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Writing- ahhh!


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I am really struggling with teaching writing to my 5th grader. She's a reluctant writer to begin with. We started hsing her 4th grade year, so we're really only a year and a half into me being in the driver's seat. I attended SWB's writing workshop last May and I've tried to follow her plan this year. Here's the problem- without an actual curriculum for me to follow, I'm doing a terrible job of keeping her on track with dictation and narration. I'm also not really confident about what to do or expect from narration, because this year is our first year doing it. I feel like I'm really letting her writing skills slip. I feel bad that I'm this dependent on an actual curriculum, but there are so many things going on right now (we're in the middle of a big move) and I just need to find a little more accountability.


Is there any writing curriculum out there that roughly follows the steps that SWB spells out?


I've looked at CW and I'm thinking if we used it, we'd start right at the beginning. Any feedback on that?



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Hi Shannon.. I have a 10 yr old 4th grader (Dec birthday) who is also a reluctant writer. We are coming to the end of CW Aesop (three lessons to go).


First of all, I don't know why you feel bad that you want a writing curriculum to use, many people use writing curricula and they are recommended in the WTM. I haven't been to any writing workshops, so I can't really speak to that, but personally I really need the structure of a curriculum to get me through this subject with ds, and I consider myself a fairly strong writer.


Second, I think it would be fine for you to start CW at the beginning; would you be using the grammar aspect of the program? How strong is your dd already in grammar? That part, at the Aesop level, may be easy for her so you could treat it as review and move quicker through those parts, kwim?


Speaking for my ds, who literally would collapse in tears when I would ask him to write *anything* just a year and a half ago, CW has made an amazing difference. It has spilled over into other subjects, so that he doesn't balk at writing narrations in history, science, etc. as he used to. I'm sure increased maturity played a factor as well, but he has really done well under a structured program.





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We use Writing Tales. It is a gentle approach to writing. I just started using WT1 with my 5th grade son. He was a late reader and writer.


I have not heard SWB talk on writing so I can't comment regarding if WT follows her writing steps. I do know it uses a classical approach to writing.


Hope you find something that will work for you and your dd.



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...it's carrying over to other subjects. Without complaint either, I must say. In September, he still melted to write 5 sentences for a journal entry.


I have always questioned whether or not I was expecting enough from this ds because he was so pencil-phobic up through 2nd/3rd grade. A five word copywork sentence reduced him to tears. I just stayed diligent and slowly increased the amount of copywork and dictation. His narrations have always been oral (w/me typing) and we spent time talking about word usage, sentence structure, etc., in an informal way. It has paid off because he has now started to do this on his own. In many ways, I truly believe that for some children, the timing has to be right for all this to click. I don't think I could have pushed him to it any sooner and I'm happy to see the fruit now. The leap he has made since September is awesome and I expect that type of thing will happen again over the next few years.


Hope this helps!

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