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Love2Smile

Looking back if you could recommend ONE writing program...

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To use all the way thru, what would it be?

 

I am really tired of researching writing programs.

I have Writing Strands, LLATL, Wordsmith Series and will be using Sonlight for history and possibly LA.

 

I want to stick with one and use it from middle school thru highschool

 

What if any of those or others do you like and think does a good job if used consistantly?

 

edit to add: We are really not interested in IEW. I have researched it A LOT and it just is not for me...I know many people may suggest that one!

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I would say IEW. It has a few cons, namely that if you use it consistently for several years it can feel stifling to fit in all the dress ups, etc., within your writing. But overall I feel it has a very good chance of producing capable writers. I like how it can be used for many levels, and that it is flexible across the curriculum.

 

I just want to say that I've used a lot of different writing programs, and that's the one I'd keep if I could only have one.

 

GardenMom

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I would say IEW. It has a few cons, namely that if you use it consistently for several years it can feel stifling to fit in all the dress ups, etc., within your writing. But overall I feel it has a very good chance of producing capable writers. I like how it can be used for many levels, and that it is flexible across the curriculum.

 

I just want to say that I've used a lot of different writing programs, and that's the one I'd keep if I could only have one.

 

GardenMom

eek!

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I may be in the minority, but I don't see the need for a writing program. Read the WTM, download and listen to SWB's lectures "A Plan for Teaching Writing" for the middle school and high school years and put those recommendations to use. It isn't as complicated as it seems. At least I didn't think it was, though perhaps my ignorance of the benefits of writing curricula has kept me feeling blissful all these years!! But my boys write well, so something is working.

 

I've used The Lively Art of Writing as a reference tool, reading sections of it to my teens as needed, and am currently having my youngest ds read Kane's New Oxford Guide to Writing. Assuming your kids are fairly well read and have a grasp of grammar, they should be handling narrations well and be starting to write persuasive essays or short reports. Practice makes perfect -- the more they write and re-write to fix mistakes, the better they'll get. And I think it makes sense to have writing assignments tie into content, which is how I understand the WTM to work, so why add another subject to the load each week?

 

Doesn't Sonlight have lots of writing prompts in its history and LA programs? Using those as starting points I would think would be enough -- you probably just need to find the confidence to trust in yourself and your kids. So, go to Peace Hill Press and purchase those two lectures. For less than $10 you'll get a game plan AND peace of mind.

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I may be in the minority, but I don't see the need for a writing program. Read the WTM, download and listen to SWB's lectures "A Plan for Teaching Writing" for the middle school and high school years and put those recommendations to use. It isn't as complicated as it seems. At least I didn't think it was, though perhaps my ignorance of the benefits of writing curricula has kept me feeling blissful all these years!! But my boys write well, so something is working.

 

I've used The Lively Art of Writing as a reference tool, reading sections of it to my teens as needed, and am currently having my youngest ds read Kane's New Oxford Guide to Writing. Assuming your kids are fairly well read and have a grasp of grammar, they should be handling narrations well and be starting to write persuasive essays or short reports. Practice makes perfect -- the more they write and re-write to fix mistakes, the better they'll get. And I think it makes sense to have writing assignments tie into content, which is how I understand the WTM to work, so why add another subject to the load each week?

 

Doesn't Sonlight have lots of writing prompts in its history and LA programs? Using those as starting points I would think would be enough -- you probably just need to find the confidence to trust in yourself and your kids. So, go to Peace Hill Press and purchase those two lectures. For less than $10 you'll get a game plan AND peace of mind.

Well I like your idea! Yes, SL has lots and LOTS of writing prompts. I guess my fear is my girls not knowing how to write an essay or the different types of essays. My girls actually thrive with creative writing and especially my younger one was stumped when we tried Jump In this year. She could not write one single word, but when I ask her to write creatively she can whip out 2 pages.

So far I feel we will use SL's LA/writing and add in Writing Strands. My 9th grader currently uses it and likes it and it's easy to implement.

Also, I can pick up a student handbook such as WriteSource to have on hand. I really struggle with writing! And yes, both are excellent with grammar and reading. Both everything re: capitalization, word usage, puntucation etc..in fact after this year, I am not even going to teach anymore grammar. I wont to focus on reading and writing as far as LA goes

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Well, I can't help you cause we are sold on IEW. I wasn't sure for a long time, but after going through the whole thing with Pudewa in person and using in our home for years. I believe it's the way to go....

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I don't think its necessary either to have a writing program. The most important think is to make your kids write. Lots and lots and lots!

