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CyndiLJ

Essentials in Writing!!

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We finally found it, after four years, our perfect writing program!  I can't tell you how happy I am that we discovered, by actual mention in an old forum post, the writing program from Essentials in Writing!  We have tried three other programs, none of which fit the bill for a variety of reasons, all of which I think are quite good, actually.  They were just not a fit for us, for how I teach, or something I can't quite name.

 

Essentials in Writing is proving to be that perfect fit, and our kids are already feeling that writing has suddenly become something less to dread, and more manageable.  The short DVD lesson of 5-7 minutes is quick, painless and to the point. The workbooks are NOT filled with busy work, but are illustrative of the point being made, and clearly explain what is required of the student.  I feel like I did when we found Teaching Textbooks, like I finally found the Holy Grail or something...hahaha!

 

I love that we can use this each year all the way through, that there is also a creative writing course we will take advantage of, that the instruction is so "clean" and demystifies every step, also explaining WHY we do things the way we do.  I feel very confident having seen both 6th and 9th grade curriculum that this will be the ticket for us, and help me get rid of Writing Guilt.

 

Just wanted to share.  At $40 for a year, this is a sleeper curriculum that I wish I had heard about 3 years ago!

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I read you have to download the workbook pages, and the DVD's are sent to you.  Do you get sent the link automatically?  How long did you wait until the DVD's came?

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I read you have to download the workbook pages, and the DVD's are sent to you.  Do you get sent the link automatically?  How long did you wait until the DVD's came?

 

Yes, you get sent the link immediately, and the DVD's were received within a week.  The service couldn't have been better!  Simple, easy, and no hassle.

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Would this work for a reluctant writer and slower-paced learner?

 

Yes, I think so!  We don't necessarily have reluctant writers, but we have ELL learners, Dysgraphia and other learning challenges and it is a perfect pace for us...in fact might even be a bit slow but with our schedule right now it is exactly what we need.  The lessons are "Fluff Free", which I am growing to have a greater appreciation for in all our curriculum, and his teaching style is very, very clear.  The workbook pages are not as overkill with boredom as Winning with Writing eventually grew to be for us, and I think they are more concise and easier to work with.

 

We tried IEW and Write Shop as well, and I really like the content but their approach with the materials to use was overly complicated for me, as a teacher, to use.  Yea, I know, it wasn't THAT bad, but it felt cumbersome for some reason, and awkward, and it was something I just never got used to using well.  This feels more like Winning with Writing with better quality worktext and the addition of the brief lesson presented on DVD.

 

I also like that grammar is included, and quite honestly, I felt this was just the right tool to move into after using Growing with Grammar and Soaring with Spelling.  We dropped the 8th grade level as it just felt repetitive, and moved straight into this.  It is a perfect follow up, and most importantly...it WILL get taught!  The kids are really enjoying it so far, and I like the cost factor and that I can use it for multiple kids.  This is our keeper!

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We love Mr. Williams around here!

 

The piano music on the DVD intro comes on and the younger kids come running.  Everyone sits down and watches the lesson, it's kind of funny!

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OK, I'm going to have to give it another look.  I was *this-close* to buying it last month, but my 8 yo DD wasn't feeling the love, and I wanted to get something I could use with both girls (8 yo and 10 yo).  So, I passed.  However, this might be a great fit for 10 yo DD.  She's a late bloomer and prefers to learn at a slower pace, with every step spelled out.  

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It is the only way writing instruction gets done around here. I love it, too. My kids don't, but they don't like anything to do with school!

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I like it too.  I used it for 2nd grade with my oldest (he's moved on to IEW now) and I'm using it for first grade now with my middle child to lay the foundation of writing before starting IEW.  

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Mine came with a cd with the worksheets. Has this changed? We are doing level 5

Yes, they recently changed it (sometime before I ordered it in Fall of 2012) to just get the CD and then an email with the PDF of the worksheets.

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Yes, they recently changed it (sometime before I ordered it in Fall of 2012) to just get the CD and then an email with the PDF of the worksheets.

 

 

But you can buy the printed worksheets now as well. They are giving you the option.

 

I chose to buy the CD's and the workbook. It is spiral bound and works well for us. 

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I love it too!  We just started this year.  I printed all the pdf pages and had it spiral bound.  I added a few notebook printed pages where needed.   The PDF was ready instantly and the CDs came in less than a week.  I ordered 3 leves.  We are using it for 4th, 7th, and 11th.

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It's great to read that there are so many others who like the program as well!  I am wondering if there are many who have used the high school levels, and how much of a difference there is between the various grade levels.

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It's great to read that there are so many others who like the program as well!  I am wondering if there are many who have used the high school levels, and how much of a difference there is between the various grade levels.

 

My kids are using the 9th and 10th grade levels this year. It's been a wonderful program here! Someone asked about reluctant writers--it has completely turned writing around for my oldest, who was a reluctant writer. Twice now he has chosen to do additional work on an assignment to make sure he really gets the concept. He has fun playing with words and writing now. It's such a blessing.

