yo dd? i think she is right on target with writing, but I would like to assess her ala SWB Middle Grades writing lecture. What type of passages would you use to assess whether or not she is ready to move on? I can't believe I dropped dictation with this one?? What was I thinking??? I used copy work, narration & dictation with ALL my older kids....I am not even sure where I dropped the ball:confused: I am just not sure at what level I should be dictating...any ideas? ~~Faithe
  17. In the WWE thread, posters mentioned 60 words being too much for a child to retain. Does this mean you read the whole passage once, and then kiddo lifts pencil and does it all from one hearing? Not a sentence at a time? How do you do it?
  18. And if so, where should I begin? Do I need both the text and the workbooks? Does the text cover specifics on working with older children starting with the program? Also, would the text cover all of the daily lessons, or just offer some examples and then some suggestions for putting together your own lessons/dictation selections? I know these are lots of questions, but I'm getting ready to do my ordering and I want to be sure I've got things straight. :-) TIA! Patty
  19. Hi all, I am new to both Writing with Ease and FFL, but my DS is struggling with writing and someone introduced these to me. What I am wondering is how do you used both of these together. Do you do both of them each day or alternate. Also, my DS is 3rd grade. Should I start him from the very beginning or up a couple levels? Thanks, Farrah
  20. I have not started any formal writing program with my 2nd grader. He HATES copywork (which we do daily) so I have been hesitant to start him with a writing program. I have the Writing With Ease book (Strong Fundamentals) and WWE Workbook Level 1. I am hesitant to start him at the beginning of the workbook because it looks a tad easy for him and I don't want him to be bored (because then he complains all the more if something is too easy). Do I purchase WWE2 or something else? Thanks so much for your input! :)
  21. I am looking at using WWE4 for use with a middle schooler that is way behind in writing skills. My questions are these: - what skills are covered in this? Narration, dictation, what else? Does it go into any writing summaries or doing outlines? - do I need to buy the WWE book? Or, can I just buy the WWE4 workbook? - would this seem too babyish for a 14 year old? Thanks for any help you can give me with this. Tami
  22. Is Volume 2 a book for logic stage writing? If so, do you have any time frame (like say, in the next four years, as ds is starting 5th grade next year :)) for when you hope this will be published? How about Volume 3 (rhetoric? publication timeframe?)? Did you mention elsewhere that the series is based on your writing CD? I took extensive notes on that CD (just in grammar stage so far - it was a learning curve for me!) and I'm wondering if the books would expand on what you talk about on the CD. If so, how? Finally, would you recommend your writing book series in ADDITION to R&S writing exercises, or instead of, or any combination of the two? If so, why and for what levels? Thanks so much! I'm trying to determine if I should purchase Volume 1 for any reason.....and of course, if I should purchase the others when they come out. :)
  23. Hello, I was wondering if anyone has used the new Writing With Ease program yet and if they have, what they thought. I have used the First Language Lessons 1-3. Do I need to use this new program or does it cover they same things in First Language Lessons? I am getting ready to order for next year, so any input would be wonderful! Thanks
  24. We began using WWE 2 about 2 months ago. I wasn't entirely happy with it but only because it bothered me to be using snippets of literature from books we hadn't read. Still I liked the approach and was tired of hearing my son declare he hated writing. I also didn't want to get the workbook but knew I just didn't have the time to do the "in between weeks" on my own We've really enjoyed the method and his writing endurance, copywork, dictation skills and narration skills have all greatly improved. However, the snippets have had a wonderful benefit as well. Every time we finish a week (each week focuses on one book) he says, "I've got to read that book!" I just ordered several of the books he's been exposed to from Paperback Book Swap! I'm so glad I got the workbook with all these great teasers in it. Not only is he learning to write, but he's asking for good children's literature instead of Pokemon or Bionicle books. Awesome! Thanks for the great curriculum, Ms. Bauer!
  25. Is there anyone out there who prefers finding their own sources for narration and dictation, thus PREFERRING to skip the workbooks? I'm trying to decide on whether to get the workbooks for next year (first grade). On one hand, I'll have a little infant; so I'll have far less time to hunt for passages, etc. Although I enjoy finding copywork sources now, having it all laid out for me, esp. the narration questions, for next year sounds tempting. Also, I'm impressed by the books SWB chose as sources.:001_smile: On the other hand, I'm a little hesitant about shifting from one book/source to another every week. Being the perfectionist that I am, I can see myself being tempted to try to read that selection every week as a read aloud-- and I'm just not quite convinced that's feasible. :confused: (And even if we could, should we? Maybe reading fewer books over a longer period of time (AO style) is actually better...) I agree with the WTM words here: "We strongly feel that 'reading texts' (books with snippets of stories and poems followed by comprehension exercises) turn reading into a chore." (Page 57 of the 2004 ed.) Since I agree with that statement, I'm a bit hesitant to use the WWE workbooks. After all, don't they contain just "snippets of stories" followed by narration questions? Hmmm....:glare: Those who have used the workbooks and those to prefer not to, please give your .02 worth! I'd appreciate it! Thanks!!!!
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