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Writing Approaches: WWE/WTM, CW, and Bravewriter


Annabel Lee
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Can those of you who use (or have used - whether you loathed or loved) CW or BW discuss the underlying philosophy, approach, and end scope/outcome of these programs?

 

I thought I was set on continuing WWE plus the few R&S writing assignments for some mechanics, then continuing w/ WTM writing + R&S throughout logic stage. I very well may still end up with that. I've been reading alot about/from CW and wonder if we're missing something.

 

Then I ran into a discussion around here about CW hindering a child's own writing voice and that Bravewriter plus WTM would be better. Thoughts on this, hive? I've yet to even look at the BW site. My draw to CW is that it can be multifunctional, but that's not a necessity I'm glued to.

 

CW & BW users, how heavy is your LA load, and what other LA do you use in addition to CW or BW, or integrate w/ CW or BW? What did/do you love, loathe, leave out, etc.?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Well, I used CW for just a bit. Really, it was just too much for me to keep up with. My ds was doing just fine with it, but it was probably a little much for him at his age. The day I decided we're going back to WWE a huge weight lifted off me. My ds too. He never complains about writing any more. It was a good choice for us and I'm not going to waver again. We'll finish out WWE and then move onto SWB's suggestions for Logic stage writing. I'll figure out HS when we get closer. I found out that with 4 children close in age to teach I need to not stress out about a subject and the subject can't take a disproportionate amount of time (writing was taking my ds forever... he's a slow writer). This year has started wonderfully using WWE for everyone but the K'er. He's doing copywork.

 

I like the idea of CW, but I will wait to reconsider it at HS when my kids can be more independent with learning it. Just my experience... many here use CW and love it! I tried, it just wasn't for us. I really don't think you'd be missing anything if you waited until your kids are older to use CW. I know SWB recommends it for HS. I have no experience with BW sorry...

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We use Classical Writing. I do not consider it incompatible with WWE. WWE covers similar concepts that early CW does (Aesop). WWE does not continue beyond the early concepts. (that isn't a criticism of WWE - it's not intended to). Classical writing focuses on content. It teaches the fundamental tools to build paragraphs. Then it moves on to logic. It teaches the building blocks of what makes a logic argument: How to determine effective information to support thesis. What makes effective supporting information. In Herodotus these skills are expanded and formal logic is included in the study. We are getting ready to start Plutarch. In the upper levels the studies incorporate Rhetoric.

 

With CW, the focus is always the content. They study the best writings as examples to see why things work and why they don't. My daughter really has developed a terrific understanding of quality writing and effective persuasion. The maturity of her writing has astounded me.

 

For early writing you could choose CW or WWE but WWE will end after those early skills so you'd have to choose something else. You could move to CW at that point (starting with Homer).

 

Bravewriter is a completely different approach.

 

Heather

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Can those of you who use (or have used - whether you loathed or loved) CW or BW discuss the underlying philosophy, approach, and end scope/outcome of these programs?

 

WWE and CW come from the same philosophy. CW is just working with higher level concepts.

 

BW is a totally different approach.

 

Basically they are opposites as writing philosophies though they use some of the same tools (copywork, dictation).

 

WWE and CW are based on the Progymnasmata and is a introduce a concept, master and use it approach. BW is based on Ruth Beechick (RB) philosophy expanded by the author who is a professional writer. RB is still alive, though in her 90's I believe, so it is a modern philosophy. RB also advocates a spiral learning approach: introduce all topics then randomly cover them through the year till mastery.

 

RB and BW will also do dictation and copywork in early years, also encourages the parent to write for the child when needed, but also has a focus on creative writing that just didn't work here. It ended up me thinking up ideas and my dd choosing which ones she liked as if off a multiple choice test. It wasn't her writing, really, and it was a lot of work for me. That said I would buy The Writer's Jungle again in a heart beat because it changed how I view writing, even through it didn't work for me as a program. A good RB book to read is The Language Wars.

 

The spiral approach also doesn't work that well here. My oldest is a random thinker and she did best with it, she did master the concepts. The rest of my kids are concrete thinkers and do best learning one thing at a time to mastery. My 3rd dd is still finishing up the dictation/grammar exercises from LA 2 (she was a late reader and did SL LA K twice-SL LA is also RB) and despite covering synonyms for 2+ years and negatives (not, no) in a sentences she will still ask me what they mean every time. She just doesn't see it enough for it to stick. Though they do quotation work enough that she has quotation punctuation down pat. Guess it depends on how often it gets spiraled in.

 

CW allows the child to wait to come up with original content till they are developmentally old enough. At the same time it works on the ability to manipulate content. I can't tell you how many times in school I would sit staring at the paper (talking college) and I would know that something was stated awkwardly, but I just couldn't think of any other way to state it than what I had said. CW gives the child tools to get out of those corners. In the process it gives them lots of practice working with tense, matching plural/singular, those practical skills that so many people make mistakes with become second nature in CW.

 

 

Then I ran into a discussion around here about CW hindering a child's own writing voice and that Bravewriter plus WTM would be better. Thoughts on this, hive? I've yet to even look at the BW site. My draw to CW is that it can be multifunctional, but that's not a necessity I'm glued to.

 

??? I would like to know how. I honestly don't get it, especially since WWE and CW is based on the same philosophy. I will admit that BW has a big focus on a child finding their voice and CW and WWE don't even discuss it.

 

Put it this way my dh is reading a book my oldest wrote right now, and the first thing he told me about it was that he can totally see her style in it, like she were sitting there telling it to him instead of reading it. That to me sound like she has found her voice, and CW hasn't hindered it.

