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Is Writing and Rhetoric (CAP) enough?


3girls4me
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Hi ladies,

I had another post going with several replies about writing. But I realized another question might be better to ask. Do you think that W&R is sufficient alone for a writing program to cover what needs to be covered? I have the fables book for the fall and plan to get narrative for the spring. As my other post mentioned, I fear I need something more like EIW to add on. Do you feel comfortable with W&R being a stand alone curriculum for writing? Oh and this is for a 4th grade girl that has no idea what a persuasive essay is or how to do an outline or even the best form for a friendly letter. We have done SL the past 3 years and I didn't love their LA, so supplemented for grammar and then DD did a creative writing class from a local author. She gleaned a lot from that, but there were no mechanics involved. Only creativity!

Thanks!!

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Not personally. I don't feel there are enough lessons, for starters. The intro even says to write for one week then do a grammar program one week. I like what is there, definitely. But, no, I do not think it is enough writing. I would not add something big to it, like EIW. I would add daily journals maybe, or a short writing workshop lesson on days you don't do W&R, or maybe use the W&R model across disciplines, and/or add writing in other subjects (with WWE, which I think is good to use widely). I would not add a whole program to it. At that point, do the other program and not CAP.

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Do you have any suggestions for doing the workshops here and there? I had noticed in the EIW book that the first half covers grammar and we are using CLE grammar so won't need it. The 2nd half covers some of what I listed above and more, so I was considering doing an every other week thing and doing a week of "friendly letters", then back to W&R, then do "persuasive writing", then back to W&R, etc..... But clearly it's a waste of money to use EIW for only half the course if there is something easier and without grammar added. I just don't really know of anything. Any thoughts? I suppose it would be easier to just ditch W&R, but I'm more excited about it than anything else for next year!!

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Yeah, I like W&R too. It is a great fit for my youngest. But that is in addition to my basic writing-workshop-for-writing-across-the-curriculum way of doing things. I use the veritable kitchen sink for writing workshop, so I am kind of the worst person to ask because I do not use any one thing as prescribed. LOL Really, I always feel that WWE is a nice complement to any other writing. It is kind of a basic component here. (And in 5th and up, this evolves for me into writing as described in WTM, not using WWS as laid out).

 

Ooooh, I know what would be nice with W&R! Just following the basic Brave Writer Lifestyle. http://www.bravewriter.com/bwl

 

In your shoes, I would do that. W&R with WWE on off weeks and the BWL in general.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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As to the basic question of whether or not it is enough...

 

The first book has 14 lessons. The second book has 10 lessons. They are formatted for 4 days a week (and that is being liberal because the instructions say "Day Three or Four"). That is 72-96 writing lessons, depending on that 3 or 4 day option. Typical school years are 180 days. 

 

The third book has 11 lessons. Don't know about the 4th book yet. I have to imagine that the volume will expand as the books get into the higher grades. But for me, for now, having lessons for only half of our official school days would not be sufficient for me to call W&R enough.

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Yeah I didn't even notice. We use it 4 x per week (we only school 4x per week). We school year round. When we finish we'll move onto something else. However long that takes, I can't say.

 

I don't do much planning. We just open stuff up and do the next ting.

Yeah, it's not a problem for me either. We do other stuff and I (over)buy year-round. But for that homeschooler who buys for the year and thinks she's set for writing and then runs out of writing well before the end of the year, it would be frustrating I think.

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As to the basic question of whether or not it is enough...

 

The first book has 14 lessons. The second book has 10 lessons. They are formatted for 4 days a week (and that is being liberal because the instructions say "Day Three or Four"). That is 72-96 writing lessons, depending on that 3 or 4 day option. Typical school years are 180 days.

 

The third book has 11 lessons. Don't know about the 4th book yet. I have to imagine that the volume will expand as the books get into the higher grades. But for me, for now, having lessons for only half of our official school days would not be sufficient for me to call W&R enough.

I thought it was only a one semester course.

 

To me it just seems quite expensive for a short course (especially with postage).

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I thought it was only a one semester course.

 

To me it just seems quite expensive for a short course (especially with postage).

Each book is meant for one semester. Two books per year. From the CAP site:

 

The Writing & Rhetoric series is comprised of twelve books, each one designed as a one-semester course. Using two books per year, the series will fully train and equip students in writing over a period of six years.

So I guess CAP thinks it is enough! And obviously they know what is coming at the higher levels. Maybe they also assume more writing in other subjects. Probably so, because at a certain point, it is nearly impossible not to be writing in other subjects. Most curricula require some writing. Just thinking aloud now...

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I don't really add a full writing curriculum to W & R. It took a while to find our grove with it because I tried what they suggest in the introduction, but I didn't like that set up. Now we do W & R three days a week. Most lessons take 4 days a week to get through so it takes a little longer than a week. On the other two days of the week we do grammar instead of doing it on the off week like W & R suggests. On Monday, I do a "writing workshop" where we take one of dd's sentences from her W & R work or her written history narration and try to improve it through strong verbs, nouns, word order, etc. I would say that W & R is our only writing program, but she does do one written narration a week and we the "writing workshop" as well. That is all I add though. Doing it this way it has taken us almost a full year to cover the two books before moving on to the next set.

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We have been using it alongside many different programs. CAP usually takes us three days per lesson and during the other two days we have completed Killgallon, half of the MCT Paragraph town and Caesar's English writing assignments and literature related writing assignments.

My younger boy is using it as his only program. It takes him longer to complete lessons. That will change as he gets older, but at seven, i think it's enough.

