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Writing Strands help needed for newbie homeschooler!


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I don't know which Writing Strands to start with for my almost 7 year old. He has a reading age of around 9 years and loves to write. This is a sample of what he has written recently:

Last night me and Dad went to the movies. We went to see Prinse caspein. At first we went to SweetLand and we got a pacit of lollis and wicked fizz was so fizzey I think its good that they called it wicked fizz and there was a little pineapple box and inside was some pineapple flavered shoger. The end.

I bought the first book of Writing Strands but, without looking at the disc, it seems a bit basic for him.


I am wondering if I should begin with the first or whether he's better suited to starting a bit further in.


Any thoughts from experienced users of this program?

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My almost 9 year old did Writing Strands 3. Sounds like your son could at least start on Writing Strands 2. Go to www.Christianbook.com and view a sample of the text there. If 1 is too basic, 2 is probably where you should start. Book 3 starts with expanding a sentence (i.e. The kite. The kite is yellow. We flew the yellow kite. We flew the yellow kite on Sunday. On Sunday, we flew the yellow kite while Dad watched.) and goes really quickly into writing sentences to form paragraphs.

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I have never seen book 1, so I can't comment on it, but I want to comment on the selection of writing materials anyway. You say you are a busy mum. You will be less busy, and more productive, if your children don't need you to motivate them to work. Many, many times I have looked at books and thought, "That seems awfully basic. My kid's so bright. I should go another step up." Now I see it differently. At the age of almost-7, working with material that seems really easy to both of you is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be highly motivating. You have to remember that this is not a 100 yard dash, but a marathon, and completely positive feelings about schoolwork at this age will help him--and you-- so much in the short run, as well as the long run.

I used level 2 with a 7 year old whose sentences were organized, structured well, and spelled and punctuated accurately. She very much enjoyed the writing projects she did that year, and still remembers them. She became very motivated in story-writing and actually spent more time on writing than anything else, now that I think of it. She wrote very long and involved tales that actually grew out of the Writing Strands assignments.

I would suggest that in choosing the level of materials, you consider making writing lessons for a boy at this age easy and fun, which is how I remember that year with level 2, so that his love of writing and independent motivation to do so have plenty of time to blossom and bear fruit. I suspect 2 would work fine for him but you might see how he responds to 1 before you go buy another book.

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