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Lost Tools of Writing...could we compare this to CW?


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Is anyone here using Lost Tools of Writing? I'm in a gathering information phase with regard to writing and this curriculum...:001_smile:

 

We're using CW Homer but of course it is going to take awhile for us to finish both A and B and we're already behind in that she is in 7th and still doing Homer (we won't be ready for Maxim until sometime in 8th and that is probably true even with our moving through Homer more quickly by skipping some of the narratives). I love CW and the details of this program. I know it will help me turn out a wonderful writer. Lately, dd has really started to bloom in writing (esp. since she has decided to become a writer). I can't help but wonder though if we could move through some of this differently or at least at a different pace.

 

Sooo...for those of you who have experience with Lost Tools of Writing could you help me compare it to CW. I know that CW doesn't teach the essay until Maxim. Does LTOW (Level 1 for grades 7-9) teach the essay? I know that Level 2 is behind schedule but does anyone know what will be taught in it? Could I use LTOW to catch dd up with the essay but then (in case Level 2 isn't out yet) go back to CW and move into Chreia or even Herodotus? Would this be losing too many skills taught in the previous levels that would be too hard to catch up with? For those of you who use LTOW which program do you use after it (Since Level 2 isn't out yet)? What would you use for grades 9 and up?

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I just started using the Lost Tools of Writing with my 6th and 5th grader. (My ds10 will go slower through the program.) And I want you to know that I have only just started with the program, but I love this program. You know how the MCT people feel about Mr. Thomas' love of language, that's how I feel about Mr. Kern's love of rhetoric. The program is truly amazing.

 

Search some of Karenciavo's threads on the Lost Tools of Writing. She is the reason I tried it out in the first place. After reading a couple of her threads (last year), I found that there was a workshop within driving distance from me and I was able to attend it. It was wonderful.

 

Basically, this program starts with a dialogue between teacher and student to teach the student how to write a thesis statement and how to prove your thesis. It is definitely advanced for my 5th grader, but it is so well written and organized that I can easily use it with my 5th grader.

 

The only pre-requisite is that a student be able to write a paragraph, as I understand it. The program is truly awesome. It holds the teachers hand with semi-scripted lessons included in the module workbook.

 

I like this program so much because, from the beginning, I can see where we are going and I can tweak as much as I want without sacrificing the content. Not only that, the program gives children the tools they need to apply writing across all subjects.

 

As for level 2, I believe it is being beta tested now with a classroom of high school students. (I could be wrong, but I base this on some materials I read on line.) Also, if you check Mr. Kern's website, he says that the second level will be out in March or April of this year.

 

Why more people don't use this program is beyond me. It is so easy to apply and Mr. Kern truly has a heart for ideas--which is the true focus of this program. I can not wait to really get deep into it with my kids. That's why I decided to start now rather than next school year.

 

By the way, our first essay to get our feet wet with this program, was whether we should get rid of our Wii.

 

I chose that topic because I knew my son would definitely have an opinion on this particular topic, and it is something we as a family are debating. By making the first topic personally relevant, I believe that my son will be more into the process, since he is not as mature as his sister.

 

I really look forward to using this writing program to discuss historically relevant ideas in the future.

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Kimber,

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've had LTOW in my plan for some time now but the only thing holding me back was wondering how it would play out with a child younger than the target age. Just today I told myself to forget about LTOW and start looking for something else for dd10. Now I want it all over again :001_smile:. I'm so happy to hear your review.

 

Carolyn

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By the way, I used Classical Writing and I just couldn't wrap my head around the program. I assume now it was because I couldn't see the big picture with the program and I am a big picture person. I just didn't get it. The LToW I get.

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Thank you Kimber! This is really helpful and I feel better knowing that Level 2 is definitely closer to being available. If we switched programs later this year and then finished Level 1 of LTOW, then enough time will have elapsed and Level 2 should already be out.

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Kimber,

If you don't mind a question...Actually, I was concerned with one other issue besides age. My dd10 is a competent writer, advanced in some areas, average in others and slightly unmotivated if th subject doesn't tickle her fancy. BUT, my concern was...how time intensive are you finding this program to be for YOU? I usually commit one hour to writing for dd. I can teach, guide, etc. with her but I can't get lost in a writing exercise with her. My ds8 has significant special needs and really, truly needs me for everything. I want the best for dd but ds can't get lost in the process.

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The schedule calls for two lesson days with the teacher per week. The rest of the time the student should be working more or less independently. But the lessons do get progressively more involved as time goes on, and I haven't gotten that far.

 

Hopefully, some one with more experience can chime in. Personally, I allot about 30-45 minutes for teaching a subject with my kids.

