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Would Jump In be a solid writing course for 6th grade boy? (Cf. to WStrands & Cover Story)

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He is a good writer (has a lot of potential) but we have been hit/miss with writing this school year. I did a lot of experimenting and here is what we NEED: Absolutely Open and Go. No juggling DVDs or "parts & pieces". Written to the student, able to be worked on independently (but does have *some* parent involvement in terms of feedback). Minimal to no integrated grammar. "To the point" assignments that don't require intense study for us to understand what is being asked. Ability to slow down or speed up depending upon the need of the moment. Relatively inexpensive. Teaches valuable writing skills that can be used in other subjects. Appropriate for his age/grade level (I have difficulty determining this and have bogged down in how to teach writing because of it.)


If you've used Jump In did you do the Writing Plunges? Here's what Cathy Duffy said about them: EDITED per SWB :) 


I want to be finished with this at the end of 6th grade and would like to omit the Writing Plunges. Do you think the Writing Plunges are important? It sounds like the student does editing/proofing work with the Writing Plunge papers and I wonder if skipping those would hinder his writing growth.

How long did Jump In take you and how much time did you give it daily/weekly? 


Alternatives to Jump In would be Writing Strands 4&5 (yes, I realize it's hated here but I like that it's open/go, an old school TWTM rec. , cheap) or an outsourced class or Cover Story. Now, Cover Story looks like something this child would LOVE as he is inclined toward Creative Writing. However, I don't quite know how to plan a sequence that would prepare him for high school and where to fit each part in. Jump In looks more versatile and could likely be followed by Cover Story which is a shorter duration (24 weeks I believe). We could focus on essay writing for the second half of 7th and all of 8th grade. Maybe we'll be able to use Writing with Skill as an "open and go" option once we are done with Jump In. That is my secret hope â€¦. 

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I don't know anything about Jump In ~ but I urge you to look at Meaningful Composition for all your requirements.  It's been a lovely find this year for my 5th grader and we plan on using it through the summer and into next year for sure! 


We did 4+ this year, will be doing 5(II) Creative & Clever over the summer and then into 6+ next year.  Teaches writing from a Key Word Outline and has a wonderful checklist for content editing. 



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Hi Diana,


Yes, I LOVE the looks of MC and have thoroughly perused the samples over the past several weeks. I am planning on using 4+ with my 10yo this fall but I wasn't sure about using it with the oldest boy because of the Directed Writing approach. He has a lot of his own ideas and I am under the impression that because MC uses Directed Writing that there isn't any flexibility within the assignments. This approach is precisely what my 10yo will need as he's insecure in writing and HATES subjectivity. My oldest is much more creative and likes to have some say in his writing. I was tempted by 6+ for him. 

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There is some flexibility in the assignments. Some of it is very directed - for example it started with describing your room by answering questions, not much wiggle room there. But other assignments give a list of topic options that fit into the type of writing assignment. One such example was to write about an event by answering who, what, where, when, why and maybe how. It could be any personal event - birthday, baptism, etc. 


You can also allow him to use the lesson to write about a different topic if the one assigned is not of interest. I actually changed a topic for my son prior to him reading the lesson because I knew the topic would be better for him. :)


My son sounds much more like your younger one and 4+ fit him perfectly this year (he is 10). He hadn't had any previous writing experience except for a little bit of writing of history narrations. And although he's still not a fan, he can do it now. :)

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So, Jump In really looks solid and my son previewed the samples and enjoyed them (huh??!!). Can teaching writing be that straight forward? After sampling WWS, IEW and variations of the pro gym I expect teaching writing to be this monstrous beast to slay. I am so intimidated and overwhelmed that I've become paralyzed and expect to fail. This is a rock I need to crawl out from under!  


I've narrowed my list down to purchasing Jump In and 2 Meaningful Composition books (4+ and 6+) for preview. Cover Story (and Wordsmith Apprentice for the younger son) may be used at some point as well for my creative writer guy.  Analytical Grammar or CLE LA running alongside as needed for grammar …. 

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