Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

lewelma

My evaluation of numerous writing curricula

Recommended Posts

Thanks for the comprehensive info about writing.

I tried in vain to find Corbett's book in the library. There are used ones for sale for $18+3.99shipping on Amazon.

I am using IEW SWI A now and hope to get to WWS in the fall. I also have Killgallon and used it for a few days with ds when he was 8. I will try to incorporate it again.

 

I did not find that I needed to augment IEW's instruction in style when we were using it in 2nd-4th. For us it was more than enough. Killgallon's focus is on improving sentence style through imitation. I will only be using Killgallon during the middle and high school years. But obviously it depends on the child.

 

Good luck on finding Corbett for cheap! Mine was used but in great shape (now it is not :D)

 

Ruth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At the elementary level, I can't abide by the focus on fiction and personal commentary. It honestly drives me crazy. (did you see the writing samples linked that were written by 8th graders? I don't want that sort of instruction w/in 100 mi of my kids!)

 

For my older kids, I want them to develop strong presentation w/topics in science, history, and lit w/evidence in MLA format. I want them to be able to not only write persuasive essays but also research papers......

 

I share this sentiment. I am trying to teach several high school students right now who were taught that creativity and personal reflection are the highest goals in academic writing. :lol: Some have made it out okay, but a few will probably always write like public school fifth graders. Also, each time I've tried to bring in outside instruction for my own dc, I have had to terminate it because of that focus.

 

By junior high, we are on a road to college writing, because it does take a long time (and many papers written over and over) to develop a mature, scholarly writing style imho.

 

Honestly, I have found knowing what is in those books, simply applying it to their writing, and just teaching them directly as far more effective (and simpler) than attempting to have them work through any single book.

 

This has been my approach, too.

 

I don't think there is one program out there that works very, very well. Maybe I'm not sure there ever can be, because writing is that area that really takes a prepared mentor/teacher. Above all other areas, it is specific to the student and requires a thinking, well-informed teacher to respond. There is no answer key. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I share this sentiment. I am trying to teach several high school students right now who were taught that creativity and personal reflection are the highest goals in academic writing. :lol: Some have made it out okay, but a few will probably always write like public school fifth graders. Also, each time I've tried to bring in outside instruction for my own dc, I have had to terminate it because of that focus.

 

By junior high, we are on a road to college writing, because it does take a long time (and many papers written over and over) to develop a mature, scholarly writing style imho.

 

 

 

This has been my approach, too.

 

I don't think there is one program out there that works very, very well. Maybe I'm not sure there ever can be, because writing is that area that really takes a prepared mentor/teacher. Above all other areas, it is specific to the student and requires a thinking, well-informed teacher to respond. There is no answer key. ;)

 

I am definitely taking notes. Do you all follow any kind of scope and sequence to be sure that you don't miss any important skills? What do you use for a spine or for reference books? Most recently I've been thinking about using Jensen's Format Writing (for ME to use as a guide) and maybe Kilgallon for ds who will be a 7th grader next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am definitely taking notes. Do you all follow any kind of scope and sequence to be sure that you don't miss any important skills? What do you use for a spine or for reference books? Most recently I've been thinking about using Jensen's Format Writing (for ME to use as a guide) and maybe Kilgallon for ds who will be a 7th grader next year.

 

I try to keep an eye (from reading about writing and from my own and others' college and life experiences) to what they will need to write in the future and what will prepare them for that. That governs the types of writing we do. I think it's helpful to think of the various skills that come together in a mature, skilled writer. Knowing various "forms" and their requirements is one part of the puzzle. For the other parts, I teach vocabulary, require reading of quality literature, teach grammar, teach logic and rheroric skills, and then of course teach the skills used in writing specifically. So the S&S would be very long and merge into several other areas of their education. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I try to keep an eye (from reading about writing and from my own and others' college and life experiences) to what they will need to write in the future and what will prepare them for that. That governs the types of writing we do. I think it's helpful to think of the various skills that come together in a mature, skilled writer. Knowing various "forms" and their requirements is one part of the puzzle. For the other parts, I teach vocabulary, require reading of quality literature, teach grammar, teach logic and rheroric skills, and then of course teach the skills used in writing specifically. So the S&S would be very long and merge into several other areas of their education. :D

 

Thank you, Angela.

I'm sure it is a topic for a different thread... but I appreciate this slight detour. It might be helpful to discuss how to teach writing without a curriculum.

 

8Filltheheart, will you answer the same question regarding a writing scope & sequence and spine/resources from the above posts: 102-103?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is one program out there that works very, very well. Maybe I'm not sure there ever can be, because writing is that area that really takes a prepared mentor/teacher. Above all other areas, it is specific to the student and requires a thinking, well-informed teacher to respond. There is no answer key. ;)

 

:iagree:This is why I have spent so much time reading about this topic. I have felt very much like an ill-informed teacher for the past couple of years. I can do the basics very easily, but as we have hit more advanced writing I felt like I was floundering. You cannot just throw a curriculum at a kid (even one as good as WWS) and expect them to flourish. Writing takes a coach. And I have also found that reading just one week ahead in a writing curriculum does not work either, because you cannot see the big picture, and you cannot see the teachable moments because you don't know what to teach. I decided to fix my inadequacies by reading everything I could get my hands on. Each curriculum has a different approach and different strengths and has taught me much. But in the end I think I will pave my own way for high school, teaching and coaching directly for what my child needs. Even using WWS which is self-contained and written to the student, I spend at least 1 hour each week putting the new piece in context of the bigger picture of writing, connecting it to what he has already learned and what he will be learning. I spend an additional hour each week working with him to edit his work on both the macro and micro level. I could not do this without knowing the bigger picture myself. What WWS gives me is the topic to teach and the examples to study. Any curriculum that I use I always adapt to MY student and his needs.

 

I have found that Corbett has given me the scope (if not the sequence) of high school writing. LToW filled in the details on how to implement it.

 

Ruth

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweet Home,

 

 

If you want to learn how to teach writing without curriculum, then check out Bravewriter. That is exactly what Julie Bogart does. The core of Julie's philosophy is covered in "The Writer's Jungle," and mothers who need help implementing her method have the option of her classes. Using Julie's approach, a writing piece begins with a topic that interests the student. From that point, the student learns to narrow the topic, expand, and revise, etc. until the piece is polished. When our older children took classes with Julie, I was able to see a good writing mentor in action. I couldn't learn that from reading or even trying out curriculum. I needed to see how a mentor works because it takes a certain touch to be effective. Too much input, and the child disappears. His piece becomes his mentor's piece. Too little, and he doesn't grow as a writer.

