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Reading Writer's Jungle and taking the Kid's Write Basic just changed my whole perspective. Honestly.


I read the book, we took the class, and after years of never getting off the ground with other writing programs, finally learned to fly!


I love it.


The book is very expensive and I recommend trying to find it used. I never did though I looked high and low. I finally bought it and am glad. I do love the approach.


Now, to specifics.


The actual kidswrite class online is just a bulletin board format. The kids and mom go through the exercises to build up to writing the paragraph (or more). The kiddo posts her assignments and the facilitator posts her responses/feedback. Everyone can see everyone's work. At first my daughter was nervous about that but loved it in the end.


The class is by no means a fancy format. It is a simple introduction that you could have done with the book. Still, it's hand holding and gentle and teaches you that you both really can do it.


We took the one class and now we don't feel we need it. My daughter wants to take a couple just for fun and I think we'll take poetry.


The classes are kick-starters and in my opinion, worth it.


Two enthusiastic thumbs up from my girl and me!

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Yes, this helped a lot! I noticed you asked about as well. Did you ever do one of the online classes?







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My son and I took KWB, Just So Stories, Non-fiction class, Foundation skills (formerly copywork and dictation) and Dynamic, Expansion and Revision. OH we all took Hand HOlders. Since we had already done the first few exercises in The WRiter's Jungle, we shouldn't have taken KWB and just taken Hand Holders. My son, then 9yrs old, LOVED LOVED Just So Stories as did I. I can see us taking that one again. The non-fiction class was interesting since I didn't get how to apply Bravewriter principles to non-fiction. It's a different philosophy form SWB for example. I loved Dynamic, Expansion and Revision. I learned a lot about being a writing coach. Copywork and Dictation was good as well but since we've been doing Copywork and Dictation with WWE for a few years, I didn't learn as much as I could.

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I've read TWJ and my 12 yr old is taking KWI this month. He is finishing week 4. I've been rereading TWJ and I see now how to do so many of the things that Julie describes in the book. I really needed to see it done in order to do it. I've been outlining TWJ again, this time really understanding the process. My kid is a boy and he will write but he doesn't LOVE to write. So far, the class has been good for him. There was one exercise that bombed but otherwise, I've been very pleased to see what he has written for the class. It's also helped to see what other kids his age are writing.


I'll take a stab at the differences between TWJ and SWB (my 7 and 10 yr old are doing SWB - WWE and beta testing WWS.)


SWB focuses on copywork, narration, outlining and writing from an outline. She picks interesting snippets of stories for these processes. Each day, there is something new to do so the kid doesn't get too bored. SWB has the kid writing something. The focus is on writing, not thinking of what to write.


Bravewriter uses the kids' interest and focuses on writing games, freewrites, noticing good writing (hooks, musical language, etc.) copywork, dictation, finding errors in writing, keen observation, revising. She uses the kids' interest to pull out of them what to write. Bravewriter seems more about what to write than the process of writing. In fact, she's pretty loosy goosey about grammar and focuses on good writing instead.


I don't know that one is better than another, they are just different. I use SWB for my youngers because she has a book that tells me what to do everyday. Both programs use copywork and dictation for this age so I don't really see a difference in them for young students.


I use Bravewriter for the older kid because SWB doesn't have a book and Braverwriter has a teacher's guide (TWJ), the arrow on her website, and classes. I suppose I picked my plan more on who will tell me what to do each day rather than a decision that one technique works better than the other. In fact, my only drawback to Bravewriter is that I wish she had a workbook.


I'm interested in hearing what Capt_Uhura has to say about the two programs.

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I agree w/ Mryann. Both focus on copywork and dictation. After taking some of the classes, I felt that my impression that BW and SWB were quite different wasn't true. I think what hits me as the key difference is the teacher. SWB teachers very incrementally step by step, modeling good writing, writing from outlines. BW focuses more on the students own writing. The teacher has to have the knowledge to guide the student into good writing. I don't know if I'm using these terms correctly or not and I'm forever derailing good threads w/ my rambling but the thought that just popped into my head is that BW is more whole to parts and SWB is more parts to whole? Would someone agree with that? I don't know where that thought came from, but there it is.


I need to think about this some more later.....

Edited by Capt_Uhura
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My also thought was that I see bits and pieces of other curricula in BW. For example, she has suggestions for rewriting fables similar to Writing Tales.


Also, BW is more about getting ideas on paper w/ freewriting. You then cut and paste, move things around and then go into an editing phase. I get the impression from SWB that you're thinking through what you're going to say, getting it down in complete sentences. Well, there's a part of WWS that is more similar to BW.


I don't know. THey are not fundamentally different. I think some of the steps that you go through w/ SWB-style writing, you do in BW if your kid needs it.

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I had written a whole paragraph about outlining and deleted it. :glare: During one of my BW classes, probably the non-fiction class, I asked about outlining. I'd have to look for my notes but I'm pretty sure the instructor said that if you're good w/ freewriting, you don't need an outline. I should probably read my notes again before posting but it would mean I'd have to restart my other computer and I'm too tired for that. :001_huh: Basically, you want to write about penguins? Then you'd freewrite all that you know about penguins. Any order. Then you'd pick something to focus on for another freewrite - for ex: reproduction. If you can't freewrite on it then that means you need to do more research. Perhaps you also have a few sentences on how penguins are portrayed in movies....you'd focus on that in a freewrite. You'd end up w/ 4-6 freewrites about penguins. Then you'd pick ones that go together and put together a paper on penguins. The penguins in the movie might not be in this paper but might be the topic of a separate essay.


I'd imagine w/ SWB that would go very differently. The way I imagine doing it and the way I think I did it was to get some books on penguins. I'd write an outline about what I wanted to talk about...I. habitat II reproduction III. body characteristics and I'd take notes, then sit down and start writing.


I think most people think BW is all creative writing whereas SWB's recommendations are all academic writing. I know Julie Bogart laughs at that notion but most people do equate BW w/ creative writing.

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I"ve heard that before that most pple think BW is for kids who are already good writers (creative writers.) I think that happens because of what you just described - freewrite vs outlining. I wonder if you would use each in a different setting? I think of outlining when writing something in an academic setting. I think of freewriting if I'm journaling or blogging. I can't really imagine freewriting a science paper on the Krebs cycle, KWIM?


How do you see IEW fitting into the mix? It seems to straddle the two a bit. Dress ups, etc like BW and key word outlining like SWB outlining. If it does straddle the two, it's ironic that pple sometimes say the IEW produces writers that sound similarly.


thanks for discussing this!

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Thanks for the comparisions between BraveWriter and SWB.


It sounds like BraveWriter focuses on generating ideas then organizing them in the editing phase, while SWB focuses on organizing ideas then fleshing out the details. Now to ponder which method will work best for my kids.

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