 

One thing that is handy is a big white board for writing on during discussion time. That is really helpful, if you have more than one student.

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KFamily,

 

I received your pm and thought I would respond here in case any one else is interested. Yes, I have used and loved both CW and Lost Tools of Writing. Here is my conclusion: there are many roads to Rome.

 

How's that for an answer. :D

 

Honestly, I can't believe how much I stressed myself out trying to decide between these two programs. They are both great. They are both going to produce good writers and good thinkers. They cover roughly the same material but come at it from different angles; in fact they are quite complementary that way and I know people who use both. However, I don't recommend stressing yourself out taking that route!

 

Here is a thread from the Circe forum discussing how LTW fits in with the progymnasmata.

 

I also copied and reread posts from people who understand rhetoric and good writing; their conclusions were the same. Both programs are going to the same place ultimately.

 

So then there are other things to consider when making the choice. How much time/teacher intensiveness do you want? How many years do you have? Do you want to integrate? Do you want to combine children?

 

These are the things that led me to go with LTW this year. It takes less time weekly; I can combine my children; and it was very easy to combine LTW with Omnibus--that was a huge plus for me.

 

Your children have a large age gap so combining isn't really a consideration for you.

 

Re: teacher intensiveness, it's apples and oranges. CW requires time in the lesson, working through concepts, etc. LTW requires teacher prep time up front, planning out the lesson, but less time weekly presenting it and more time of the student working on exercises and drafts on his own. Generally the LTW way fit better for me; however there were/are plenty of busy weeks where I don't get to writing at all because I didn't prep and I find myself thinking about the CW workbook ;)

 

The emphasis on invention and thinking in LTW was a also a huge draw for me and I have been pleased. And switching to LTW allowed me to start giving my oldest tough essay tests for Omnibus. I tell him to use what he has learned in LTW to answer the questions. He makes a mini ANI in the margin, outlines his thoughts and writes up a concise 5 paragraph timed essay. I wanted to start doing that this year, so LTW was a good move for us.

 

Again consider your goals. You'll get to that 5 paragraph essay with CW, just a little later.

 

Re your question about speeding up the levels, by all means. That's one of the drawbacks of the CW workbooks, feeling tied to that schedule. But the core makes it clear that you can move on if the child has mastered the skill.

 

Now that I have praised LTW, let me say this about CW. CW has a whole lot going on other than writing, grammar exercises, logic exercises, rhetoric exercises all integrated in there. That's part of the reason they go so slowly through the levels. So you have to be mindful of your goals.

 

AS far as switching back on forth... some people combine LTW with classical composition because CC goes through the levels more quickly. Most people agree that CW is too complete and meaty to be used as a supplement.

 

Having taught college composition, I can tell you that anyone completing LTW level 1 will be ahead of the game. So I wouldn't worry about that. Level 2 is almost finished and I have seen a copy of the Table of Contents. Level 1 covers the persuasive essay, level 2 refines the essay and covers judicial, narrative, comparative, and deliberative discourse. As well as new invention exercises and elocution (style).

 

You can join the LTW yahoo group for more info about the levels. They plan to put out 4 levels. But even if they don't finish, I plan to complete levels 1 and 2 and then just assign writing topics in other courses, possibly covering a few progym topics here and there as well.

 

There are other options for covering the progym than CW. CC, IEW's progym, the college progym textbook (whose name escapes me at the moment and I don't want to go to my shelf and look it up), whatever SWB has planned for that.

 

I don't know if that helps at all. IF CW is working, you may want to speed it up and just stay with it. You can always switch over to LTW in high school, and CW will have provided a great foundation.

 

Did I even answer your question at all?

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KFamily,

 

I received your pm and thought I would respond here in case any one else is interested. Yes, I have used and loved both CW and Lost Tools of Writing. Here is my conclusion: there are many roads to Rome.

 

How's that for an answer. :D

 

Honestly, I can't believe how much I stressed myself out trying to decide between these two programs. They are both great. They are both going to produce good writers and good thinkers. They cover roughly the same material but come at it from different angles; in fact they are quite complementary that way and I know people who use both. However, I don't recommend stressing yourself out taking that route!

 

Here is a thread from the Circe forum discussing how LTW fits in with the progymnasmata.

 

I also copied and reread posts from people who understand rhetoric and good writing; their conclusions were the same. Both programs are going to the same place ultimately.

 

So then there are other things to consider when making the choice. How much time/teacher intensiveness do you want? How many years do you have? Do you want to integrate? Do you want to combine children?

 

These are the things that led me to go with LTW this year. It takes less time weekly; I can combine my children; and it was very easy to combine LTW with Omnibus--that was a huge plus for me.

