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Hold my hand and help me transition our WWE skills to "real life"


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Language Arts have got me stumped. I have gone back and forth - back and forth. We have done WWE1 and WWE2 - some of WWE3. My dd would be much further along, if I liked doing WWE. Nothing against the book, or SWB. I just want to get away from the workbook and apply these techniques to things we are already reading --- Yes, I know this was SWB's intention when she originally wrote WTM and Complete Writer - and that the workbooks are just for ease of use. But, I can't figure out how to actually do that. Please hold my hand and help me. I know step one will be to actually read everything that she reads (which I am terrible about). Then what? How do I physically make this writing happen? Does she read for an hour on Monday, then write a summary on Tuesday? How long of a summary? How long of a book? -- I need some examples of how this is to happen. Which things should I have her narrate? She was such a reluctant reader, that now I just LOVE that she reads for pleasure and hate making it work.


fyi: I'm looking to change to possibly R&S4 English -- still on the fence about a grammar program.


Please help me think this though.


I have a cold, so please excuse typos and things that just make no sense. :001_smile:


thank you

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I think you're making this harder on yourself than necessary. :)


First, while it's nice if you can read much / most of what your child reads for school (no need to read *everything* she reads for pleasure) so that you can discuss and engage with her, it's not always necessary and certainly not always possible. :) For the sake of writing practice, it's certainly not required.


So pick *something* she's reading and go from there. It can be literature, history, or science. Skim through what you expect her to read for this week, and look for a section that's roughly equivalent in length to what she's been doing in WWE. Let that be your guide. You want a section that's fairly cohesive. Something that gives you a who, a what, and a "how it worked out". Not a whole chapter. A few paragraphs. A single section (not the whole chapter) of SOTW will usually work, so history is easy. :) Often science texts are broken into smaller sections in the same way. Literature will take a little more of your attention, but you can still do it -- making the selection isn't magic, just pick something. :)


Then follow the same format you've been using in WWE. Read the section when she comes to it. If she needs some guidance, ask her general questions about the reading. "Who or what is this section about?" "What do they do? or What is the problem?" "Then what happens?" "How does it resolve?" Some sections are about the big picture and others are about noting details. Let your questions help guide her about which it is. Then ask her to write down her narration in 3-4 sentences. Your questions should have helped her to develop those 3-4 ideas already, so that now it's just a matter of writing them down.


You can also choose a sentence for dictation from the same section of history, literature, or science. Choose a sentence that is interesting, makes sense, follows standard rules for mechanics, and offers some challenge appropriate to her abilities. That sounds like a lot, but really, it's not so difficult. :)


Try to do at least 2 narrations and 2 dictation sentences a week to begin with.

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I have used the questions as a model. I use these kinds of questions now as I check my students' reading--did he read it, did he comprehend it correctly?

I will say that the transition has been fairly effortless. The repetition of the exercise of narration that has been in WWE has built up his ability to articulate and simply execute the written narration without a lot of help from me. When he has to write other things, with a few parameters, he usually can just do it and do it pretty well. I am still helping him figure out certain things, but writing IS pretty painless around here. I would say her technique works exactly as it is intended, but it takes doing it faithfully to make it work.

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Thank you so much for writing. I know I just have a major block with the language arts in general. I had this happen with science too. I was always advanced in English/writing in school, but then got a science degree. So, when it got time to teach science -- I really, REALLY over thought it. I think that's what is happening here. I know where I want to end up, but can't break it down into baby steps. Thank you helping with this process. We didn't use SOTW text, but instead read all of the book req's that go along with it. I was planning on reading SOTW to my kids starting this next school year. I really like the idea of her writing from it, b/c it is broken down into nice digestible chunks. Thanks for recommending that.


Thank you again for writing.


Any more suggestions are welcome!

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