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Classical Writing looks so good...


ellebro
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I was feeling all set in my mind about our long-term writing plans -- IEW at first to get us off the ground, then switch to WWS as our spine with Killgallon, LTOW, and Bravewriter online classes as supplements. 

 

But then I started looking at Classical Writing, and it is looking so good, and now I'm all confused! I resisted even looking at it for a long time because I knew I might be tempted. It also looked like it might be difficult to implement, but I think I' m realizing that it only looks complex because it includes not just writing but also spelling, grammar, and vocabulary, which we are currently doing separately.

 

 I had been planning to use Saxon grammar (which I'm using with my 5th grader this year and it's going just okay) but then I started looking at Harvey's Grammar and WOW!! I'm impressed by the depth, directness, and clarity of the approach. I think that may have been the text my 9th grade grammar teacher used, and that's when the lights really went off for me as far as understanding sentence structure.  It doesn't have the built-in review and simple workbook format that Saxon has, but I'm really impressed by its depth and analysis and its incremental introduction of concepts.  

 

So I would probably feel very comfortable switching to Harvey's Grammar instead of Saxon.  Although I'm not entirely clear yet how the exercises work based on the samples I've seen. (I downloaded the ebook.)  Hopefully I could tweak the grammar aspect to do some things orally and/or typed instead of handwritten.  My kids do better that way.  

 

For spelling, right now we are just doing a mish-mash of SWR phonograms and rules + spelling city to practice spelling words.  So it would be fairly seamless to switch to CW's word analysis approach to spelling since it also uses SWR phonograms and rules.  

 

For vocabulary, though, I am very happy with Wordly Wise online and the retention I'm seeing there. So I would likely scale back or eliminate the vocabulary work in CW, although we might do some brief oral activities.

 

But my biggest source of angst in considering CW is the fact that I REALLY like some aspects of WWS and LTOW and I really  don't want to give those up as part of our plans.  I am impressed enough by the elocution work I see in CW to feel comfortable eliminating Killgallon from our plans, but I really want to do LTOW 1 and WWS 1-3 at some point.

 

Those of you who have used these programs, do you think it would be too much to do most of CW but also work LTOW1 and WWS 1-3 into our schedule sometime over the course of middle school/high school?  

 

All I've seen so far is the online samples, but I'm planning to get the Aesop and Homer main books some time soon so I can really wrap my mind around the program and how it works. For this year, I plan to stick with and finish SWI-A which is working well as a jumping off point since this is our first year homeschooling.  My kids are doing it together and it is a good, simple place to start. But next year I'm considering Aesop for dd who will be in 4th grade, and Homer A for ds who will be in 6th.  Or I could do WWS1 with him next year, and then do Aesop-Homer for Olders with him in 7th.  Rrrkk...there are too many good choices!! 

 

Any feedback on combining CW with other programs (or alternating CW with other programs, actually) would be awesome.  

 

Thank you!  

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But my biggest source of angst in considering CW is the fact that I REALLY like some aspects of WWS and LTOW and I really  don't want to give those up as part of our plans.  I am impressed enough by the elocution work I see in CW to feel comfortable eliminating Killgallon from our plans, but I really want to do LTOW 1 and WWS 1-3 at some point.

 

Those of you who have used these programs, do you think it would be too much to do most of CW but also work LTOW1 and WWS 1-3 into our schedule sometime over the course of middle school/high school?  

 

All I've seen so far is the online samples, but I'm planning to get the Aesop and Homer main books some time soon so I can really wrap my mind around the program and how it works.

 

Any feedback on combining CW with other programs (or alternating CW with other programs, actually) would be awesome. 

 

Thank you!  

 

I've used parts of CW and am using WWS3 this year. I think one program used well (along with outside grammar and vocab work) is solid. And thorough. And enough. 

 

I know it's tempting to look at the programs want a bit of this and some of that, but really, who can implement all of that and I can't imagine having time as student to do 2 structured writing programs along with science, math, foreign language, history, literature.  

 

If you are going to use them successively instead of simultaneously, just be aware the WWS assumes the student is using it for the full 3 years. And CW has a learning curve so it's difficult to pick up and go.  We're using WWS3 for the first time and I'm having to fill in some gaps, b'c I wasn't aware how much the program builds on itself and has the student recall an earlier teaching in WWS1 or WWS2. 

 

I've swtiched between writing curriculum so I don't think there's a problem alternating, but I wouldn't want to use 2 simultaneously. 

 

It's certainly tempting when there's so much seemingly-good stuff out there!

Lisa

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Yes, I can see how doing CW at the same time as WWS would be way too much.  I don't think I would ever try to take that on.   Right now I guess I'm really trying to wrap my mind around a possible sequence or progression of how to alternate CW levels with WWS levels and LTOW1.  

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Or another alternative would be to do WWS/LTOW for middle school and CW for high school....hmmm...so many alternatives it's boggling my mind! It will probably help a lot once I have copies of these books actually in my hands to look at and process rather than just online samples.  

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CW is a full program, especially if you do all that it offers. We were quite busy with it even when we skipped some of the spelling and or vocabulary. BTW, spelling in CW is not meant to be a full program. I guess you can expand it to be one. The vicab is neat to do but it is not many words per week.

 

Hmm. You may be able to do the CW Homer in a month cours I'm high school and thenove into the Diogenes level (but I'm not sure if that means you get the same level of grammar n applied grammar done with this path).

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The more I have looked at the CW samples the more and more I am liking them. In fact, I think I am more drawn to CW than to WWS.  I printed out the first ten weeks (sample) of WWS last night and looked at it in more detail, and I think the passages in WWS may be too dry and academic for my kids.  They are kind of artsy/creative/philosophical types and I think CW may be a better fit for that reason.  They both love science/computers/sci-fi but they are not mathy at all....one is very artistic and the other loves to write her own stories.   Of course only time will tell --  often the only way to really know if something works is to try it! I ordered the Homer and Aesop core books, so I'll have a better feel for it after I read those.  But right now I'm thinking perhaps we might make CW our spine and only add in other things here and there as supplements (I'm thinking of trying some online writing classes during summer breaks, perhaps through Bravewriter.)  Using CW fairly comprehensively will allow us to consolidate most of our language arts into one program, which will be a welcome change.

 

I do hope to be able to fit in a year of LTOW  somewhere along the line because I like the way it approaches invention and the thinking skills involved in formulating a good thesis/argument. 

 

I put skill-building as a much higher priority in our homeschool compared to content, so I am happy to devote a big chunk of our time to something like CW and take a quicker approach to content areas such as history and literature.  For example, right now all we do in history is SOTW read alouds and map work. For literature all we do is daily read alouds and discussion, like a family book club in a way. We spend much more time on skill areas like math, writing, thinking skills, drawing instruction, piano practice, Spanish practice, etc.  

 

IEW, as I said, is getting done this semester and is a good, simple jumping off point for us right now.  I think by next year I'll be ready to attempt the more nuanced, comprehensive approach of CW.  

 

 

 

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