Edited by 1Togo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, boy.

 

I tried to use Kilgallon with my ds last year and it was horrible. He was so confused.

 

We are using WWE4 right now, and he has a very hard time organizing and focusing his thoughts. I'm not sure how much of his confusion and struggle have to do with his dyslexia.

 

So, if someone could tell me what to use for my dyslexic ds, I'd appreciate it. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sweet Home,

 

 

If you want to learn how to teach writing without curriculum, then check out Bravewriter. That is exactly what Julie Bogart does. The core of Julie's philosophy is covered in "The Writer's Jungle," and mothers who need help implementing her method have the option of her classes. Using Julie's approach, a writing piece begins with a topic that interests the student. From that point, the student learns to narrow the topic, expand, and revise, etc. until the piece is polished. When our older children took classes with Julie, I was able to see a good writing mentor in action. I couldn't learn that from reading or even trying out curriculum. I needed to see how a mentor works because it takes a certain touch to be effective. Too much input, and the child disappears. His piece becomes his mentor's piece. Too little, and he doesn't grow as a writer.

 

1Togo, thank you. I will read about Bravewriter and Ther Writer's Jungle". Also, Lewelma, thank you for referring to Corbett's book as a scope and sequence. :001_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1Togo, thank you. I will read about Bravewriter and Ther Writer's Jungle". Also, Lewelma, thank you for referring to Corbett's book as a scope and sequence. :001_smile:

 

I second Julie Bogart's Writer's Jungle. It has truly transformed my children's writing life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
: Even using WWS which is self-contained and written to the student, I spend at least 1 hour each week putting the new piece in context of the bigger picture of writing, connecting it to what he has already learned and what he will be learning. I spend an additional hour each week working with him to edit his work on both the macro and micro level.

 

Ruth

 

I would love to see what this process looks like for you. I have tried to glean bits and pieces from the WWS assignments you have posted, but to walk through a week of lessons with this type of instruction .. ;-) Ahhh.... don't let me make you a slave to the computer though. I just wanted to say this is awesome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would love to see what this process looks like for you. I have tried to glean bits and pieces from the WWS assignments you have posted, but to walk through a week of lessons with this type of instruction .. ;-) Ahhh.... don't let me make you a slave to the computer though. I just wanted to say this is awesome!

 

Funny, I was just thinking about writing this idea up on the k-8 writing workshop, but am happy to put it here. :001_smile:

 

We are on Week 16, which is where WWS switches from Narrative writing to more descriptive writing (this is a simplification). The first assignment is to write a description of someone you know.

 

Well, my son has always done non-fiction report writing -- not a story to be seen, so I knew he would be completely flummoxed by this assignment. After he had outlined the example and then read SWB's description of the type of writing, we had our conversation.

 

First, he did not actually understand the list that she had given: physical appearance, sound of voice, what others think, portrayals, character qualities, challenges and difficulties, accomplishments, habits, behavior, expressions of face and body, mind/intellectual capabilities, talents and abilities, self disciplines, religious beliefs, clothing, dress, economic status, fame/notoriety/prestige, family traditions. Specifically "expressions of face and body" took him a while to see body language as falling in the category. And what exactly is the difference between habits and character qualities? or mind/intellectual vs talents/abilities? So we discussed these and others.

 

Next, I started with the overarching idea that a description has a purpose. You don't just write down random bits about something. I told him about a writing class I took in University where I had written a 12 page description of a place I knew and loved. I had to read it to the small group for critique, and when I was done there was a discussion. They told me that they knew there was something wrong the whole way through the reading, but could not pinpoint it until I got to the description of the dock, which I described as 8 ft by 6ft, and then they KNEW the problem. I was putting in detail that did not move my description forward. I was trying to write a nastalgic piece that also expressed my enthusiasm and awe of the area, and I was measuring the size of the dock. It just didn't fit, and that type of description riddled the piece. My ds then said "you should have said it was 'large enough to lay down and luxuriate in the sun.'" Yep, I should have. And he got it, just like that.

 

Now, we discussed a good example of description in literature that we had both read. Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 days. The description of this character is critical to the entire story, so it seemed like a good choice. We went through the entire list and tried to think about how Phileas was described, recognizing that not all categories were used, and critically, how was each description putting forward the overarching idea that Phileas had to "have his own way" in all things and was completely rigid. Certain aspects of the list are unimportant to this focus, so we noted that. We did the whole list, but here are just a few examples:

 

physical appearance: he is dressed "just so", shiny shoes, perfectly groomed,

sound of voice: unimportant

what others think: people thought he was odd

portrayals: unimportant

character qualities: fastidious, punctual, tidy, careful, routine driven

challenges and difficulties: handling anything that disrupted his routine

accomplishments: unimportant

habits: lots here. always stepped out with left foot, etc.... had a lot here

 

We discussed how this description was critical to the story line.

 

Ok, next we did our own description together for practice. He decided to do his father. So *what* aspect of his father was he going to describe? His father is a very different man in a business meeting vs playing a game with his boys. I stressed that doing a single aspect of his life would make the person 1 dimensional, and to rectify this you would need a longer description, but that today we were doing a short description. He decided to do his father in an office setting. So once again we use SWB's list:

 

physical appearance: suit, fancy watch, short hair, etc. I stress that things like wearing a suit are only added if they add an important detail to the description. Is he the *only* person wearing a suit? (yes, he is a civilian working at defense). Does he wear the same suit as everyone else or different style (conformity), etc. Don't add it, if it does not matter.

sound of voice: discussed that the sound of a radio announcers voice would be very important, but no so for an author. Decided that his father's tone was unimportant, but his use of stress and pauses is critically important to keeping people interested in a meeting.

what others think: hummm. Important? depends on your purpose. I gave the example that my husband told once that someone came to him for advice because he was recommended by a third party. On the phone, the person clearly did not think highly of dh, so right before the meeting, dh purposely removed his suit coat, looked a bit slovenly, shuffled his steps, slouched in the chair when he sat down etc. All this to augment the person's initial opinion. THEN, when the conversation began, he leans forward, makes eye contact, and blows the guy away. This description is important to the narrative. In other writing situations, the opinions of others would not matter. It is all about making the description RELEVANT.

