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What age do you start IEW? Watching TWSS right now and surprised.


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I was always 'told' that IEW started in third grade. That was the age most classes would accept students etc, if you wanted to outsource. The age that CC uses for Essentials.. However, I am sitting watching TWSS, because my kids will be third grade next year and I planned to start it, and it seems like Andrew Pudewa recommends first grade to start key word outlines. He has several examples in the book from children who had started in first, and by second grade were adding in stylistic techniques. Or maybe that's what they do in Canada? He even mentioned doing key word outlines with preschoolers, orally and using poster board, and letting them retell stories using their key words.


Does this work with or against what swb teaches with WWE narrations and summaries. We are in WWE 2.


So what age have you started it? I'm wondering if I held off for no good reason. I'm certainly going to introduce next week instead of waiting. And has anyone let their kids watch the videos? How did they like them, was it a benefit?

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I tried to use it with both my 1st and 3rd graders this fall. My 1st grader did well at KWO's but freaked out at the concept of turning them back into full paragraphs and I decided to table it for awhile. I was willing to have him dictate a lot of it but I was going to end up doing everything for him. He was already a strong reader but not a strong writer.


With my 3rd grader, I ended up having him dictate the rough drafts and he'd write KWOs and final drafts. I was happy I started this year for him. I think 2nd grade would have been okay with a lot of hand holding but 3rd has been better.

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My kids are in 4th/2nd/1st. I started IEW this year, mostly to buy a year before DS10 uses WWS. DD has an early birthday and was doing mostly 3rd grade work, so I figured I would keep her with DS10 to make my life easier. DS7, my first grader, wanted to participate as well (thinks Mr. P is hilarious in SWI-A) and has kept up just fine. I do frequently scribe for him, but his writing is pretty good. (To me, hand writing and writing are two separate animals and I will not let a child be held back by form.)


My kids all do/did WWE also. The KWO is similar to narration in that you are extracting the major points. But IEW goes beyond outlines/narrations more quickly than the WWE/WWS combo does. (This is assuming you do WWE in 1st-4th and start IEW in 3rd, waiting to do WWS until 5th or 6th.) WWE is a slower, steady progression. That said, I have gone through WWS myself and it is a step up from IEW in many ways. All three have earned a place in writing here. Ultimately, I like WWE--->WWE/IEW--->IEW/WWS--->WWS. However, I still wish SWB would put out an overview IG for integrating WWS for writing across the curriculum.

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I don't think my son could have handled the amount of writing before 3rd grade. This year in 3rd grade, I was really wishing he could type, but we tried that too, and it was slower than writing. :tongue_smilie: I think I'll have him concentrate on typing during his short "summer break" this year. I think life would be much easier for him if he'd type.


Units 1 and 2 were easy enough, but unit 3 gets into writing 3 paragraphs and making a KWO using a story sequence chart. It's harder. I had to give my son a lot of help in that unit (and I needed help in that unit). We'll do unit 4 before the year is over, then finish SWI-A next year in 4th. I really think 4th grade would have been a better fit for the program in general, though my son needed something to bridge from copywork/dictation to writing original sentences on his own. He likes WWE, and we are still using it, but it wasn't helping him make that bridge. His issue was fear of misspelling something, and Pudewa put that to rest. :D So I'm glad I started IEW in 3rd, just to get my son to WRITE, but I think beyond that, 4th grade would have been better for him.


I can't imagine my oldest doing IEW before 3rd. He just plain was not ready at all. My middle son could probably do it orally now, but we'll just do WWE in 1st and 2nd and then see where we are in 3rd and possibly add in IEW. My goal is to do WWS in 5th or 6th - whenever the child is ready.

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Sorry so long....


We are on the verge of purchasing IEW's TWSS at the next homeschooling convention (6 weeks from now!). I have been watching IEW for several years, anticipating IEW as our writing choice.


Older dd is 6 and finishing her Kindergarten year, but she is a good reader and has good handwriting.


When I started watching IEW, the recommendation for TWSS was 3rd grade. A year or two ago, they moved it to 2nd. I think this change is two-fold:


1) Some 2nd graders are ready for the program....or at least ready for some aspects of the program. The time between K-3 has a LOT of variation in it. I often reflect that being a Kindergarten teacher in the public school system is one of the hardest jobs in education. You have kids who barely know their letters, and others who are reading chapter books. I've seen it. You need to have them all in the same place by the end of the year. Where else in education would this happen? Not in an 8th grade algebra class. Possibly gym class, but kids don't get held back from 5th grade for not being able to make 6 baskets in 3 minutes.


2) IEW introduced their PAL Reading and Writing Program for K-1. I'm sure the company felt they needed to bridge the gap of "what to do in 2nd grade." They have also introduced (as a PP mentioned) "Bible Stories" as their first theme-based writing lessons for a 2nd grade level. I expect more 2nd grade content in the future.




