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mom31257

Writing Across the Curriculum

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We do this, as well as adding on a more laid-back writing program like Killgallon, which we do in 2 x 30min periods each week. The rest of our writing instruction happens in history and science. DS has just turned 12 and will start year 7 next year. He's very capable but loathes the physical act of writing (he has mild dyspraxia). We read between 2 and 4 sources and then make a plan. This might be a mind map if its large subject (eg Celtic Britain), or a list of important points to flesh out (like a primary outline) for a single subject summary (eg Celtic religion). The former is then tackled as separate smaller summaries using this list method. Once we have a list of important points, we flesh them out with details from the various sources. We then compose an essay: opening paragraph (define topic, tell them what you're going to tell them) and a paragraph for each important point, adding the details we've noted, then a closing paragraph (tell them what you've told them). I don't follow the 5 paragraph essay format.

 

We do this together. There is lots of discussion. Sometimes I scribe and we usually compose the summary on the blackboard before DS copies it into his book. DS watched this process for 6 months or so before I pushed him for input (he usually gave some anyway). He can now do it by himself, but I reduce the source materials down to 2 and make sure that they aren't radically different or that one adds detail to the big picture presented by the other, and I'm always on hand.

 

Science is similar, depending on the content area. Lab reports are a bit more formulaic. I'm currently pushing structured short answers for geography and science (seems essay writing is easier!), and we'll start lit and poetry analysis next year, with writing attached.

 

I'd be really pleased if WWS was released in a "Complete Writer" format so that I could run the process with our content, but I'm happy using Killgallon for creative writing and it has improved DS's writing across the board. I also pick bits out of Writing Strands.

D

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For us we use R&S English which includes composition lessons. Once they have completed lessons there on a topic they are expected to carry those skills over into all subjects. My kids do writing as closely as I can do to what is written in WTM. They do copywork (For example, dd8 has a penmanship program w/copywork and she has Apologia Notebooking Journal, which includes copywork.) I also write sentences for them to copy into notebooks on things we are studying such as Bible instead of having them write answers to workbook questions. We do those orally instead for discussion. I give dictation once a week to both. Both write for science (narrations of topics studies or lab sheets) and history: narrations for dd8, outlines and summaries for dd10. Both write pen pal letters and occasionally have creative writing assignments from SOTW or other things we are studying.

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Thanks for the links!

 

 

 

 

You're welcome. Hope it is a help to you; SWB's audio lectures are some of the best money I have spent for *anything* in this homeschooling journey. She is very good at breaking down a big concept into do-able steps. She also gave similar lectures at a classical ed. conference; they are linked in this thread. All her talks from that conference were excellent!

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Listening in.... Really want to go in this direction. I have the WWE text and all of SWB's writing lectures...maybe I will dig into those over Christmas break.

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I do this with Classical Writing.  We do the assigned projects and then sometimes it asks for a similar project done 'across the curriculum'. So we pick something from history or science or literature and re-write a narrative from there for either Aesop or Homer levels.  For the upper levels, essay writing, we pick topics from our other discussions and create a thesis to work with from there.  

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I do it based on SWB's writing audio lectures (that Zookeeper linked). What it actually looks like varies between ages, of course.

 

For my 12yo, I usually grab a history book, find a passage pertaining roughly to what we're learning in history, and have him do a 3-level outline. The next day he takes the outline and rewrites it into a composition. I use a few different books for this and typing this out makes me think I really should add a science book or two to the rotation. :)

 

For my 10yo, he writes a narration after reading either a passage in our history book, or after reading about an animal in a Nature Reader, or explains a science experiment we did that day. That's twice a week. Another two days he does one-level outlines from our history book. The two oldest also do lit. essays once a week. I ask them which book they read that week, go through the discussion questions from WTM, then 12yo answers a few questions in writing. 10yo isn't writing them yet; he's still in the discussion-only phase.

 

8yo takes dictation twice a week and narrates to me twice a week from our science lesson, or history book, or the 3rd grade Pathway reader if I'm desperate.

 

6yo narrates to me twice a week from Pathway or Nature Reader and does copywork from those narrations the other two days.

 

So writing across curriculum for me actually means writing about our science or history lessons, and about the books they're reading, and that writing sort of becomes a part of science and history instead of its own separate subject. That also means we aren't doing worksheets or other exercises as part of those subjects; they do writing instead.

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