 

Ok, so we go through the rest of the list.

 

This takes an hour.

 

On the next day, we begin to work on his description of his brother to write up. (This also takes an hour :tongue_smilie:) He had typed up the list on the day before, and we print it at a table and use it as an outline. He decides he will describe his brother from the point of view of being an outdoor kid. I remind him that he is not telling a narrative. That all of the details about being outside must go to describing his brother's traits. I reiterate this every 5 minutes during out hour-long discussion, and then again numerous times on the next day when he writes it up (I'm guessing he will forget). We do have a discussion about the arrangement of the piece: does he want to describe each character quality in a separate paragraph (e.g.,determination) and give many outdoor examples within the paragraph. Or does he want to do each outdoor activity as a paragraph and put the character qualities within it. We discuss the implication of each. He goes for the second thinking it will be easier (and I think it will be).

 

Here are our notes that we put on the outline:

 

Physical appearance: dark hair, dishevelled, snottly nose (he decides not to add this), healthy, dusty, fingernails, pink cheeks, blue eyes, pockets bulging, shovel, dagger, large stick, camouflage, sturdy sandles, grip, tall, slender, wiry muscles.

sound of voice: unimportant

what others think: un

portrayals: un

character qualities: busy, focused, spontaneous, cooperative (there are more but we decide to include them in behaviour category below)

challenges and difficulties: un

accomplishments: un

habits: un

expressions un

mind: un

talents: un

self disciplines: un

religious: un

clothing: put into physical appearance

economic, fame, family: un

behaviour:

1) whacking bushes: vigorously, destruction, energetic, wild swinging motions, doesn't car about native, explosion, leaves flying,

2) Spying: bird calls, stealthy, exciting because secretive, slither, hide, mimic

3) building forts: challenging, difficult, shelter, cooperative, sunny day, drizzle, planning carefully, gatherer, knife

4) climbing trees: challenging, too hard, doesn't know own limitations, falls without complaint, scramble, slips, high up, relax at top

 

At first I ask all the questions to draw out the ideas, then I get him in the second half to ask me the questions. He comes up with 3 he likes: Why (motivation), when (circumstance), how (method). We discuss these questions and make notes about them so he can use them again.

 

That same day, he writes the first paragraph on description

The next day he writes the next 4 paragraphs (this takes him more than an hour, but he works independently)

 

We have not yet edited, but I have included the rough draft in the next post.

 

And then we REST. This was a very difficult assignment for both of us I think, but it went very well. I think I will have him do another description of a person where he makes up the outline himself, *then* we move on to week 17.

 

Well, that got long. Hope that answers your questions, SaDonna. And by the way, this sounds very organized now that I wrote it up, but I just did it on the fly when I realized that he was seriously clueless.

 

Ruth

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is DS(11) description of his brother. (unedited)

 

My brother, B****, loves to play in the woods. His light brown hair is often dishevelled and black with dirt contrasting greatly with his sanguine cheeks. When he is in the forest, his bright blue eyes sparkle with joy and exhilaration. Sometimes B****'s entire body is covered with dark brown splotches of dirt and he is often dressed in a dusty brown shirt, shorts, and sturdy sandles. Normally, his pockets are bulging with pine cones, twigs, pebbles, and dirt. He likes to carry a home-made dagger and a huge stick for whacking bushes. Altogether, B**** often makes a striking figure.

 

My brother loves to climb trees because climbing them is challenging, and my brother loves a challenge. The trees he climbs are often far too hard for him, and he often falls. However, when he falls, he never complains but continues to climb the same tree. Often, while at the top of a tree, B**** will enjoy the view or chat with a friend.

 

For exercise, my brother likes to destroy bushes with a very large stick. He savours the obliteration of the plants and the explosion of the leaves. B**** attacks the bushes energetically with wild swinging motions. He does not care whether he destroys native or non-native plants, but rather goes for the most succulent because they explode the best.

 

After he obliterates a few bushes, my brother likes to build huts. He builds them for fun and because they are very challenging and difficult to build. All of the forts that he makes are always carefully planned out and constructed to make them stronger. One thing my brother is very proud of is that his forts use all natural materials. For example, instead of string, B**** uses flax strips to tie together sticks.

 

My brother also enjoys spying. The secretiveness, the stealth, and the hiding excite him. He has learnt to imitate nature in many ways. He makes rustling noises while walking like a black bird, never uses the same trails, and mimics bird calls to communicate with his friends.

 

 

 

So the next step is to edit.

 

He clearly needs some sort of ending.

He also needs to work on some more interesting words, and to remove repetitious words.

 

but overall, quite a nice first effort that he wrote himself.

 

 

Ruth

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Lewelma!! I have often wanted to stop and continue with the theme of the lesson for another assignment, but I rarely knew where to start. ;-) I know SWB will have us review certain styles that we have practiced at the end of the year, but I can see now to what degree you 'flesh' things out for your boys and also how the conversation goes. That was very helpful! Rather than just having them write it on the fly like that, you sit down .. take the time to discuss each aspect of a description. Then work through a literature example and perhaps someone we know. That would really help to solidify things with them. ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruth, do you plan to take longer than a year to do each WWS level? The extra discussion and work sessions appear to add several days to the schedule.

 

I alternate between wanting to take the time to do the assignments well and really dig into them, as you describe, and wanting to just get through the program for the exposure. We're only up to Week 11, and I'm starting to worry about running out of time. (I know we won't finish Level 1 this year, but I'd like to get through a fair amount of WWS before high school.)

 

In the OP, you said you plan to use LTOW in 9th. Do you expect to have finished WWS at that point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruth, do you plan to take longer than a year to do each WWS level? The extra discussion and work sessions appear to add several days to the schedule.

 

No, we will finish in a year. We keep to her weekly schedule by compacting the 2 easy days into 1 so he has 2 days to write. Also, I have a 1 hour time block during the day to focus on whatever part of his schedule that he needs help on. For example, this week, Monday was on how to use the calculator to calculate simple and compound interest (kind of complicated!), on Tuesday and Wednesday this week we had to spend that time on discussing WWS. Usually WWS only gets one of the 1 hour time blocks for pre-writing discussion. We edit on Fridays during his "writing" time. We have never before done a re-do, but I am considering it for this week. It kind of depends on what is coming up and if this assignment will be reinforced (I have not looked ahead yet).