 

We started when my oldest was 9th grade, using the 7th grade level (the highest that was out that year). Last year he used the 9th grade level while my dd used 8th grade, and this year we're doing 10th and 9th. (I chose not to bump all the way up to oldest's grade level, even though that's out now, because I talked with the author. He said that the 9th and 10th grade levels would have more incremental instruction than the 11th and 12th grade levels, and both my son and I felt that would benefit him).

 

Here's a review I did when my oldest did the 7th grade level, including a writing sample in it's various stages. I am continually thankful we found this program--more each year.

 

Merry :-)

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I just placed my order for 10th grade level!  I cannot wait to get started with it.  It looks perfect for our needs! 

 

Do you guys know if they email you after it's been sent and if there is a tracking number?

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This program has caught my attention a couple of times this year.  I had never heard of it before then.  Is there a focus on outlining?  Is there a lot of creative writing?  How much of the program is grammar?  Can you just jump in at grade level with an 8th grader?

 

I have just been doing my own thing with my son this year, but would love it if I could find a program to use with him.  He needs to get really good at outlining since he's not able to write a good paper without a good outline.  Creative writing would not be something we'd be interested in, and we are using AG, so unless the grammar portion is extremely light, it wouldn't be a good fit for us either.  Would this work for us?  Thanks!

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I've been *this* close to buying it for a while now. I think I will just do that already. My 7th grader will probably do well with it even though he says he doesnt like lessons on the computer. I'm not sure about my 5th grader, he's a weak reader and a resistant writer. do you think the fifth grade level will be appropriate for him? or should I get the fourth?

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We like it here too.  We are using the sixth grade level here.  We also used the fourth and fifth grade level.  My daughter who likes writing enjoys it.

 

 

Suzanne

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This program has caught my attention a couple of times this year.  I had never heard of it before then.  Is there a focus on outlining?  Is there a lot of creative writing?  How much of the program is grammar?  Can you just jump in at grade level with an 8th grader?

 

I have just been doing my own thing with my son this year, but would love it if I could find a program to use with him.  He needs to get really good at outlining since he's not able to write a good paper without a good outline.  Creative writing would not be something we'd be interested in, and we are using AG, so unless the grammar portion is extremely light, it wouldn't be a good fit for us either.  Would this work for us?  Thanks!

 

He teaches outlining, but I found it much easier to follow than the way I was taught outlining in school!

 

You can just jump in with the 8th grade level. For 7th and up, there isn't a lot of grammar, except as it's woven in during the first weeks when you study sentences (run-ons and fragments, clauses, prepositional phrases, things like that). Then they move into paragraph writing, and they work through each different type (descriptive, compare & contrast, etc...), and then finally they do essays and research reports. There isn't an emphasis on creative writing at all (no stories or poems etc...), but they do learn how to make their writing come alive with description, similes and metaphors, and other devices.

 

I think for what you described, it would be a good fit.

 

I've been *this* close to buying it for a while now. I think I will just do that already. My 7th grader will probably do well with it even though he says he doesnt like lessons on the computer. I'm not sure about my 5th grader, he's a weak reader and a resistant writer. do you think the fifth grade level will be appropriate for him? or should I get the fourth?

 

Normally the author suggests jumping in at the student's grade level. If you are concerned, give him a call--he's very helpful and could help you decide whether the younger level would be more helpful for your son.

 

Merry :-)

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He teaches outlining, but I found it much easier to follow than the way I was taught outlining in school!

 

You can just jump in with the 8th grade level. For 7th and up, there isn't a lot of grammar, except as it's woven in during the first weeks when you study sentences (run-ons and fragments, clauses, prepositional phrases, things like that). Then they move into paragraph writing, and they work through each different type (descriptive, compare & contrast, etc...), and then finally they do essays and research reports. There isn't an emphasis on creative writing at all (no stories or poems etc...), but they do learn how to make their writing come alive with description, similes and metaphors, and other devices.

 

I think for what you described, it would be a good fit.

 

 

Normally the author suggests jumping in at the student's grade level. If you are concerned, give him a call--he's very helpful and could help you decide whether the younger level would be more helpful for your son.

 

Merry :-)

Thanks, Merry! This is very helpful.

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I just bought level 7 for my 7th grader. We just pulled her out of school and I think WWS would be to much for her just coming out of PS. We are just waiting on the DVD to come. 

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Those of you who have used EIW, do you use it alone, or with another grammar program? Would Easy Grammar be a good fit?

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We just started using it this year and like it very much. Before that we tried FLL,IEW and WWE and found them all useless for us. My kids were just not picking up what they needed to learn and there were gaps everywhere. My kids love how short the lessons are and love hearing the sound of someone else teaching rather then me LOL. My kids are just not creative writers...they really just need to learn the basics and how to write a good paper and I'll be happy.

 

Love EIW here.

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I love it for my sixth grader. :-)

 

I was just looking at the 6th grade level. It looks like the first 25 lessons or so focus on grammar/mechanics and then the remainder of the lessons are focused on writing. Is that correct?

 

Did you continue to review grammar for the remainder of the program on your own? It didn't look like there was a built in review for grammar after the first 25 lessons. Thanks for any input, the writing looks perfect for my rising 6th grader.

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After 6 months of research, I just ordered EIW Grade 6, and I'm really excited!!! :laugh: :hurray:

 

Can anyone recommend a good spelling and grammar program to fit?

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