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Would someone be willing to give me advice about WWS1?


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We are using WWS1 with my 6th grade daughter and it is not going well. I tried to use it last year and we finally ditched it and started over this year. Now the same thing is happening again--it is always the last subject we do and we both dread it. I know if I put some effort into it, it would go better but there seems to be so many obstacles. Here is what I see holding us up:

 

I am intimidated by the subject of writing. I don't like to write myself.

My daughter doesn't enjoy it. But she might if we worked more on it.

I have a dyslexic child who takes a lot of my time. My daughter works well independently and is a natural student -- except in writing.

I have 5 children 11 down to 3 and writing is that one subject that takes all my concentration and there is rarely in quiet time for me to concentrate on the assignments. She just can't seem to do this on her own even though it is supposed to be independent.

 

So, how can I simplify WWS1 to make it work? I don't won't to give up on it. Or should I try something else? Ironically WWE is working well for my 1st grader and 4th grader (dyslexic kid), both boys, but of course it is more simple to follow. I have basically shelved it for now, telling myself I will do a crash course with her when all her work is done for the year. But that doesn't sound reasonable or fun either!! :)

 

Somebody please help me, this is the main subject that drags me down. I am feeling a little crazy about this! :/

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We didn't see a way to make WWS work, so we ditched it. It made my writing-loving daughter hate writing. Honestly, I don't see any reason why writing instruction has to be as complicated as WWS makes it. We switched to School Composition, a free, vintage writing book available on Google Books, and my dd began to enjoy writing again. School Composition uses many of the same methods as WWS but is much more user-friendly, imo.

 

If your dd hates WWS, don't waste your time on it. Writing instruction should not be painful. I have learned that if the curriculum gets shoved to the end of the day and dreaded, it's the wrong program for us regardless of how much everyone else loves it.

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I've gone through the same thing with my daughter. Started the program last year in 5th grade and stopped after a month, it was too overwhelming for. We picked it back up this year and she's doing better, but still doesn't love it.

 

I do agree with JDoe, that the main component to this level book is outlining, which I do think is an important part of writing. After all, half of writing is organizing your thoughts and that's what outlining teaches. I would suggest that you look ahead to see how the she teaches the outlining process, after the concept of summarizing is concrete for your daughter. Then apply the practice of outlining to her other subjects. I started having my daughter outline what she read in history. This did help with the "moans and groans" I would hear when it came to writing.

 

After she has a solid grasp of the one level outline, then move to the 2 level outline, again looking ahead at how it is taught. Make sure to pay attention to how the 2 level outlining is handled with different types of writing.

 

Now I do have to say that sometimes we have to take a break from this type of writing, because it can be rather dry. After week or two we come right back because I know it teaches such important aspects of the writing process.

 

Hope this helps!

 

P.S. I would also take a good look at the descriptive writing taught - it's very thorough! (I also learned a lot in this area.) And again, this can be applied to other subjects.

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It's actually ok to let it go if it's really not working for you.  It doesn't work for everybody, and it isn't the only way to get where you want to go.  Hate and dread are not good words to apply to a curriculum, or to a skill like writing.  If I were feeling that after giving it a solid try, twice, I would let it go.  (Which we actually did with WWS, after using most of level 1).  The thing about WWS is that it uses a very incremental, step by step, build up from the base approach to writing.  It's parts-to-whole - you work on mastering all the little pieces and eventually build them up into a composition.  But some writers don't think that way - they need to see what the whole is, what the goal is, and have good models and examples to learn to write.  WWS tends to not work well for that kind of thinker.  It's no shame to the writer, and no condemnation of the program, that it doesn't work for everybody.  And it's actually very, very common - there are people it is a lifesaver for, and there are people who bang their heads against it and finally just let it go.  You can, it will be ok.

 

Have you listened to SWB's audio lecture about middle grades writing?  Honestly, you can just do what she describes in the lecture for 6th grade, and you will be absolutely fine.

 

If you really want a curriculum, I like CAP's Writing and Rhetoric.  They have two books out, Narrative 2 and Chreia & Proverb, that would work well for a 6th grader.  The next book will be out in April and you could follow the series after this, if you end up liking it, all the way into high school.

 

Here is a link to two threads on the Writing board where people have shared what their ~6th graders are writing using W&R:

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/540257-cap-wr-chreia-sample/

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/514019-using-cap-wr-with-older-students/

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Oh, thank you, ladies! You have given me much to think about. I think one of the things that so frustrated me with WWS was the layout of the teachers book and the student book and how much I was looking back and forth at them trying to understand the two of them together, just a silly inconvenience. I think the information is so good. It just seemed to require quiet concentration that I didn't have time for.

