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Alison in KY

Rod and Staff English - the writing?

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I think the R&S English is intended to be both Grammar and Writing combined - although personally, because I prefer to do narration and dictation as a regular thing, we use WWE as well. But R&S is a very good program and there certainly is plenty of writing practice.

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It is an integrated program. I think most people use the entire program and don't skip the writing or the grammar.

 

IMHO, the writing is perfectly fine if you are adding some "writing across the curriculum" activities and copywork/dictation. It starts out very gently in 3 and 4 and increases each year. It is very parts-to-whole: first the student learns to make correctly organized sentences, then paragraphs, then longer works.

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IME the strength of R&S is that it really breaks down all the various ways to develop a paragraph (though you have to wait til the 7th grade book to get to most of them - LOL!). The weakness is that there might not be enough modeling and practice for your student. So, pairing it with the recommendations to outline and re-write in WTM are perfect.

 

Although my older DS did just fine with R&S & WTM by themselves, I added IEW with my younger DS, and it did add a dimension of *something* that was missing for him. The ability to take someone else's writing and make it *his* instead of re-writing it word-for-word, I guess? But, IEW doesn't teach the different methods of paragraph development, so we are still covering those lessons in R&S. (We skip some of the others.)

 

My other caveat of recommending R&S is that I think it works best if you have the time to sit with your child (at least some times) and read through the paragraphs he's outlining and notice which sentence is the topic sentence and how the paragraph is being developed - things like that. It really makes the lessons seem relevant, and helps make the outlining much, much easier.

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The English texts include writing. Personally, *I* wouldn't recommend it only for the grammar. IOW, when I recommend it, I mean that both grammar and writing are good. And I think that most people do the same.

 

So, yes, both grammar and writing are good. :-)

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So you think it's not quite enough as a stand alone writing program? Can you think of a simple writing program that can be used to accompany it?

 

Alison

 

I don't think you need to add a program. You can simply do narration/copywork/dictation on a regular basis from the other subject areas you are studying. That way you aren't adding a whole different thing, but integrating writing into other areas you study anyway. :001_smile:

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So you think it's not quite enough as a stand alone writing program? Can you think of a simple writing program that can be used to accompany it?

 

Alison

R&S's English series provides comprehensive instruction in grammar and composition. It is never necessary to supplement, IMHO.

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It gets a good recommendation in WTM. That is good enough for me :) But for the full "classical" spin on writing you will want to add the dictation, narration, and writing in the other subjects. I use WTM for the how to on this. But you can read the writing suggestions yourself in that chapter. There are other options. You could do R&S, but skip the composition exercises and add one of the recommended writing programs.

 

I choose to do R&S and the writing across the curriculum here. It is pretty easy using WTM. My dd8 does R&S 3, writes 1-2 history narrations and 1 science a week. She has dictation once a week, and owes me a literature narration once every other week or so. She also memorizes poetry and copies it on a regular basis, to give her the models of good writing. I plan to keep up the WTM recs w/her into the logic stage as it is working.

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