 

I alternate between wanting to take the time to do the assignments well and really dig into them, as you describe, and wanting to just get through the program for the exposure.
I am putting a lot of extra time into writing this year to bring ds up to speed. I think it depends on what your child needs. My son needs to understand *why* you write a certain way.

 

In the OP, you said you plan to use LTOW in 9th. Do you expect to have finished WWS at that point?
My ds is in 6th (not 5th as it designed for), so I was planning to do only 3 years of WWS and then jump ship in 9th and move onto rhetoric. However, if WWS is really going well, we will do the 4th year in 9th grade.

 

Ruth

Edited by lewelma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simply put, none of the programs that I own/have owned encompass the entirety of what I personally deem as necessary for a complete writing program. I want a writing program that not only instructs students on how to narrow their thesis, develop their contention, incorporate supporting evidence, and format correctly, but contains excellent instruction on all of those areas. The sources all seem to focus on just a couple aspects at the expense of the development of the other key criteria.

 

At the elementary level, I can't abide by the focus on fiction and personal commentary. It honestly drives me crazy. (did you see the writing samples linked that were written by 8th graders? I don't want that sort of instruction w/in 100 mi of my kids!)

 

For my older kids, I want them to develop strong presentation w/topics in science, history, and lit w/evidence in MLA format. I want them to be able to not only write persuasive essays but also research papers......

 

I have not found a single source that does it all (insert very loud sigh here!! :tongue_smilie:)

 

(ETA: I don't want to get into a discussion about the pros and cons of the various programs you have listed b/c I simply don't have the time. But I did remember one other major criteria I have for teaching writing......that the process is not complicated. I do not believe that making a simple process complex strengthens/improves writing. I actually believe the opposite......making the complex simple allows students to develop their skills.)

 

I bolded the part that I wanted to make a point about. I highly agree with those points. I apologize, but I truly became frustrated with CW. My cry was that writing should not be this complicated to teach. There must be an easier way to teach the skills that CW wants you to learn without it being so incredibly discombobulated. I went through CW Homer. I felt like I swallowed a whale. I must admit that I like IEW only because it seems a lot easier to understand and it explains tasks for the children much simpler.

 

I need to figure out for high school. I was thinking of Elegant Essay. Or I have seriously thought about going back to CW.:tongue_smilie: Maybe I'm nuts.:001_huh:

 

Blessings,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, we will finish in a year. We keep to her weekly schedule by compacting the 2 easy days into 1 so he has 2 days to write.

 

We combined Day 2 and Day 3 this week, and it worked well. I may make that a regular habit, now that the outlining exercises are not taking ds as long. He usually needs two days on the Day 4 assignments, and we spend an extra day every week or two doing revisions. Sounds similar to what you're doing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is DS(11) description of his brother. (unedited)

 

My brother, B****, loves to play in the woods. His light brown hair is often dishevelled and black with dirt contrasting greatly with his sanguine cheeks. When he is in the forest, his bright blue eyes sparkle with joy and exhilaration. Sometimes B****'s entire body is covered with dark brown splotches of dirt and he is often dressed in a dusty brown shirt, shorts, and sturdy sandles. Normally, his pockets are bulging with pine cones, twigs, pebbles, and dirt. He likes to carry a home-made dagger and a huge stick for whacking bushes. Altogether, B**** often makes a striking figure.

 

My brother loves to climb trees because climbing them is challenging, and my brother loves a challenge. The trees he climbs are often far too hard for him, and he often falls. However, when he falls, he never complains but continues to climb the same tree. Often, while at the top of a tree, B**** will enjoy the view or chat with a friend.

 

For exercise, my brother likes to destroy bushes with a very large stick. He savours the obliteration of the plants and the explosion of the leaves. B**** attacks the bushes energetically with wild swinging motions. He does not care whether he destroys native or non-native plants, but rather goes for the most succulent because they explode the best.

 

After he obliterates a few bushes, my brother likes to build huts. He builds them for fun and because they are very challenging and difficult to build. All of the forts that he makes are always carefully planned out and constructed to make them stronger. One thing my brother is very proud of is that his forts use all natural materials. For example, instead of string, B**** uses flax strips to tie together sticks.

 

My brother also enjoys spying. The secretiveness, the stealth, and the hiding excite him. He has learnt to imitate nature in many ways. He makes rustling noises while walking like a black bird, never uses the same trails, and mimics bird calls to communicate with his friends.

 

 

 

 

Ruth

 

What a great description! You really get a sense of knowing what his brother is like. I think it is really, really good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What a great description! You really get a sense of knowing what his brother is like. I think it is really, really good.

 

I let my ds read this and he was very pleased. He is tolerant of me posting his work but being 11 is a bit nervous. Your positive comments are so helpful. He wished I had posted the edited piece, but I told him that people would love to see what he could do on his own without my advice on how to edit. Until about a year ago, my son thought he was a terrible writer, and perhaps he was, but we have been making slow and steady progress. My favorite part of his description is "For exercise, my brother likes to destroy bushes with a very large stick." I love this:001_smile:.

 

I think that all the pre-writing that we did helped him produce a good writing piece. I don't like rubbish. I don't want him to practice producing rubbish, so I prep him until he is ready to produce something at the level that I expect. Sometimes this takes 15 minutes; this week it took 2 hours. I can kind of gauge whether he is ready to be sent off on his own. I don't know how I know, but I do. I don't think there would be a chance in h*ll that he could produce something like this without all the discussion that took place before he wrote. My goal with every type of writing is to discuss less and less as he has more experience. And as this was the first day of the new section of WWS, I needed to do more than normal.

 

I think that 8filltheheart is absolutely right, that you need to have personalized feedback to create successful writers. I spend half of my time before he writes reminding him where he is going, and half of my time after he writes helping him to edit. We probably do WWS more intensively than most users because my ds does not write across the curriculum right now. With the way I work with WWS, it ends up taking up all his writing time. :glare: I also agree with 8 that direct teaching is the best. Too bad I really don't know what to do - a realization that sent me reading, reading, reading this summer. I have been off reading OWL Purdue as suggested, and it looks very good. I have looked at it before but never went into the research section where all the good stuff is. I'm a paper person, and I would really like to print the whole site so I could study it properly! And one final point where I agree with 8 is that more is better. With WWS, my ds writes a 5 paragraph "essay" every week. We discuss on Tues, write on Wed and Thursday, and edit and copy over on Friday. IMHO, the more the better as long as the writing is purposeful and not just writing for the sake of writing.

