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Feedback on 'Writing Strands'?

Guest Melmoh

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Guest Melmoh

Hi there!


Has anyone had experience with the Writing Strands series they could share with me?

I am considering it for my 7 1/2 yr old who is reading (constantly!) at a 4-5th grade level and is just catching up in her penmanship skills.

We had started Writing with Ease level 2, but it was a bit tedious for her, and she passed the end evaluation after a few wks.

She's itching to write, and says she has lots of ideas. She's not really excited about dictating to us though. The Writing Strands 3 sample page looks exciting to her, and looks like the right level to me, but I'd love to hear any feedback you might have!


Thanks in advance,


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We used Writing Strands, starting with 3. We didn't do the last one. It was very good for my children BUT there are lots of things to hate about the series lol. Among other things, even my children noticed how bad the writing samples were. It set them up very well to do TWEM for English in high school. If you use it, make sure that you continue to practise the "formulas" for different types of writing. Don't just write the one book report and then not write a book report until next year. It also is a good idea to get Evaluating Writing and read some of the sample discussions to see how the series is meant to be used. I think it is easy to fly through the series too early. That is fine, but you might want to revisit some of the types of writing again later. Just an idea to keep in mind in case you need it -I tried to have my children do WS for their writing but then write other things as well. The deal I had with them was that I corrected the WS assignments for writing and I only corrected the other writing assignments for content. This kept them from being overwhelmed. And we discovered the hard way that it was really important for me to say what I thought was good about their writing FIRST, then pick one or two things to critisize, only a few. We also discovered that I needed to supervise the reading and following of directions. It didn't hurt if I wrote a few examples for them first, to show them what to aim for. I liked that the series didn't teach style. By the time my children were doing the series, they had distinct styles and would have hated anything that kept them from using their own voice. In addition to WS, I found it helpful to have mine do a few workbooks from Remedia Press? Maybe? In late elementary school, they did on on proofreading. The youngest did one on paragraph writing fairly early on because I thought he needed help writing a report-type paragraph with a clear topic sentence. My children also did copywork and dictation. These were where we worked on things like spelling and punctuation the most. As random as the copywork/dictation approach seems, it really works.


(After elementary school, they did a combination of things; Powerful Paragraphs and the Schaffer writing method were the most useful. The Schaffer writing method is an example of EXTREME formulaic writing, but in 10th grade, my youngest needed something that drastic to force him to state the obvious and to write the connecting commentary that occurs in most academic writing. He quickly abandonned the formula and went back to his normal more sophisticated style, but his papers were better organized and contained the write amount of fluff. You can look this up in wikipaedia to get an idea of what I am talking about.)





PS - SWB's writing series wasn't out at the time. : )

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We tried WS 3 with my then third grader. He's very verbally gifted, and he found it very tedious. He loves to write, and I have mountains of his writings all over the house. But he wasn't excited to write with this program. We actually haven't found something else we love yet, though, either. We tried WWS this year, and it was also very tedious for him.


I don't know if this helps...

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