 

I purchased Write Source (for 4th and 7th grade) and use it as jumping off point. I will use it for many years to come.

 

For my 7th/8th grader especially she goes from one writing assignment to the next. She has written several biographies this year, book reports and then just general type writing (describing a place, describing a historical landmark, etc).

 

As soon as she finishes one writing assignment she is given another. And she is making amazing progress!! When she began homeschooling in September she would be in tears after the first draft. Her first writing assignment literally took about 10 drafts.

 

Her last assignment (turned in on Friday) was so beautifully done. I was so proud of her and she was so proud of herself.

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I don't think its necessary either to have a writing program. The most important think is to make your kids write. Lots and lots and lots!

 

I purchased Write Source (for 4th and 7th grade) and use it as jumping off point. I will use it for many years to come.

 

For my 7th/8th grader especially she goes from one writing assignment to the next. She has written several biographies this year, book reports and then just general type writing (describing a place, describing a historical landmark, etc).

 

As soon as she finishes one writing assignment she is given another. And she is making amazing progress!! When she began homeschooling in September she would be in tears after the first draft. Her first writing assignment literally took about 10 drafts.

 

Her last assignment (turned in on Friday) was so beautifully done. I was so proud of her and she was so proud of herself.

These assignments that your daughter are doing, are they coming out of Write Source or do you make up your own?

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I may be in the minority, but I don't see the need for a writing program. Read the WTM, download and listen to SWB's lectures "A Plan for Teaching Writing" for the middle school and high school years and put those recommendations to use. It isn't as complicated as it seems.

So, go to Peace Hill Press and purchase those two lectures. For less than $10 you'll get a game plan AND peace of mind.

 

I agree. I would add the Rod & Staff English Handbook as a reference for grammar as well as the vairous types of essays (persuasive, expository, descriptive and narrative.)But that's it!

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I would say IEW. It has a few cons, namely that if you use it consistently for several years it can feel stifling to fit in all the dress ups, etc., within your writing. But overall I feel it has a very good chance of producing capable writers. I like how it can be used for many levels, and that it is flexible across the curriculum.

 

I just want to say that I've used a lot of different writing programs, and that's the one I'd keep if I could only have one.

 

GardenMom

 

I completely agree with GardenMom. IEW has taken my son from a capable write to an excellent writer who uses lots of variety in his sentences.

 

We used SL LA & its associated writing for a couple of years. While that got ds writing fairly easily, his writing was very simplistic -- simple sentences & basic vocabulary. He's in his 3rd year with IEW, and while he sometimes complains about fitting in all the stylistic techniques, he's finding it easier and easier as he writes more mature sentences naturally now. We'll probably use IEW for one more year, and then he'll just do essays and reports based upon his history & english readings.

 

I borrowed TWSS from a friend and watched those tapes myself. Then we started with the Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons, followed by Medieval Writing Lessons, and now we're using the US History Based Lessons. The US History-Based Lessons provide a nice intro into high school writing, liked timed writing, essay writing, research reports, etc.

 

I discounted IEW for a long time due to the price. I also bought one of the SWI series, and we didn't like them very much. The history-based lessons have been a great fit here. I also tried Writing Strands, Wordsmith, Brave Writer and Put That in Writing on my guinea pig (e.g. oldest....), and we like IEW the best.

 

Brenda

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These assignments that your daughter are doing, are they coming out of Write Source or do you make up your own?

 

Its been a combination.

 

I get a lot of ideas out of the Write Source book. We don't sit there and read through the book though. Over the summer I put stickies on all the writing topics I liked and have been having her work through them.

 

They also have some really good rubrics and outlines that have helped her learn how to gather her materials, take notes and then begin writing.

 

Writing was something that just came naturally to me as a child/young adult so I tend to take a more hands off/organic approach to teaching it. That is why I don't particularly like having her read the book like it was a textbook and why I am not a fan of most writing programs.

 

This is the book I am using-

 

http://thewritesource.com/books/textbooks/write_source_7/

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Its been a combination.

 

I get a lot of ideas out of the Write Source book. We don't sit there and read through the book though. Over the summer I put stickies on all the writing topics I liked and have been having her work through them.

 

They also have some really good rubrics and outlines that have helped her learn how to gather her materials, take notes and then begin writing.

 

Writing was something that just came naturally to me as a child/young adult so I tend to take a more hands off/organic approach to teaching it. That is why I don't particularly like having her read the book like it was a textbook and why I am not a fan of most writing programs.

 

This is the book I am using-

 

http://thewritesource.com/books/textbooks/write_source_7/

OKay, great! Did you also get the teacher's ed? or just the students books?