 

Ruth

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are a few weeks behind you in WWS but I'm planning on showing your son's description to dd11 when we get to that section. It is very interesting and informative to read how you go about the lessons. I'm going to try and incorporate some of the things you mentioned, as I think we will get a lot more out of the lessons if we do.

 

ETA - I showed your ds's description to my husband when I was reading it and he thought it was very good and then he said "What a fantastic childhood those kids are having."

 

 

Trenna

Edited by tcb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruth,

Your son's description is beautiful! He's not only very observant, but is on his way to being an excellent writer. But most importantly, he loves his brother (you don't have to tell him that, but it shone through his description).

 

You're doing great work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is DS(11) description of his brother. (unedited)

 

My brother, B****, loves to play in the woods. His light brown hair is often dishevelled and black with dirt contrasting greatly with his sanguine cheeks. When he is in the forest, his bright blue eyes sparkle with joy and exhilaration. Sometimes B****'s entire body is covered with dark brown splotches of dirt and he is often dressed in a dusty brown shirt, shorts, and sturdy sandles. Normally, his pockets are bulging with pine cones, twigs, pebbles, and dirt. He likes to carry a home-made dagger and a huge stick for whacking bushes. Altogether, B**** often makes a striking figure.

 

My brother loves to climb trees because climbing them is challenging, and my brother loves a challenge. The trees he climbs are often far too hard for him, and he often falls. However, when he falls, he never complains but continues to climb the same tree. Often, while at the top of a tree, B**** will enjoy the view or chat with a friend.

 

For exercise, my brother likes to destroy bushes with a very large stick. He savours the obliteration of the plants and the explosion of the leaves. B**** attacks the bushes energetically with wild swinging motions. He does not care whether he destroys native or non-native plants, but rather goes for the most succulent because they explode the best.

 

After he obliterates a few bushes, my brother likes to build huts. He builds them for fun and because they are very challenging and difficult to build. All of the forts that he makes are always carefully planned out and constructed to make them stronger. One thing my brother is very proud of is that his forts use all natural materials. For example, instead of string, B**** uses flax strips to tie together sticks.

 

My brother also enjoys spying. The secretiveness, the stealth, and the hiding excite him. He has learnt to imitate nature in many ways. He makes rustling noises while walking like a black bird, never uses the same trails, and mimics bird calls to communicate with his friends.

 

 

Ruth

Thanks for posting your sons writing. VERY impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just finished a very close reading of CW Diogenes, and have noted a number of contrasts that hopefully will be helpful to those trying to decided between the 2 programs. I still want to evaluate Herodotus, but it is looooong. Plus, having read 8filltheheart and Angela of OH's ideas about high school writing http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=350368 , I feel that I need to read the OWL Perdue website and AP English comp and AP English lit syllabi to help inform my analysis. This might take a month, but I will post it when I am done.

 

Ok, so here is a comparison of WWS and CW, there are obviously pros and cons to each, so I tried to write it from the point of view of finding what would be best for your particular student.

 

WWS is designed for 5th through 8th (although others are using it successfully with older students). Thus, it is approximately for the same ages as CW Homer and Diogenes.

 

Both WWS and CW are pre rhetoric: meaning that students are working off a set pattern or outline, rather than independently thinking up their own material and organizing it. Both programs give students the topics that they will write about.

 

WWS has more variety of writing than CW. In Homer, you are rewriting stories in various ways for 2 years and in Diogenes you are working to augment maxim/chreia for 2 years. In Diogenes you use the same outline for the entire 2 years, just increasing your understanding of it. WWS has descriptions of places, people, scientific events etc and narratives of history and science broken up into numerous subcategories. WWS also includes lit analysis and a research paper. WWS has clear cut development ideas for the papers being written, but does not have a paragraph by paragraph set outline like Diogenes does.

 

WWS does not give students as much time to master the material as CW because it covers more types of writing. Diogenes in particular really encourages students to master the form of this progym exercise, working on it for 2 years. The authors state “much material is mastered by slow and steady exposure, not by a one time Herculean effort at understanding it.”

 

Diogenes contains more persuasive writing than WWS1. However, it has students support maxim/chreia that are “commonsensical to humanity at large, “ And because of this, the persuasive style is much easier on the student. As the author states, “ we may assume a favorably disposed audience.” Although I don't know the specifics what WWS 2-4 will include, her 4-year overview did not suggest persuasive writing would be included.

 

Diogenes has a very formulaic outline including “actual word patterns” to mimic. Most student's writing would sound very similar. The author refers to “learning stock formulas for writing.” However this structure leads incrementally to success, and the idea is that as students improve their understanding of the form, they can vary more from it. WWS is much more free form. Its focus is on what you are choosing to include. It expects 200-600 words of description with only a few ideas to get you started. Every student's work would be very different. Some students might find the lack of specific direction to be a difficult hurdle while others might find it freeing.

 

Diogenes has a very nice unit on applying what was learned in the progym exercises to a modern expository essay including very clear instructions on thesis development. It also has students do a little bit of work on the timed essay.

 

Diogenes and WWS (as described in her 4 year outline) study about half of the invention topics covered in Corbett. Each studying a different subset.

 

WWS has much less developed work on copia

 

WWS studies modern writing styles and CW studies ancient writing styles. In the end, I would think it would be personal opinion as to whether improving ones writing through ancient styles would directly apply to modern styles with only minimal time to adapt, or whether students need to practice exactly what they are expected to write in order to have success.

 

CW has more difficult material than WWS for the critical reading (although we have not seen the later years of WWS). Diogenes uses both ancient and modern models.

 

Right now my overall opinion is that CW is a more complete program (more critical reading and copia than WWS); that CW holds the student's hand more; and that WWS has a larger variety of styles studied and uses more modern topics and examples.

 

Hope this helps someone.

 

Ruth in NZ

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering if my nephew would be able to handle CW, especially since he seems so lost with WWS. I suspect he has ADHD and has such a hard time staying focused and following directions. You have sold me, however, when you stated that CW provides a lot more hand holding. That is exactly what I am looking for.

 

Now I just need to figure out where to place him. He is currently in 7th grade and I am working with him on spelling (AAS), grammar (Winston), and reading fluency and reading comprehension (with me because he reads at about a 5th grade level). He loves to write, especially creatively but he does not use punctuation, does not know when to start or stop a paragraph, and does not always have proper sentences. All advice welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He loves to write, especially creatively but he does not use punctuation, does not know when to start or stop a paragraph, and does not always have proper sentences. All advice welcome!

