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Writing/Reading Strands?

Cheri Warren

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We have used Writing Strands a little bit. My older children didn't like it, but my fourth child absolutely loves it. Of course, she is very enthusiastic about school and anything she can read and figure out herself is perfect for her.


I have Reading Strands, and I have read it, but I haven't really sat down and used it as a textbook. It isn't designed that way. The book is intended to teach you how to discuss literature with your children using the Socratic method. My husband loves it because he used to love speech and debate in high school and it fits his personality to ask those kinds of questions all the time.


I will admit that it has been a few years since I read it, since we have been using SL for our literature, but sometimes I will ditch the instructor's guide and ask my own questions.


If you are comfortable asking your own questions, you may not need the book, but it does give literature and reading suggestions and could be useful if you feel you need a little help and guidance discussing literature with your children.


As for Writing Strands, it says to spend a week writing, then take a week off to discuss your reading together. I would imagine this is how the two books work together. I don't recall any real writing assignments from Reading Strands.


Writing Strands also looks deceptively simple. We have only used levels 2, 3, and 4 here, and they were too easy for my older children. Now, I am considering having them do the upper levels, as that is where the work becomes challenging.


Level 3 is perfect for my enthusiastic eight-year-old, while my ten-year-old struggles with it. Now that our family is learning what does and does not work well for us, and after perusing the books some more, I would even say to finish WWE or some other program through grade 4, 5, or 6 depending on the needs of your child (we like The Writing Road to Reading, but find it very time consuming for me to teach), then use Writing Strands to continue, beginning with Level 3, 4, or even 5 depending on your child's skills. I am currently using Writing Strands to fill in the gaps on days I can't implement Spalding (TWRTR) in full. My children can do Writing Strands independently.


I was so convinced Writing Strands was perfect when I began homeschooling my seven children three years ago, but I am learning that it is not a perfect fit for all. I do own the complete set of books since my children range from toddler through high school, so I often look through and re-evaluate. I love to use what I already have whenever it will work for us.


This is getting long, and I don't know if it really helps you. Thanks for reading this, and best wishes figuring out what is best for your family.

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