We are in the middle of IEW's PAL Writing. I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I didn't get PAL Reading because dd6 can already read well, and we are using Saxon for Phonics.


1) PAL Writing (section 2) introduces nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. It discusses concepts of using an exciting verb like scurries, chases, or zooms instead of "runs." Use huge, giant, or mammoth instead of "big."


2) There are copywork sentences, but since dd6's writing is so good, we write a second complementary sentence to go with the first and utilize what is being taught. We discuss the sentence, and I write it on the whiteboard. Dd6 copies it. Sentence 1 is from IEW. Sentence 2 is dd's sentence. Dd6 copies both:


This is a moon. The crescent moon travels slowly around our precious Earth. (Notice the adjectives, adverb, and use of exciting verb "travels" rather than "goes.")


Disclaimer: Writing a 2nd sentence is not required by the program. We do it for practice with parts of speech and picking good verbs and adjectives. This extends the number of days we will do copywork, but dd6 is learning what she is supposed to from this exercise. Plus, she's in K. No hurries.


3) Then dd6 uses a checklist of 4 things to double check her work: punctuation, capitalization, spacing, and "Does it make sense?" aka "Did you forget any words?" She recites the 4 things to me as we review each assignment.


4) Every time we do a lesson, we read a story book, and dd6 summarizes it back to me verbally using the list of questions on the guide sheet. Setting, characters, and theme are covered in the vocabulary of a K-1 child.


5) In section 3, copywork is eliminated, but we will summarize our book with a Key-word-outline, using a guide sheet. Dd6 will then rewrite the story, a paragraph at a time over the course of a week.


Dd6 is ready for this (or will be next autumn). Not all 1st graders, or 2nd, or 3rd graders can do a paragraph of writing in one sitting, nor should they be expected to.

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I just watched that this week and found that curious as well. My take away thus far was to do the parts they could do on their own level and incrementally build up. When he was talking about doing it with pre-K he was discussing how he did it orally. Coincidentally I was thinking here about storytelling next year and trying to do that more. I know my ds wasn't near ready for that amount of writing physically but I do see we could have worked on summarization and such more. I find it interesting to see the layout of PAL writing focuses on just using some of the units.

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stayseeliz asks:

Is PAL a full year writing curriculum?


I think so, but we've done it a little weirdly...but in a way that works for us.


My PAL Writing Table of Contents says:

Part 1: Printing and Story Summaries (31 Lessons, 1 lesson/day)

Part 2: Copy Work and Style (40 Lessons, 1 lesson/day)

Part 3: Composition with Style (16 Lessons, but these lessons are 1 lesson/ 4-day-week)


31 + 40 + (16x4) = 135 Lessons


Below, I have outlined our path. I think it would be a jump for a child that was learning to write letters to be writing paragraphs by the end of the year. But, truly, I have no experience with that, so I can't say for sure.


Perhaps the PAL Reading program is rigorous in just the right way to prepare kids for the trajectory to paragraphs.




What worked for us:

Dd6 already knew how to identify and form her letters well,so we started with Copywork at the tail end of Part 1.


We have been continuing through Part 2, but we don't get to writing every day. We are on schedule to finish Part 2 by June 1st.


Part 3 specifically says it covers Units 3, 1 and 2, and 7 (for those familiar with TWSS). I think I will hold off until Fall 2013 to start that section.


This is simply the pace that works best for us. As I have shared earlier, dd is only 6 and in K. We have time.

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There is no one answer to that. The right questions may be "When can MY child start IEW" and "Does it matter in the long run how early s/he starts?"


Neither of my boys were/are ready for that much writing before third grade. My oldest could have started in third grade but, for many reasons, I didn't start it with him until the end of fourth grade. As a 7th grader, he writes well. My second ds is at the end of second grade and I have just started KWOs with him. Mostly he dictates the paragraphs to me. He "can" write it on his own but is still resistant to writing (fine motor delays, possible mild dysgraphia). We are doing WWE 2 for his writing practice. I use IEW for his "oral composition/history reinforcement practice".


My dd, on the other hand, could have started at the beginning of second grade without a problem (writing on her own). I have used it off and on with her from the beginning of third grade. (Off and on because she doesn't need the support as much.) She is at the end of fourth grade and writes well for her age.


So, don't feel as though you are "behind". The support the program gives can work very quickly when your child is ready. If you "want" to start younger you can. You just proceed much slower. There's no problem doing that if you want. But, if you start before your child is "ready" and stress that they aren't getting it, then you are creating undue stress for yourself. Andrew Pudewa really stresses that you shouldn't move faster than your child is ready. You should be there as a support (even writing for them) until they "tear the pen from your hand".

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