 

If you want to use CW, place him in Homer (but there are other programs out there besides WWS and CW that you could choose from). Homer is all about story writing, whereas Diogenes is more analytical. Plus, the readings in Diogenes are NOT at 5th grade level. You could, if you want, do Homer in a year rather than 2. There is a schedule at the back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want to use CW, place him in Homer (but there are other programs out there besides WWS and CW that you could choose from). Homer is all about story writing, whereas Diogenes is more analytical. Plus, the readings in Diogenes are NOT at 5th grade level. You could, if you want, do Homer in a year rather than 2. There is a schedule at the back.

I know there are other curriculum to choose from but funds are limited so I have to try something already on my shelves:

 

* IEW Medieval HBWL - he seemed to grasp the concept of dress-ups, sentence openers, and keyword outlines but could never put them into practice. Even when I didn't require these items he could not put coherent paragraphs together. We got to Lesson 4 or 5.

 

* WWS - This is a little easier than IEW but he cannot distinguish between important and unimportant information when summarizing, narrating, and outlining. He includes everything, he is so into the story he wants to share it all, lol. When I ask him to give me three sentences he gives me run-on sentences to fit everything in. He also has a little problem with putting the sentences in chronological order. We are on Week 5.

 

* I have Writing Strands 5, 6, & 7 but have not tried them with him because it drove me crazy. Maybe I should look it over again, as I recall it had a very creative bent to it and I think that is why I could not figure out how to use it.

 

* I have the book Powerful Paragraphs and the lesson plans from IEW to go with it. I think this will be very useful in helping him learn how to structure his paragraphs.

 

Ok, I have looked over the Homer Core and really love what I see:

 

* Day 1 will help him with reading fluency and comprehension, narration, summarizing, outlining, literary analysis, and vocabulary.

* Day 2 will help with dictation, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar.

* Day 3 will help with diagramming.

* Day 4 will help with types of paragraphs, summarizing, and precis.

 

So it looks like I can sell a lot the Writing curriculum I have on hand!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Post #128 is fabulous!

I have been drawn to CW, and tried Writing Tales 1 for two or three weeks. Ds9 doesn't like it because he has to write a second draft with his personal creativity in the stories. Now I am not sure CW will work for him? Should I just let do the first draft, which is the rewrite of the tales and not require the second creative writing?

I am tentatively thinking of using a combination of WWS and IEW SWI DVDs.

Right now we are using SWI A for two weeks and both ds9 and ds7 are willing to do the key work outlining and the writing.

I am focusing on writing this year since he is 9. He has finished WWE1,2,3. Should I let him do WWE4? I would like to use this time to do other writing programs like IEW and WT 1 (simplified CW) to see if they are a good fit for him.

I will wait and see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was wondering if my nephew would be able to handle CW, especially since he seems so lost with WWS. I suspect he has ADHD and has such a hard time staying focused and following directions. You have sold me, however, when you stated that CW provides a lot more hand holding. That is exactly what I am looking for.

 

Now I just need to figure out where to place him. He is currently in 7th grade and I am working with him on spelling (AAS), grammar (Winston), and reading fluency and reading comprehension (with me because he reads at about a 5th grade level). He loves to write, especially creatively but he does not use punctuation, does not know when to start or stop a paragraph, and does not always have proper sentences. All advice welcome!

 

If you want to use CW, place him in Homer (but there are other programs out there besides WWS and CW that you could choose from). Homer is all about story writing, whereas Diogenes is more analytical. Plus, the readings in Diogenes are NOT at 5th grade level. You could, if you want, do Homer in a year rather than 2. There is a schedule at the back.

 

I believe there is also a CW program for Older Beginners which is a combination of Aesop and Homer. Otherwise I agree with lewelma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe there is also a CW program for Older Beginners which is a combination of Aesop and Homer. Otherwise I agree with lewelma.

 

Thank you. I'm still trying to figure out if I want to go just Homer or Aesop/Homer for Older Beginners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I have finished Herodotus, and to inform my opinion I have read the OWL Purdue site, Essays and Term Papers, The Student Writing Handbook, and listened (again) to SWB's high school writing lecture. I have not yet read through the AP lit and comp syllabi and examples (they are detailed :001_huh:).

 

Big Picture

 

First of all, let me say that Herodotus is by far her best book IMHO, (and I went in with pretty low expectations because the progym exercises are not my favorite). Its layout is clear, its writing style is engaging, and its compact size feels approachable. In addition, in contrast to her Homer and Diogenes, Herodotus is balanced between the progym and modern writing.

 

To evaluate Herodotus from a macro point of view, I am going to use SWB's writing lecture as a guide, because I think that her approach is simple and effective and of course because she is a goddess:D. So to summarize, SWB suggests that the high school student do a self-study 2-5 hours/week of Rhetoric with 4 books spread over 4 years including:

 

Weston's A Rulebook for Arguments

DeAngelo's Composition in the Classical tradition

Kane's New Oxford Guide to Writing and

Corbett's Classical Rhetoric for the modern student

 

And each week write 2 1-page persuasive papers and each year write 2 research papers or 1 really long one.

 

I have read the above books except Kane's, but can tell from the table of contents where it falls in the picture. I personally don't really like Weston because it is a scatter gun approach, and Herodotus and the other 3 texts above are much much more logically organized and systematic.

 

My first big take away is that Herodotus is a rhetoric text like the ones above. It is 1/3 DeAngelo (progym practice but MUCH better examples), 1/3 Kane (common topics, intro and conclusion development, modern writing) and 1/3 Corbett (analysis of readings, formal logic, classical rhetoric). I think you could definitely use it for a self-study rhetoric text, and it would take you about 3 hours per week to read and do the exercises. I personally much prefer Herodotus over DeAngelo or Weston, and it is much more detailed and approachable than Corbett.

 

As for the additional essays SWB suggests, Herodotus does recommends that the student write an essay every 2 weeks. It gives some prompts but you could easily choose some from your own history/lit studies, and with one exception, you could definitely do 1 shorter paper per week instead of a longer one every 2 weeks (the refutation/confirmations are long and would take 2 weeks). Herodotus does not cover research papers at all, but it does have a chapter on MLA format.