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Yes, I think it depends on the age of the kid and where they are at with writing.  We essentially switched from WWE2 to Fable during the end of 2nd grade.  It was plenty of writing for a 2nd grader but . . . . in 3rd grade we'll finish Fable and do Narrative 1, and then have lot of year left where we'll need to do other things.  (I don't want to do Narrative 2 till 4th grade, unless or until there is a big leap forward in ability during 3rd).  

 

So I think the program has enough in it - enough variety, enough depth, enough substance - but if you are wanting to do writing every day, you will run out of program before you run out of year, doing 2 books a year.

 

For my 6th grader doing Narrative 2, no, it's not enough.  It's fun and it's a great exercise, but she needs different kinds of writing-across-the-curriculum assignments to stretch and grow her skills.  She's doing Narrative 2 lessons, Killgallon Grammar for Middle School, and writing a research report for science all at the same time.  

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I agree that it depends on the student and where they are with writing. That being said, I believe your student would be better served by working through narrations and dictations prior to, or even alongside of, W&R Fable, especially if these skills are something that your dd has never practiced before. Of course my "go to" suggestion would be Writing With Ease, either the workbook(s) or just the instructor text.

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I ordered it from Amazon. It was cheaper and free shipping.

It is cheaper from amazon but I have to spend a lot more than you to get free shipping (about $150 I think). Mind you I have way more than that on my wish list...

 

Since I am only afterschooling I am thinking of doing WWE (we should finish in the middle of 3rd grade) then maybe doing a detour or doing it alongside half speed WWE3. But things aren't fixed of course.

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International shipping is very expensive! We ship stuff to my MIL/BIL often and ouch.

You can also get electronic version of the books. No shipping!

You can do most of the work orally, and the rest

of the written work you can do in a composition book.

 

It is not a regular .pdf file, though. You would need the Kno app

for your tablet or computer, or you can access the books online.

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Do you think that W&R is sufficient alone for a writing program to cover what needs to be covered?

 

For DD8, W&R will be enough. I will add in spelling and grammar to fill out her language arts.

 

DD10 needs more. W&R doesn't have revising or editing. It also doesn't have outlining,

at least not in the first two books. W&R touches on grammar and vocabulary, but isn't

a full program for either of them. W&R doesn't address mechanics (spelling, capitalization,

and punctuation), and if DD needed them, I would add them in. The first two books are

also focused on writing stories, not non-fiction expository writing. I'm willing to delay that type

of writing for now, but I'm hoping that future levels will have more of that. I also want DD to write

across the curriculum, but I use content programs that have writing assignments built in

so I don't have to "add" that.

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  • 5 months later...

This was a great read, thank you!

 

It seems they are adding in beginning outlining in book 3 or 4. I can't remember which. I believe this is building on the awareness of beginning, middle, end, skills addressed in book 2.

 

I'm also trying to consider how to balance my daughters love of journal writing from hake/the bravewriter lifestyle and W&R with WWE2 and it's skills. (she is using hake for grammar)

 

If you are telling me that you have been doing W&R in 3 days...then the other two days i can most definitely use WWE2. Doing days 1&2 one day, and days 3&4 the next, with Killgallon on off weeks of W&R or at the completion of Fable and Narrative 1. 

 

And I still have Phonetic Zoo sitting on the shelf that i think can wait.... she is a good speller and seems to learn from seeing words and writing them, not so much repetition and rules...

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I would agree with those that say it depends on the student, how old they are, their previous skills and experience and if you are doing it on the younger or older end of the recommended age range. 

 

My ds will finish Narrative 2 and Treasured Conversations this year and our daily writing time has been no more than 30 minutes or so as of late, which I think is on the light side, I do expect to be pushing 45 min or so towards the end of the year. Last year it was a hodgepodge of WWE, Killgalon, WR and a sprinkling of MCT. I think WWE is a great companion to WR if you are looking for something pre-planned, likewise I think Treasured Conversations works well for once they get past the skills of WWE. I personally like programs that are shorter because it gives us a greater variety and fits in with how I like to schedule and plan. I also think it would be good to take those skills and practice them with your own content in alternating weeks with WR or at the end of the year.

 

I haven't decided exactly what to do with dd yet but I might have her do Fable on the younger end and just do it slower as her sole program, that would probably suite her well. Perhaps tackling Fable and the first part of TC in her 3rd grade year, moving onto part 2 of TC and Narrative 1 in 4th and part 3 of TC with Narrative 2. Although that is quite different than I've done it with ds they are so different  and yet again everything is subject to change, you kind of have to meet them where they are, keep an eye on your kid and your goals, adjust accordingly. 

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I would say as well we are half-way through Narrative 2 and the lessons are a fair amount longer from Narrative I and from what I remember them saying Chreia lessons are even longer. We are back to TC now but when we finish N2 I expect that it will take a full 4 or maybe 5 days to finish those lessons, of course it is sometimes hard to judge when just reading them.

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We have been working through the books with no off week. I suppose we will run out of book at this rate. But at some point, likely after Chreia, I am going to add in at least portions of WWS or a self created program to cover those skills.

 

We did use materials from Mariconda/Empowering Writers, which complimented our CAP instruction. I especially thought The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever book increased the quality of our narrative writing in CAP.

 

We just started Narrative II, and it looks like it will do outlining in some form. The last week of Narrative I had three compositions assigned. I'm not far enough in Narrative II to get a feel, but I think the writing quantity goes up as you move in the program.

 

These skills are important, and worth focusing on to master. I wouldn't add another program with an entirely different approach (like EIW). If you feel the need to do more writing, I would instead add further work in CAP writing skills--descriptive writing, dialogue, summaries, etc. or use a program that adds to what you're doing in CAP. We got a lot out of the book linked above. Killgallon has been useful too. I do use WWE for the summary sections, though it's not adding a lot here.

 

 

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