 

After further searching I found this PDF about WWS from Susan W. Bauer which is reassuring:

 

http://downloads.peacehillpress.com/samples/pdf/WWEandWWSexplanation.pdf?utm_source=Catalog&utm_medium=Print&utm_content=Page%2B9&utm_campaign=2014%2BCatalog&page=10

 

JDoe, do you have other resources you use for outlining? Or do you just do the method she spells out in WTM? I did use a few outlining workbooks with her last year.

 

I have listened to the audio for middle grades and the logical way she lays it out is *so* appealing to me. But it doesn't work out so well when I try to teach it. I will look into School Composition and Writing and Rhetoric. Maybe I will work on some WWE 4 (which never did) for the rest of the year and regroup. Thanks for all the suggestions, you have given me hope.

 

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to continue to comment!

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JDoe, do you have other resources you use for outlining? Or do you just do the method she spells out in WTM? I did use a few outlining workbooks with her last year.

 

Workbooks I have used, and believe useful, albeit not outstanding:

http://www.amazon.com/Outlining-Gr-5-8/dp/B000QCBC2M/

http://www.amazon.com/REMEDIA-PUBLICATIONS-REM1134A-Outlining-Gr/dp/B000QCDGOO/

http://www.amazon.com/Thirty-Lessons-Outlining-Level-1/dp/0891873708/

http://www.amazon.com/Thirty-Lessons-Outlining-Advanced-Level/dp/0891873716/[Ordered, not yet used]

 

Best one on subject I have come across is free (not workbook, but overview)

 

https://archive.org/details/principlesofoutl00ballrich

 

 

Other resources I have not used, but may be useful:

http://www.amazon.com/Study-Skills-Strategies-Mary-Mueller/dp/0825146054/

http://www.amazon.com/Outlining-Eleanor-Villalpando/dp/1561750565

https://archive.org/details/exercisestodevel00swee

 

Once a fairly good understanding of outlining has been developed I would suggest replacing workbooks with requesting outlines of whatever material is being studied in other subjects as a integral part of reading, just as Sunnybuddymom is doing:

 

 

 Then apply the practice of outlining to her other subjects. I started having my daughter outline what she read in history. This did help with the "moans and groans" I would hear when it came to writing.

 

 

Use of outlining functions in word, powerpoint or other such programmes you may use should be encouraged at least, if not required.

 

There IS a part of Logic that also would fit in very well with this writing programme I believe, but very difficult to find any good textbooks that only cover the more conceptual part of logic. Maybe there might be some books on semantics out there that could fit in, but I have not found one (probably because I have not searched much).

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It's actually ok to let it go if it's really not working for you. It doesn't work for everybody, and it isn't the only way to get where you want to go. Hate and dread are not good words to apply to a curriculum, or to a skill like writing. If I were feeling that after giving it a solid try, twice, I would let it go. (Which we actually did with WWS, after using most of level 1). The thing about WWS is that it uses a very incremental, step by step, build up from the base approach to writing. It's parts-to-whole - you work on mastering all the little pieces and eventually build them up into a composition. But some writers don't think that way - they need to see what the whole is, what the goal is, and have good models and examples to learn to write. WWS tends to not work well for that kind of thinker. It's no shame to the writer, and no condemnation of the program, that it doesn't work for everybody. And it's actually very, very common - there are people it is a lifesaver for, and there are people who bang their heads against it and finally just let it go. You can, it will be ok.

 

 

Jumping into this thread with a question...I often see WWS given as an example of a parts to whole writing curriculum...can you give a couple examples that are whole-to-parts for the middle grades?

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Another thing to consider is to perhaps take a look at the Intro to Rhetoric course on WTM Academy. Their syllabus (available on the website) breaks out the *really important* skills to focus on from WWS1-3. So, if you want to pare down, you can look there. Two things to reflect on with that, though, are the ItR class is for older kids and some of the skipped parts are actually more fun and a bit of a breather for them.

 

Another option to think about is outsourcing writing to an online class or a tutor. Some online classes are very pricey, some are just plain pricey, and there are a few that are reasonable. I am choosing to outsource writing next year for oldest because it will get done & done well for an outside teacher. Since we can afford it (by dropping another online class she's taking now that I think I do just as well here), I'm doing it.