 

In general, I was surprised at how Herodotus the text (not the student guide which I have not seen) did not really feel like a curriculum. It felt more like a textbook that a student would read and do some of the exercises. For me personally, I might use it this way -- have my ds read the text and also write across the curriculum, just like SWB recommends. There is a lot of material in the text that would be very useful in helping a student decode an essay prompt and invent something to say, and this material is so well organized that it would be hard to present it in a more concise or directed format. Herodotus is very logical and has the student memorize lists of analysis questions/approaches/formats. It is probably the exact opposite of something like Bravewriter. So it really depends on your student and how he/she learns.

 

More detailed analysis

 

Herodotus sets the bar HIGH for both reading and writing. I really like this. It keeps you as the parent-teacher honest about what you should be expecting. I also like that its overarching theme is that there must be a *purpose* for your writing -- you must tailor your message to the reader. She goes back again and again with different angles to really reinforce this point throughout the entire text.

 

Herodotus focuses on argumentation. In the first 2 chapters (8 weeks out of 25) the student studies the progym exercises -- refutation/confirmation and commonplace. Here you "follow the outline step by step." Each paragraph has a set purpose in the outline, and the student must find an argument that fits this purpose. She does an excellent job of leading the student through difficult material using the following format for each chapter: instructive paragraph and ancient and modern models for the type of essay; then for each paragraph type within the essay, she has a few days study with an example, an explanation of why it works, and student practice activities. These activities are very good and not busy work.

 

The middle third of the book (10 chapters) concerns the common topics, special topics, and introductory/concluding approaches. This is my favorite part of the book. It is really excellent. Very useful material for modern essay writing. It has excellent examples, outlines, instruction, and practice activities.

 

In the last chapter (6 weeks) of the rhetoric portion of the text, Herodotus integrates the study of formal logic with writing. This is a replacement for the copia work that was so important in previous books. I did not read that chapter because I have never studied formal logic, so I have no opinion as to how well she integrates it into the whole of Herodotus.

 

The final chapter (which is outside of the rhetoric portion) gives very well-written examples of the 5 types of essays the student will write throughout the year while concurrently reading the text. Essay types include slant narrative, confirmation, refutation, commonplace, and the argumentative essay. You do not need to split your time evenly with each of these. The argumentative essays prompts are difficult, but the material the student has studied will lead incrementally to success. Here is an example: "Compare the contributions of artists to society with the contributions of scientist to society. Which type of contribution do you think is valued more by your society?"

 

I do think you could use Herodotus without doing the prior levels of Classical Writing. The main thing you would struggle with is augmenting maxims/chreias but these are only used as suggested prompts a couple of times, and you could simply change these suggested assignments. Although Herodotus is mostly a stand alone text, I do think it would be worth while (but not required) do do the Maxim/Chreia "in a month" program.

 

Overall, I think that Herodotus challenges a student to think, but holds his hand every step of the way to assure success. It even directs note taking and memorizing of certain rhetorical approaches. Never does it feel like you are out on a cliff with no idea of what to do. The step by step process through difficult material is the hallmark of her approach.

 

Ruth in NZ

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruth,

 

Thank you so much for sharing. Your reviews are so detailed and thorough. How does the middle section compare to the invention of LToW? How will you use them both, if you will?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Ruth. I really appreciate your comparison of Herodotus with SWB's rhetoric recommendations. Now we just need to know about Plutarch, Shakespeare, and Demosthenes! And no, I don't expect you to do that review, though you're very good at it. :)

 

How much of Kane, Weston, and Corbett would you say remain to be covered after a student uses Herodotus? I am awaiting the arrival of those first three but won't be buying Herodotus for a while, as we're just about to start Homer. I'm curious to know what to expect from the last three CW books for this to fully replace the self-study SWB has laid out. Also, if we follow CW as I understand the schedule, we'll have 12th grade free for other writing.

Edited by Teonei

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much of Kane, Weston, and Corbett would you say remain to be covered after a student uses Herodotus?

 

Extrapolating Herodotus to the next books, it will definitely replace D'Angelo because it covers all the Progym exercises. Weston might have a few extra little tips in it, but Herodotus is far superior. SWB chose Weston because it is a non-threatening intro to Rhetoric. Herodotus is Rhetoric. I have not seen Kane, or the upper levels of CW, so not sure about Kane. Herodotus makes a good stab at Corbett. However, Corbett has some nice, long modern essays with evaluations that take up about half of the book that would definitely be worth doing. Also, Corbett has some nice info on improving style with fancy techniques which I don't know if CW will cover.

 

I'm curious to know what to expect from the last three CW books for this to fully replace the self-study SWB has laid out.

 

Yes, I do, with the exception of about half of Corbett. You could plan Corbett for 12th grade.

 

Ruth

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Ruth! This is great! We are working in Maxim now and I really think that this is the writing program that will work best for us. I need all of the help I can get. I do have the Killgallon books (2 of them, one for elementary and one for middle school) as well as several other books (Kane, Weston, one recommended by 8FillstheHeart and one handbook recommended by Janice...I think I'm covered...:lol:).

Thanks again for sharing your reviews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for sharing. Your reviews are so detailed and thorough.

 

Thanks for this.

 

How does the middle section compare to the invention of LToW?
LToW is all about guided discussion. It teaches the student how to ask questions about topics and how to organize the answers into an essay. IMHO it is a program that is easily compacted depending on the skill of your student upon starting the program. It is much easier academically than herodotus, and *requires* a teacher. Herodotus, on the other hand, could be a self-study IMHO. In general, Herodotus is much more analytical. For example, here is a random paragraph about the common topic of similarity/difference.

 

Herodotus: "In general, we argue from similarities on the grounds that when we see a trend, we may infer that the trend is likely to continue along the same predictable path, but we can never conclusively prove that, based on the information we have been given. The argument from similarity is always weak argument which can only infer a trend."

 

In contrast here is an example of guided discussion from LToW. You are NOT supposed to use this as a script. This example is going to clarify the subcategories of "difference".

 

LToW: "Let’s look at another example. Whether we should go to Disney world or snowskiing.

First, we need to find out some things about Disney world and snow skiing

what are they both? What do they both have? What do they both do?

Now let's draw some differences from these similarities

which is more fun? better fun? which has more travel? better travel? Which requires more clothing? which has better weather?

Notice how we have identified differences of more and less, and better and worse.

