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fluffybunny

Lost Tools of Writing versus IEW - comparison please!

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We're coming towards the end of WWS1 with ds12, and there have been some struggles on his part (though I love WWS). His main problem is lack of concentration and rushing through activities, and for me; having to be 'parent at elbow' at all times or there will be no work done at all. He refuses to read the lesson, so I have to read it to him, though I encourage him to take turns with me. As for topics, he will often refuse to do the topic listed in WWS and only wants to write about aeroplanes; so his essays all sound exactly the same, with no evolution or expansion. He also just does the absolute bare minimum work that passes as 'acceptable', though he's capable of a bit more.

 

So, I'm wondering if a different program might help with these issues once we finish? I can't decide between LTW and IEW. Can anyone advise?

 

thank you

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Sounds like an attitude problem, not a curriculum problem.

 

Perhaps let him write about airplanes, but insist that the results be significant with multiple drafts, revisions and expansions and so on.

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We're coming towards the end of WWS1 with ds12, and there have been some struggles on his part (though I love WWS). His main problem is lack of concentration and rushing through activities, and for me; having to be 'parent at elbow' at all times or there will be no work done at all. He refuses to read the lesson, so I have to read it to him, though I encourage him to take turns with me. As for topics, he will often refuse to do the topic listed in WWS and only wants to write about aeroplanes; so his essays all sound exactly the same, with no evolution or expansion. He also just does the absolute bare minimum work that passes as 'acceptable', though he's capable of a bit more.

 

So, I'm wondering if a different program might help with these issues once we finish? I can't decide between LTW and IEW. Can anyone advise?

 

thank you

 

Another thought:

 

Is there possibly a learning disability that lurks under the surface making it look like an attitude problem? How well can he read? Maybe he was not ready for WWS? I noticed that some of the other materials mentioned in your signature put him more at grade 4 level (DS 6/7th: MUS Delta, SOTW4, ... ). If an LD is part of the situation, then I am not familiar with LTW, but think that IEW COULD help.

Edited by Pen

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Pen, he definitely has no reading LD, and he is only behind in maths since this is our first year homeschooling, and we started from MUS Alpha. He has been tested for LDs and doesn't have them, though he does have HFA, and not having the right help in school made him get behind. We completed WWE last year before school each day. The work isn't too hard for him; he's just not motivated and doesn't see any point in it.

 

I think one of the problems is that he has no competition with anyone. He loves being hs'd, but I think I need to start grading his work and giving him marks etc.

 

I'm leaning towards LTW at the moment.

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I know this is a couple years ago, but in case anyone is still interested in a comparison, I recently wrote one and posted it on my blog. It seemed like several moms in my community were wondering about this, so I wrote this article: http://www.expandingwisdom.com/2014/02/comparing-iew-and-lost-tools-of-writing.html

Jen

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I was the OP of this thread  :o

 

That was two years ago! We started IEW Writing Intensive B and he loved it and overcame a lot of the problems listed above  :) We had huge success with IEW after WWS.

 

I have bought the LTW program and will begin it once we've finished IEW Speech and IEW Medieval Writing. So at this point I only have the IEW - WWS comparison. 

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Awesome, it sounds like things are going well. In case you do not know, LTW has a free Yahoo group. It is an invaluable resource as you being to teach it. There are files filled with examples and extra resources and a forum style board that is visited daily. All of the CiRCE people answer questions related to LTW directly as well as the 2nd and 3rd year Apprentices and other parents you have been teaching LTW for some time. Here is the link: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LTWmentor/info

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Awesome, it sounds like things are going well. In case you do not know, LTW has a free Yahoo group. It is an invaluable resource as you being to teach it. There are files filled with examples and extra resources and a forum style board that is visited daily. All of the CiRCE people answer questions related to LTW directly as well as the 2nd and 3rd year Apprentices and other parents you have been teaching LTW for some time. Here is the link: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LTWmentor/info

 

Not the OP, but thank you for this information!! Very helpful to me!

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've seen, IEW delves into research papers with three sources, and stuff like that, but LToW deals mainly with the persuasive essay. So I think they cover different types of writing...I could be wrong though. I've only looked at LToW, never used it.

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For IEW I believe Unit 9 is essay writing.  I'm working with a student through IEW's Elegant Essay right now, which is much more in depth concerning essay writing.  We are both loving it.  Up to this point the student has only ever used Abeka.  Her mom says the daughter came home ecstatic saying repeatedly that she finally understood what she had to do for writing class.  That IEW checklist is like a life preserver for some kids.