 

CW & BW users, how heavy is your LA load, and what other LA do you use in addition to CW or BW, or integrate w/ CW or BW? What did/do you love, loathe, leave out, etc.?

 

Thanks in advance!

BW hands down will be a lighter load, because it is a relaxed philosophy. RB is one of the gals who advocates only covering grammar once in Jr. High and once in High School, that any more is wasted because you can have a child who can master grammar and not write well, but a child who can write well usually has a good grammar "ear" without lots of formal study. The goal according to RB is to read a lot of good writing, so that the child will naturally imitate it.

 

CW is a heavy load, but I don't think over the top heavy. My dd's still do spelling, but we don't do the spelling in Aesop. Instead of doing most of the CW grammar I use JAG and AG. I have been having my oldest time her work for a couple of months, so I will try to get back to you with times tomorrow. I just need to pull the sheets, tally and average them. Many people get around the work load problem by dropping the poetry and doing the main program at half pace. They do the analysis one week and the writing the next. Aesop that probably isn't needed because it isn't a heavy schedule, but with homer there are 20 weeks in A and in B. If you do each over 2 weeks that is 40 weeks to squeeze into a 36 week school year. Not comfortable but probably doable. Do the first couple at normal pace given the models are short and you can probably drop the last one, now you have 36 weeks. Because we hs year around on a schedule that gives her a break every 2 weeks we don't have problems with the workload. She knows a break is coming, so she can buck it up and do all the work.

 

Heather

Edited by siloam
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WWE and CW come from the same philosophy. CW is just working with higher level concepts.

 

I see that they do; just that SWB has the progym getting explicit practice in high school. Do you think CW ends (at 12th gr.) with higher level concepts than the WWE/WTM approach or do you think they're about even by then?

 

I just haven't decided if it's worth all the effort to have my kid writing law by 12th grade. I agree w/ what SWB writes about the need to study logic & formal rhetoric in hs, but even in my loftiest imaginary goals I've never dreamed of my kids knowing how to write law by the end of HS.

 

BW is a totally different approach.

 

Yep, it's like comparing apples and jellyfish. I saw that discussion about it and at the time it gave me pause. I was thinking of adding BW to WWE/WTM writing, but now that I've had some time I think that might be overkill. That I would consider BW means I'm open to leaving the orchard altogher and swimming w/ jellyfish. I'm not strictly looking for progym-only writing programs, ETA: but if I did pick a non-progym-based one, I'd want to keep the WTM writing around too. So maybe I am... (???)

 

Thanks for the background and description of BW; it's hard (so far, anyhow) to get a feel for it from their site. I've yet to do a google search to see if samples are somewhere on the web.

 

As for the comments about CW hindering voice, they said it, not me (ducking your thrown apples). :D It's very generous of you to offer up times CW takes in your home! But really, you don't need to do that for me. You're an old pro at it, and I'm still confounded with the SW & IG matching up to the core; so your times will be different than what it will be for me.

 

Why can't they just write it (all authors, any writing program) in simpler format? Simple like CLE, Abeka, SOTW, etc. It would be great if there were just one TM, with "Week 1, Day 1", and *everything* you need for it right there, AND it would match the Week 1 Day 1 student pages perfectly, with all skill level options laid out right there. No flipping around to other books and trying to remember which book the page numbers referenced are from. *sigh* I'll stop since complaining won't get me anywhere. <pouting>

Edited by Annabel Lee
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I see that they do; just that SWB has the progym getting explicit practice in high school. Do you think CW ends (at 12th gr.) with higher level concepts than the WWE/WTM approach or do you think they're about even by then?

 

I don't know for sure where SWB is going. I do have one of her earlier writing tapes, but it has more broad strokes vs. detailed points. I trust SWB enough to say that she will get you where you need to go. CW might go father, I haven't really looked that far ahead other than to see they cover thesis work. But as you said it might be that the child doesn't really need to go as far as CW might take you.

 

 

Thanks for the background and description of BW; it's hard (so far, anyhow) to get a feel for it from their site. I've yet to do a google search to see if samples are somewhere on the web.

 

The Writer's Jungle really does help you see writing as another form of communication. It was a foundational shift in how I thought about writing, so if you can afford it, it is a good read. But it isn't cheap. I actually stopped using it before I found CW, because the concrete how to do this didn't fit us, and I couldn't come up with a good substitute. I think those who are more creative are more drawn to it, because even the way it is implemented is more creative.

 

As for the comments about CW hindering voice, they said it, not me (ducking your thrown apples). :D It's very generous of you to offer up times CW takes in your home! But really, you don't need to do that for me. You're an old pro at it, and I'm still confounded with the SW & IG matching up to the core; so your times will be different than what it will be for me.

 

:smilielol5: No apples, promise!

 

Why can't they just write it (all authors, any writing program) in simpler format? Simple like CLE, Abeka, SOTW, etc. It would be great if there were just one TM, with "Week 1, Day 1", and *everything* you need for it right there, AND it would match the Week 1 Day 1 student pages perfectly, with all skill level options laid out right there. No flipping around to other books and trying to remember which book the page numbers referenced are from. *sigh* I'll stop since complaining won't get me anywhere. <pouting>

 

You are not the only one to ask. The reason why is you have three hsing moms who are trying to get their kids school done while writing an unfinished writing program. They just don't have time right now. Eventually they might go down that road, but it has interesting copyright issues, given two own the right on one part and anther owns the right of the other.

 

Heather

 

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