What kind of entertainment do each provide? what kids of risks? what kind of people etc

Notice how we have identified differences of kind. "

 

Obviously, I have yanked these examples out of context so they are difficult to understand, but the difference in approach of the 2 programs should be quite obvious. They are both good and both have their place.

 

How will you use them both, if you will?
I might use LToW in 9th and Herodotus in 10th. or I might compact LToW into just the material my ds needs and do it in 8th in addition to his work with WWS. He would then read Herodotus in 9th and do writing across the curriculum. It really depends on how much he is improving with WWS and how long each daily WWS assignment takes him. We have a bit of a schedule to keep because he has to take the IGCSE english exams in 10th here in NZ so I have to make sure he has enough time to practice persuasive writing.

 

Ruth

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did you find the overall scope and sequence for WWS? I am having a hard time comparing CW and WWS, because I don't know where WWS is going. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where did you find the overall scope and sequence for WWS? I am having a hard time comparing CW and WWS, because I don't know where WWS is going. :)

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Topoi-expanded.pdf

 

SWB posted it on post 131 on the WWS thread. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=303489&page=14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a x-post from the k-8 writing workshop. I decided to put it here because I ended up comparing WWS with IEW. The question concerned a student who was writing really well using IEW but more "amateurish" using WWS.

 

 

My response: My ds used IEW for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade, MCT PT for 5th (a bust), and WWS for 6th. Although I think WWS is very effective, ds is finding it to be difficult. And I do not think that it is as independent as people keep saying it is, at least it is not for my son. We often have to discuss the writing style or assignment for 20 minutes before he starts. Or I have to help him choose a topic and then help him organize his thoughts. Or occasionally we have to do a very big discussion because he totally does not get it! (see post #114 on this thread)

 

I have not used the IEW high school material or the topical material, but the IEW TWSS appears to be at a lower level than WWS for a few reasons.

 

1) With IEW, the student gets to choose his own topic and subtopics. In WWS, SWB is providing the topic and the material from which the student will choose.

 

2) IEW is more concerned with structure and style and less with what ideas go into the paper. WWS is really focused on developing skill within different writing genres (scientific narrative, description of a place etc). This material goes far beyond the structure of paragraph, essay, clincher, etc. Basically, WWS assumes those skills have already been mastered.

 

3) IEW has a unit on research reports from multiple sources and fused outlines, these reports have 3 topics with 5-7 sub-points within each and you choose which source contains which sub-point. In contrast in WWS, she is blending different writing genres. For the biographical sketch, you need to include a description within a chronological narrative, and this narrative must have a theme and use material from multiple sources. The WWS writing is more like a research report than an 5 paragraph essay.

 

4) IEW uses the 5 paragraph essay formula. WWS does not use any clear cut formulas. SWB has stated quite clearly in her writing lectures that she does not teach the 5-paragraph essay as it will never be used in college. So all of the writing assignments in WWS have no formula, and that requires the student to think more.

 

5) Finally, as a negative about WWS, I am not yet convinced that it is easy to choose topics from a very large outline that SWB has pulled from numerous sources on a topic (Daniel Boone for us today). You are not actually reading text, but using an outline from a text. I think Susan's idea is 1) to speed the process a bit as the kids do not have to read all the sources, and 2) to focus on *what topics* are chosen, which is easier to see in outline form. But I still think it is difficult, and possibly not a transferable skill. I suppose I will know in a few years.:001_smile:

Edited by lewelma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5) Finally, as a negative about WWS, I am not yet convinced that it is easy to choose topics from a very large outline that SWB has pulled from numerous sources on a topic (Daniel Boone for us today). You are not actually reading text, but using an outline from a text. I think Susan's idea is 1) to speed the process a bit as the kids do not have to read all the sources, and 2) to focus on *what topics* are chosen, which is easier to see in outline form. But I still think it is difficult, and possibly not a transferable skill. I suppose I will know in a few years.:001_smile:

 

My impression of her inclusion of all those notes as opposed to having the student go do all the original reading is that it makes it easier for the student who is just beginning to piece compositions together. I think later in WWS she shows the student how to take notes. But early on, she makes it easy for the student to compose. If it's not easy to choose topics from those notes, it will be even more difficult to choose topics from the original reading. But I think that's why she was so precise in teaching the student how to pick topics from the notes. I thought that she felt she had to teach the student from the bare outline of the reading, as opposed to going deeper and teaching the student from the thick reading from various sources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of curiosity, would it be crazy to go from WWE3 to CC-Fable to WWS? My son is doing well with WWS having done no WWE, but he has always been a decent writer. My daughter does okay with WWE, but I see some things in CC-Fable I would like her to have before WWS, I think, that I don't think she will get from another year of WWE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My impression of her inclusion of all those notes as opposed to having the student go do all the original reading is that it makes it easier for the student who is just beginning to piece compositions together. I think later in WWS she shows the student how to take notes. But early on, she makes it easy for the student to compose. If it's not easy to choose topics from those notes, it will be even more difficult to choose topics from the original reading. But I think that's why she was so precise in teaching the student how to pick topics from the notes. I thought that she felt she had to teach the student from the bare outline of the reading, as opposed to going deeper and teaching the student from the thick reading from various sources.

 

I'm guessing it depends on the kid. For both my son and me, it is difficult to read an outline and understand the topic well enough to write a composition. We have to read some books on the topic first and then SWB's outline makes sense. This is true even for topics that we know something about. Perhaps it is just the flow of the text vs the choppiness of an outline. But my son finds it easier to pull topics out of text than off someone else's outline. Go figure. All this means is that we have to read on the upcoming topic in the days leading up to the assignment. Then, we can follow the instructions and do the assignment as SWB intended.

 

Ruth in NZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Out of curiosity, would it be crazy to go from WWE3 to CC-Fable to WWS?

 

I have only used WWE1-3 and have not used CC-Fable as written (we just studied the figures of description), but I definitely think you could do CC-Fable in place of WWE4. The figures of description are really fun to play with. Basically, to succeed in WWS, a child needs to be able to write a summary easily and well, and be able to write a full page of organized paragraphs in a day. So just make sure that the fables she writes are longish and detailed. Also, I would consider some non-fiction writing practice before doing WWS as it is the focus of curriculum.

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oraetstudia-

 

This is exactly what I did with my dc and it worked out well. In fact we are now using CC Narrative alongside WWS. WWS is our primary, but we manage to sneak in weeks of CC here and there for added descriptive writing practice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...