 

Your children have a large age gap so combining isn't really a consideration for you.

 

Re: teacher intensiveness, it's apples and oranges. CW requires time in the lesson, working through concepts, etc. LTW requires teacher prep time up front, planning out the lesson, but less time weekly presenting it and more time of the student working on exercises and drafts on his own. Generally the LTW way fit better for me; however there were/are plenty of busy weeks where I don't get to writing at all because I didn't prep and I find myself thinking about the CW workbook ;)

 

The emphasis on invention and thinking in LTW was a also a huge draw for me and I have been pleased. And switching to LTW allowed me to start giving my oldest tough essay tests for Omnibus. I tell him to use what he has learned in LTW to answer the questions. He makes a mini ANI in the margin, outlines his thoughts and writes up a concise 5 paragraph timed essay. I wanted to start doing that this year, so LTW was a good move for us.

 

Again consider your goals. You'll get to that 5 paragraph essay with CW, just a little later.

 

Re your question about speeding up the levels, by all means. That's one of the drawbacks of the CW workbooks, feeling tied to that schedule. But the core makes it clear that you can move on if the child has mastered the skill.

 

Now that I have praised LTW, let me say this about CW. CW has a whole lot going on other than writing, grammar exercises, logic exercises, rhetoric exercises all integrated in there. That's part of the reason they go so slowly through the levels. So you have to be mindful of your goals.

 

AS far as switching back on forth... some people combine LTW with classical composition because CC goes through the levels more quickly. Most people agree that CW is too complete and meaty to be used as a supplement.

 

Having taught college composition, I can tell you that anyone completing LTW level 1 will be ahead of the game. So I wouldn't worry about that. Level 2 is almost finished and I have seen a copy of the Table of Contents. Level 1 covers the persuasive essay, level 2 refines the essay and covers judicial, narrative, comparative, and deliberative discourse. As well as new invention exercises and elocution (style).

 

You can join the LTW yahoo group for more info about the levels. They plan to put out 4 levels. But even if they don't finish, I plan to complete levels 1 and 2 and then just assign writing topics in other courses, possibly covering a few progym topics here and there as well.

 

There are other options for covering the progym than CW. CC, IEW's progym, the college progym textbook (whose name escapes me at the moment and I don't want to go to my shelf and look it up), whatever SWB has planned for that.

 

I don't know if that helps at all. IF CW is working, you may want to speed it up and just stay with it. You can always switch over to LTW in high school, and CW will have provided a great foundation.

 

Did I even answer your question at all?

 

Thank you so much for posting this response. It's very helpful!

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KFamily,

 

I received your pm and thought I would respond here in case any one else is interested. Yes, I have used and loved both CW and Lost Tools of Writing. Here is my conclusion: there are many roads to Rome.

 

How's that for an answer. :D

 

Honestly, I can't believe how much I stressed myself out trying to decide between these two programs. They are both great. They are both going to produce good writers and good thinkers. They cover roughly the same material but come at it from different angles; in fact they are quite complementary that way and I know people who use both. However, I don't recommend stressing yourself out taking that route!

 

Here is a thread from the Circe forum discussing how LTW fits in with the progymnasmata.

 

I also copied and reread posts from people who understand rhetoric and good writing; their conclusions were the same. Both programs are going to the same place ultimately.

 

So then there are other things to consider when making the choice. How much time/teacher intensiveness do you want? How many years do you have? Do you want to integrate? Do you want to combine children?

 

These are the things that led me to go with LTW this year. It takes less time weekly; I can combine my children; and it was very easy to combine LTW with Omnibus--that was a huge plus for me.

 

Having taught college composition, I can tell you that anyone completing LTW level 1 will be ahead of the game. So I wouldn't worry about that. Level 2 is almost finished and I have seen a copy of the Table of Contents. Level 1 covers the persuasive essay, level 2 refines the essay and covers judicial, narrative, comparative, and deliberative discourse. As well as new invention exercises and elocution (style).

 

Did I even answer your question at all?

 

 

Yes, thank you! These are all of the reasons that I am choosing LTW.

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KFamily,

 

 

Now that I have praised LTW, let me say this about CW. CW has a whole lot going on other than writing, grammar exercises, logic exercises, rhetoric exercises all integrated in there. That's part of the reason they go so slowly through the levels. So you have to be mindful of your goals.

 

 

Angelina, Thank you for your response. That was so helpful! I think the above quote explains why I'm still on the fence. Will all the other "baggage" in CW help me achieve my goals, or will it be a burden I can't wait to toss overboard? One minute I think I want more all-in-one and the next I'm thinking through subjects individually. And my other fear is that noone loves Homer until after they have finished it :D.

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