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HappyGrace

If you're doing WWS or are done with it, what are the benefits you're seeing?

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I can see a definite improvement in both my boys' organization when it comes to writing. They are able to write about a variety of subjects more and more easily. I don't really know how to explain this better. Writing is just becoming easier for the first time in all our years of homeschooling.

 

Another thing that happened is that suddenly they are both capable of writing pagers much longer (4 pages or more) than they were before. I can't remember the lesson in WWS I, but at some point they were asked to write 150 word essay. They were ready to loose it thinking that this is just impossibly long. We made it through that and now there is no problem ever with the length of any paper.

 

These are the main improvements I notice. I know we do also improve on use of adjectives, inserting quotes and things of that nature. All of this is, of course, important. But what we needed to increase was writing stamina and WWS has definitively done that. My boys are in grade 7 and 8, and we will continue using WWS as long as we can fit it in and books come out. That's how happy we are with the program.

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We did WWS1 and are currently beta'ing WWS2. I cannot say enough good things about this program. It turned my eager, but clueless kid into someone showing the sparks of being a competent writer. We started with WWS1 when he was a 6th grader. We did WWE 2-4 and finished WWE4 in 5th grade. I also had him outlining and writing brief narrations for history in 5th grade. Now, in 7th grade we are using WWS2. We are in week 18.

 

I call it the program he loves to hate but really loves. With WWS1 there were a few bumps on the road. He had to learn to Read The Instructions. We had tears and a few times the book got thrown across the room. But, when it was all done he said it was great. He actually jumped up and down when I told him we were going to be able to beta WWS2. Now, with WWS2 things are much better. He still has to Read The Instructions, but it is getting better every week. He might sigh a little when he sits down to work, but he totally gets into it as he goes along.

 

I would have had no idea how to approach this on my own. This has been such a burden lifted from my shoulders. Right now, my biggest concern is what we are going to do when WWS2 is done. I can't imagine any other composition program being as useful. I doubt that SWB is going to be able to throw herself right into WWS3, but I have hope..... (maybe I could offer to fill up her freezer with meals and homemade brownies?)

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We are in week 5 of WWS. We love it. The previous program we used was very heavy on the grammar review and did not get to any writing skills until the end of the book/year and Hannah did not need the review. She is a natural at spelling and grammar. It just makes sense to her.

 

WWS is pushing her out of her comfort zone in a direct and gentle way. It's step by step process is working very well for her. The only problem she had was that she already was good at summarizing and when the book asked her to break it down into main points and then summarize she had a hard time since it was already something she did in her head. Putting it on paper was hard for her but it was a good challenge.

 

Oh and writing it neatly is also a challenge for her. She had re-written a few of the assignments because I refuse to even try to read them. Based on her abilities there is no reason she can not write neatly and carefully. It is just her being lazy. Disclaimer: I realize that some children have issues that hamper their handwriting ability. I am only commenting on my daughter's situation.

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We have used WWS1 and are beta testing WWS2. I have seen an increase in the following skills:

 

notetaking

footnoting/referencing

idea generation

literary analysis

meeting deadlines

writing longer reports more quickly

outlining

reading instructions

analyzing others' writing

critical thinking

organizing thought before putting them on paper

brainstorming

 

Oh, I am sure I could think of more. I think that WWS is excellent, and I like level 2 even more than level 1.

 

Ruth in NZ

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We're also beta testing WWS2 and I have to agree with redsquirrel and lewelma. My boys are in 8th and 6th grades now and we did WWS1 in 7th and 5th.

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What a wonderful thread!

My son has done 16 weeks of WWS. He is now able to write 300 words to describe his brother. Thank you, Ruth, for sharing your son's writing.

I am very happy with where WWS is taking us.

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The best thing about WWS for my 13yo dd is that she FINALLY gets that the quality of the finished product is dependent upon many steps. Previously she viewed multiple steps as optional steps, lol. Now she knows she will not get a good paper without starting with a good outline and fleshing it out correctly.

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I started my 5th grader with it, but she clammed up. I think she wasn't ready for that skill level or for the independence in Reading the Instructions. She just wouldn't get what she was supposed to do. I put it away and we've been using mostly WWE 4, an Evan Moor workbook (which I think is lame) and some Killgallon (which is kind of OK, but it gets old after a while).

 

Well, just today I pulled out WWS again (since the first week of school) and she's doing much better in it. I think she's matured and can handle the thought process needed to get through a lesson. I put her in Week 4 since it seems she did make it through some of weeks 1 and 2, plus she's been doing WWE4 which ahs her brushed up on narrations. I hope she'll do well, and now that I'm more 'seasoned' at homeschooling (it is my 3rd year), I know not to rush WWS and let her just learn it. I would've have panicked had we not done it right on schedule back in the first year!

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