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We're coming towards the end of WWS1 with ds12, and there have been some struggles on his part (though I love WWS). His main problem is lack of concentration and rushing through activities, and for me; having to be 'parent at elbow' at all times or there will be no work done at all. He refuses to read the lesson, so I have to read it to him, though I encourage him to take turns with me. As for topics, he will often refuse to do the topic listed in WWS and only wants to write about aeroplanes; so his essays all sound exactly the same, with no evolution or expansion. He also just does the absolute bare minimum work that passes as 'acceptable', though he's capable of a bit more.

 

So, I'm wondering if a different program might help with these issues once we finish? I can't decide between LTW and IEW. Can anyone advise?

 

thank you

 

Dear fluffybunny,

 

I have taught both IEW and LToW to groups of homeschoolers over the years, though I just started teaching LToW last year. I have completed LToW Level 1 with a group of young teens and would love to give you a brief comparison. 

 

IEW Pros:

  • Very effective for discouraged young writers
  • Uses a very easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach
  • The procedure is the same each time: a basic and quick composition followed by editing through the use of checklists
  • Students love the curriculum because they are told exactly what they need to do to compose a report/story/essay/research paper.
  • Fast results and improvement in the quality of word choices encourages students to love writing
  • LOTS of practice with choosing keywords from a passage (an important skill to develop!)

IEW Cons:

  • Very little emphasis on creating one's own content
  • All reports are basically a rewriting of other sources based on keywords
  • After the initial excitement and progress, students get tired of the repetitiveness
  • Doesn't prepare a student for the kind of advanced analytical and persuasive writing that will be required in the university

LToW Pros:

  • Very well-organized in terms of lesson structure
  • Greater emphasis on creating content, i.e. coming up with what to say (greatest strength of the curriculum, in my opinion)
  • Focuses on the persuasive essay; hones in on specific types of persuasive essays in level 2
  • Essays are fun to read and meaningful, because all essays answer a "should" question (e.g. Should Edmund have followed the White Witch?)
  • Students in the dialectic and rhetoric stage love these assignments because they learn many different ways to argue, including learning how to refute counterarguments 
  • It is extremely easy to integrate LToW into your other subjects, because essay topics can be taken from any subject (history, literature, current events, etc.).

LToW Cons:

  • Lessons on style (elocution) are a bit hard to keep track of. IEW seems to do a better job when it comes to improving style.
  • Students have to work harder, because the assignments require more brainstorming. (This is actually a good thing, of course, and comes naturally to the student who loves to argue.)
  • Does not teach students how to do research, but focuses instead on making one's argument as strong as possible (at least in level 1; level 2 and on may include more of this, but I haven't gotten that far yet)

 

In summary, IEW is an excellent place to start for students who absolutely hate writing. It helps them get over the fear of writing by giving very easy-to-follow steps and showing them fast (and good!) results. However, the curriculum plateau's after a couple years of use. As a teacher, I start to worry at this point that students aren't learning how to come up with their own content, since they are always choosing keywords from other sources and rewriting sentences with those keywords. At that point, I'd switch to LToW, now that students are armed with all the stylistic techniques from IEW. It is a welcome switch, and I try to make the transition as seamless as possible by showing them how many of the stylistic techniques are just like the elocution lessons in LToW. 

 

For older students who feel confident with words (e.g. those who love to write fiction for fun), LToW is more interesting for them, because it provides structure while giving them the space to create what they want to say. 

 

Well, this is all I can think of off the top of my head for now, but I do hope it is helpful! I also teach online tutorials in LToW and an introduction to LToW here: www.coramdeotutorials in case anyone is interested. I'd be happy to share more if anything I've said here is unclear!

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Update: IEW was a huge success. Ds came in the top 20% of his SAT score in essay and maths and is going into tertiary education in a few months! We also did various other writing programs, but IEW was the one that triggered things.

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I disagree on the points that IEW plateaus  after a couple of years and doesn’t encourage original thought. It is after the first couple of years of IEW that the student’s writing starts to noticeably improve and skill development begins to accelerate. They transition from using the checklist as the focus of their writing to using the checklist principles naturally. If you get into the higher levels of IEW, you will observe this development in your student. 

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