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WWS or IEW before LToW?

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My ds, going into eighth, has had little writing instruction. He seems to have great ideas for creative writing, but needs work on getting it all out on paper in a structured manner.


I want to do Lost Tools of Writing in ninth, so this coming year will be a year of preparation. I have watched Institute for Excellence in Writing's TWSS in the past and liked it, although I found it a bit too cookie cutter-ish. I am most likely going to use it for my rising 4th and 5th graders since I have been listening to some lectures by the two Andrews (Pudewa and Kerns). Then I plan to fit in some WWS before moving them into LToW for high school.


I have WWS for my eighth grader next year, but I cannot decide if he may be better served by using IEW for a year instead since it sounds like most people feel like it prepares students well for LToW.


If you have used LToW, which program will prepare him better, or will either do?

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Sorry, not familiar with WWS. We used IEW for four years before middle daughter had LTW class at co-op. Though the instructor truly flew by the seat of her pants and would tell you she didn't know what she was doing, dd still uses LTW tools in college :thumbup:



FWIW, before beginning LTW, you could have your student do a one week IEW bootcamp using one of the Student Writing Intensive Courses.




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i have WWS and IEW and preferred IEW. Thought WWS is a strong program, it was just too teacher intensive for my needs. We have used IEW for 4 years with my now 8th grader. I love how it has helped him structure his writing. He has gone from rambling, to having focus with an real ending. His writing assessments for IEW do sound rather contrived now he is using all the required elements. When he writes for other subjects his writing it is much better, as he only uses what elements that he feels are appropriate.

We plan on using LToW in 9th too. Haven't really answered you question have I? So my advice would be IEW.

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Hi mothergooseofthree,


I have taught IEW to homeschooled children for many years now and would recommend it mainly for the Stylistic Techniques portion of the curriculum. I have found the techniques to be a very useful and concrete way to teach children how to compose sentences with variety, flavor, and precision. The structure portion of the curriculum is also easy to use with children, but it is lacking in teaching students how to come up with what to write for themselves. Most of the exercises involve summarizing pre-written material and rewriting it in your own words. While it is a good exercise for younger students, eventually, I believe it does not meet the needs of older students who must gradually learn to speak for themselves and come up with their own content. Especially as students begin to face the persuasive essay in high school, they cannot simply gather resources from various paragraphs and combine them into their own paragraph (which is how IEW teaches the persuasive essay). They will eventually need to formulate their own arguments and opinions on an issue. The creative effort involved in this last step is better addressed in LTW.


With that said, I would recommend LTW instead of IEW for teaching structure AND content. I personally teach short, online writing workshops over the summer time that cover the Stylistic Techniques portion of IEW, and then I teach a year-long online tutorial in LTW. Please free to contact me if you are interested! You can also take a look at my website here: www.coramdeotutorials.com


Best wishes on your planning!

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