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PLEASE Help! - Writing woes


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So here I am at 2am, posting on a board I mostly lurk on or buy curriculum on to ask for some help. I am hoping that some of you will have mercy on me and give me your opinions as I am really in need of some direction and encouragement.


A little background:

I need writing and grammar solutions for my 8 yr old ds and 11 yr old dd. I'm not worried about the 5 yr old ds yet. :)


Our children have been either homeschooled classically or attended private, Christian classical school. They are bright, happy, friendly children with no learning or visual difficulties that I know of.


Abbie, the 11 yr old is a very smart girl. She reads on a high school level and devours books. Doesn't really like math, but we do Teaching Textbooks with some extra drill work and skip counting/multiplication tables at Classical Conversations and it is going quite well this year. We are doing Phonetic Zoo for spelling and once she got over it taking her 3-4 days max to move on in a lesson, she was fine with it. She is VERY creative and would love to just do art all day.


This is our second time trying to do EEL and IEW through Classical Conversations. SHE HATES IT. TEARS, ANGER, FRUSTRATION AND PROCRASTINATION. It is really difficult for her and for us both to do together. She does fine in the classroom but terrible at home. This is her second year (first was 2 years ago) and once she does it, the quality of the work is much higher. I think she did a lot of dictation and copying from the board last year (she was technically in 4th grade at the private classical school) but I don't think they actually did a lot.


She memorizes easily, hates copying charts over and over and she hates the way IEW has you write. I am tired of the wailing and gnashing of teeth. I just want it to stop. So, now I am looking at Writing With Ease (WWE) but I have NO IDEA where to place her. I think she could also use FFL 3 or 4 but I am not sure if I can do WWE3 and FFL4 or if I need to keep them together.


She has excellent recall, excellent comprehension and memory. It's the key word outline and rewriting from that and adding all the dress-ups that she hates. I am wondering if the workbook style might be good for a while. I am afraid her grammar might need a little work, but I really think she could hang with FFL4 no problem.


My biggest question is where she fits with the writing. I want it to be easy enough to enjoy if possible but also help her progress in some way. I guess not crying IS progression, right? I think WWE 3 would give her some success without being too challenging at first and we can always move quickly if it is wayyy easy.


Thoughts please?


Secondly, I was trying to use the IEW PAL program for my 8 yr old - using the 3rd part of the writing book to teach him. It is essentially regular IEW, just simplified a bit. Not really working b/c he doesn't really do well with long stretches of writing and those outlines are lots of words. So, I do the writing then he copies. Takes a long time plus he doesn't seem to be writing a lot. I thought I could do FFL3 with him, which is pretty on grade level and do WWE2 for him and just move him up as needed. I don't think he learned much at school last year either in the writing department.


He is smart, reads slow but probably still very age appropriate and is much less of a pleasure reader. Both love to be read to and listen to books on cd but I would call them both VERY reluctant writers.


Thoughts please?


Thanks for any help you can give this stressed out mama. I really want us to love each other and get along. If that means dropping out of Essentials and doing WWE - so be it! I just have to know where to place them. As expensive as the books are, I really don't want to order them ALL!


Thank you so much in advance!


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