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WWE - what is it?


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Listen to SWB's audio lecture on teaching writing in the elementary years. It will explain very well why your son doesn't need to be able to come up with little stories at this age.

 

WWE prepares children for expository writing, not creative writing. It's a great program.

 

My son had to do journaling and other creative writing in school. It only turned him off writing. Now that he's doing WWE and no creative writing, his writing is improving so much. He's much more willing to write because he's not being forced to come up with thoughts and put them on paper - two separate skills.

 

I won't be surprised if he writes fun stories in middle school or something. And it will be all on his own - no forcing him with school assigned creative writing. If he shows a desire for creative writing, he can do a curriculum at that point to help him develop those skills.

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There are samples on the website, but here's a basic rundown:

 

For the first few weeks, you do:

 

Monday - copywork (one sentence)

Tuesday - narration

Wednesday - copywork

Thursday - narration

 

Those are all out of one source for the whole week (for example, the first week of WWE1 is from Little House in the Big Woods).

 

Starting in week 4, Thursday becomes narration followed by copywork of that narration. All of these narrations thus far are the parent doing the writing. The child is just coming up with what to say. They don't have to worry about how to spell it or whether they can remember what they've thought up for the length of time it takes to write it. ;) So you end up getting better thoughts. This has carried over into our other work as well, for example, in R&S English (grammar), he was supposed to complete the sentence "The moon ____." and he said "The moon reflects light from the sun." There is no way he would have made that complex a sentence if he'd been writing it himself. He would have gone with simpler words and a shorter phrase to fill in the blank. So we're working on these skills separately.

 

I think dictation comes in later in WWE1. I can't remember for sure.

 

If you want to pick your own passages, you can just get the instructor text (which covers WWE1 through WWE4). It explains the philosophy behind WWE and briefly explains where you go after WWE (Writing With Skill, Writing With Style). Those aren't out yet, of course, but they should be by time our kids need them. :D I'm using the WWE1 workbook this year, but next year I might go with just the instructor text (I have it - I just have to get more confidence in coming up with my own leading questions for narrations, but that is coming along too... we're both learning!).

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I am doing WWE1, 3 and 4 this year. Each year builds on the previous year. In WWE1 the child does copywork twice a week and you read a short selection of a book to them, ask them some questions (and they answer) and they tell back one thing they remember. You write that in front of them. On the 2nd day of this narration the child copies what you just wrote. My ds7 actually likes to write his own sentence so he does that instead of copy.

 

In WWE2 you move to dictation and narration. You dictate a sentence to the child twice a week (get progressively harder) and twice a week you read a selection and the child narrates to you. (similar to WWE1)

 

Each level increases in difficulty in dictation as well as developing the skills of narrating.

 

We've had huge success with it here. My non-writers who cried at writing time are both writing beautiful narrations in science and history each week as well as doing well in WWE. Their least fav is the dictation, but it's good for them (kind of like veggies) so we stick with it.

 

I would highly suggest SWB's writing lectures to inform yourself on teaching the writing process as well as watching the YouTube video floating around of SWB doing a dictation with her older son. Very helpful!! :D

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All of these narrations thus far are the parent doing the writing. The child is just coming up with what to say. They don't have to worry about how to spell it or whether they can remember what they've thought up for the length of time it takes to write it. ;) So you end up getting better thoughts. This has carried over into our other work as well, for example, in R&S English (grammar), he was supposed to complete the sentence "The moon ____." and he said "The moon reflects light from the sun." There is no way he would have made that complex a sentence if he'd been writing it himself. He would have gone with simpler words and a shorter phrase to fill in the blank. So we're working on these skills separately.

 

.

 

i was drawn to wwe because of how susan breaks down writing into smaller bites. she talks about how organizing thoughts and putting them down on paper are two different steps. with reluctant writers especially it can make writing really hard. so in level one the child practices narrations (organizing his thoughts) you write them down, and eventually he'll copy what you have written down. so the child thinks of what to say and writes it down but it is broken into two steps until the child ready to combine both the steps. He can work on organizing his thoughts separately from the mechanics of writing.

 

the textbook explains how to teach writing from level 1-4 and shows how you can use whatever history, lit or science is already in your curriculum and base the narrations on that. that is what is meant by 'writing across the curriculum'. If you want exercises already laid out for you the workbooks 1-4 have selections already picked out to do narrations from. some people prefer to use their own selections, others prefer having them all picked out ahead of time. i haven't decided yet which way i'll go.

 

here is a link to the textbook

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/store/

 

if you poke around you'll find the workbooks as well as her lecture on writing in the audio section.

 

I hope this was helpful.

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http://www.welltrainedmind.com/store/the-complete-writer-writing-with-ease-instructor-text.html - if you scroll to the bottom of the page, there are sample of the instructor and student texts.

 

We're doing Level 1 now and it's set up to be done over 4 days:

 

1. Copywork (copying a sentence from age appropriate literature).

2. Listening to a passage, answering questions from same and then narration ("Tell me something that happened in the passage.") with copywork (you write down what the child remembered and the child copies the sentence or a part of it if it's lengthy.

3. Same as day 1 (different sentence)

4 Same as day 2 (different passage, but often from the same story)

 

It also teaches some basic grammar (capitalizing proper nouns, abbreviating titles like Mr., pronouns, etc).

 

We do two days at once, but your child is still young enough that I'd keep it as written.

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we're finishing up WWE 2 having also worked through WWE1, and I just wanted to add that i think SWB's program is outstanding. i love that i can choose my own excerpts or can just use the workbooks. i love that it's progressive and gentle, even for my detail-oriented kid who would prefer to give 5-6 sentences when asked to simplify it to 2-3. It's been such a good fit for him. Now, that doesn't mean that there are days that he hasn't had to work really hard to accomplish the task, but, in our humble opinion, when there's just the right mix of "ease" and "hard work" you know you're doing EXACTLY what your child needs. i like that it stretches him in some skills and in others is comfortable.

 

i think, too, that for a busy mommy, the workbooks are a real win! SWB often chooses excerpts from titles that we've previously read, but sometimes there are titles/poems that i would never remember to pull from. so for that, i'm quite thankful.

 

the first year, we worked through FLL1/2 at the same time as WWE1; this year we've taken a year to work through Shurley 2 instead of the FLL (but will be going back into FLL3 when we finish b/c i see value in each program for my child). from that experience, i can say that WWE works well as a stand-alone or as a tie-in to FLL. yet another reason i feel so happy with it for our schooling.

 

hth.

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:iagree: the pps are saying. My ds9 has done beautifully with WWE2, which I am accelerating him through at this point because he "got it" and is just about to move into WWE 3. I waited just a bit for him to move into this program because he was such a wiggle-worm who struggled so much to write anything, that I waited until he could sit a bit more and be more comfortable with a pencil. :001_smile: He genuinely likes the program, and it has stimulated him to read because he loves the selections so much that he has wanted to know more and would insist that I get him the books from which they came.

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