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OKay, great! Did you also get the teacher's ed? or just the students books?

 

I got the teachers edition for my son (4th grade) and I rarely use it. You need either the student book or the teachers manual but I don't think both. Plus the teachers manual is ridiculously expensive.

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Write with the Best

 

Plus maybe Jenson Format Writing if a kid needs essay help.

 

Shrunk and White Elements

and Eats, Shoots Leaves for the fun of it or to cement some grammar.

 

I agree with a pp.

 

This does not have to be as hard and convoluted as some publishers would have you think to get you to spend an insane amount of money, imo.

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Write with the Best

 

Plus maybe Jenson Format Writing if a kid needs essay help.

 

Shrunk and White Elements

and Eats, Shoots Leaves for the fun of it or to cement some grammar.

 

I agree with a pp.

 

This does not have to be as hard and convoluted as some publishers would have you think to get you to spend an insane amount of money, imo.

I just looked at "write with the best" at CBD.

Can you tell me what ages this is for and how many vol.'s there are?

It looks good!

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I just looked at "write with the best" at CBD.

Can you tell me what ages this is for and how many vol.'s there are?

It looks good!

 

vol 1 is for grades 3 - 12

vol 2 is for grades 6 - 12

 

Each is divided into topic units and each unit has 10 days, with day 10 being the final draft of the paper.

 

The checklists are great tools and worth the very affordable price by themselves.

 

Each unit starts by giving an excerpt of classic literature that emulates the kind of writing assignment they will be doing. There's usually a day or two of finding similiar such writing in other classics, some grammar and or writing style discussed, then they get started writing their own paper.

 

I think it is very well done and my boys are really enjoying it and I'm seeing great improvment in their writing.

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I outsourced mine, because I just couldn't edit--I saw everything that was wrong and couldn't focus on the good stuff, mostly because my own writing is very intuitive.

Write@Home uses Lively Art of Writing in the Essay 1 class. I think it's a clear presentation of how to develop a thesis statement, what to include in the body of an essay, and how to conclude the essay.

That, along with SWB's lectures and lots and lots of practice, would be the way I'd go now. I'd also consider getting an editing service to look over at least 5 or 6 of the papers I assigned. That way, someone else could help!

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vol 1 is for grades 3 - 12

vol 2 is for grades 6 - 12

 

Each is divided into topic units and each unit has 10 days, with day 10 being the final draft of the paper.

 

The checklists are great tools and worth the very affordable price by themselves.

 

Each unit starts by giving an excerpt of classic literature that emulates the kind of writing assignment they will be doing. There's usually a day or two of finding similiar such writing in other classics, some grammar and or writing style discussed, then they get started writing their own paper.

 

I think it is very well done and my boys are really enjoying it and I'm seeing great improvment in their writing.

Martha, so obviously my 7th grader with little writing experience would use Book one. My 10th grader who can write creatively but has not written too many essays, papers, etc..should also use vol. 1?

 

Do you plan on any other writing curriculum for your boys?

What else do you use?

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Martha, so obviously my 7th grader with little writing experience would use Book one. My 10th grader who can write creatively but has not written too many essays, papers, etc..should also use vol. 1?

 

Do you plan on any other writing curriculum for your boys?

What else do you use?

 

I use Primary language lessons (2-3 grades), then in addition to WWTB I use intermediate language lessons (4 - 6 grades), and I might use Lingua Mater (for 7th grade son #2 hated it, but son #3 might like it. Son #1 never used either.)

 

Vol 1 covers these 9 units

writing a descriptive paragraph - an object

writing a descriptive paragraph - a place

writing a descriptive paragraph - a character

writing dialogue

writing a short story (combining previous units into a short story)

writing a fable

writing a friendly letter

writing poetry - rhyming verse

writing poetry - a ballad/narrative poem

 

Vol 2 covers these 8 units

writing poetry - free verse

writing a business letter

taking notes, writing outlines, writing summaries

writing essays - persuasive & expository

writing a literary critique & a book review

writing a newspaper article

writing a speech

writing a dramatic monologue

 

I think starting with vol 1 and working our way through vol 2 is not a waste of time, regardless of grade level. Every unit has a checklist for proofreading and for evaluating a grade that are very helpful.

 

Looking over the list, I think a strong student might just need some pointers to do other types of essays and a weaker student might need a stronger course, thus I might pull in Jensen Format Writing for a year after completing vol 2 for either student. I truely think this combined with being well read is enough. I wish I had done this with my oldest, my poor guinea pig firstborn.

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