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Jumping into this thread with a question...I often see WWS given as an example of a parts to whole writing curriculum...can you give a couple examples that are whole-to-parts for the middle grades?

 

So something like Writing With a Thesis - my new favorite writing program - which teaches essay writing by first teaching the purpose of writing - to persuade - and then showing how that overall purpose - the whole - is applied in all different kinds of writing (narrative, descriptive, compare and contrast, etc.) - the parts.  You start out with the big idea, with what you are trying to achieve, and then you talk about the pieces you put together to get there.

 

Lively Art of Writing does this too.  You start with what is an essay? what is a thesis? then you figure out how to put the pieces together, but with the end goal firmly in mind from the beginning.

 

I'm sure there are other examples, those are two we are using right now, so it's what comes immediately to mind.

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RootAnn, are you going to outsource writing to an online class? I am wondering about writing for my son, too.

 

For my oldest next year, YES. The next two are doing okay (Treasured Conversations  :001_wub: ) and I have next year penciled in. However, I'm open to outsourcing writing for them later if it makes sense. She's taking two foreign language online classes this year. I think I can do the Latin at home next year, so I'm using that money for writing class through WTM Academy. After reading several reviews and knowing how she works hard(er) for her online language teachers, I'm hopeful it will help her be less combative / more cooperative about writing.

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I started using it when my daughter was in 5th grade, and it was slow going. It is very part to whole, and my daughter was frustrated a lot. We kept going, though, and it has really improved her writing. She does not like it, to be honest, but it has made a big difference in skills like notetaking, outlining, grammar and organization of writing. She's finishing WWS2 now as a seventh grader. 

 

I think this worked for her because she's not a natural writer, and she is generally very logical and orderly. I am not sure if I would use it with her sister, who is more naturally comfortable with writing and might not need to have writing made quite so discrete for her. 

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I started using it when my daughter was in 5th grade, and it was slow going. It is very part to whole, and my daughter was frustrated a lot. We kept going, though, and it has really improved her writing. She does not like it, to be honest, but it has made a big difference in skills like notetaking, outlining, grammar and organization of writing. She's finishing WWS2 now as a seventh grader. 

 

I think this worked for her because she's not a natural writer, and she is generally very logical and orderly. I am not sure if I would use it with her sister, who is more naturally comfortable with writing and might not need to have writing made quite so discrete for her. 

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I tried in 5th, tried again in 6th, Enrolled in the WTM academy for 7th and it is his favorite class. It seems spendy, but it is a small class, meets twice a week and the teacher is great. When I think of all the time I worked with prep, teaching, then grading, I feel I am getting a lot of bang for my buck with the class. It is also my son's favorite subject now.

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I also have an 11 year old on her second trip through WWS I. I also have 5 kids, oldest 11, with one time consuming child. My girl doesn't like writing and I have a hard time grading writing, so we always put it off. We were doing okay last year until I had morning sickness for three months. We got behind on several things. We never got caught up on writing, so I had her start over this year. It is going a little better this year. I don't have any advice - just commiseration.

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I put my 5th grader in WWS1 last year. It was tough. He trudged along begrudgingly, & only finished about 1/3 of the book. This year I enrolled him in WTMA Expository Writing 1 - which is WWS1 with a teacher :). It has been an excellent choice. He started off the year a little rocky, getting used to the expectations & workload, but he quickly got a handle on it. He doesn't love writing, but he does it without complaint & he's making tremendous progress. We'll be back next year for the next level. 

 

I didn't even try to put my present 5th grader in WWS1, although in hindsight, I think he would've been ok with the class. I filled his "gap" year between WWE4 & WWS1 with a Potter's School class that requires that he attend, participate, follow direction, & write thoughtfully-Adventures in Writing. While I don't *love* this class, I think it has been a great fit for this year. He'll tell you that he's learned tons :).

 

If WTMA had not offered a class this year for the book, or if I couldn't budget the money to pay for the class, I think we *might've* left the book in search of a different method. 

 

I definitely don't think WWS is for every student. It may be time to try a different approach. Good Luck!

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So something like Writing With a Thesis - my new favorite writing program - which teaches essay writing by first teaching the purpose of writing - to persuade - and then showing how that overall purpose - the whole - is applied in all different kinds of writing (narrative, descriptive, compare and contrast, etc.) - the parts.  You start out with the big idea, with what you are trying to achieve, and then you talk about the pieces you put together to get there.

 

I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'm curious: at around what grade / writing level would you consider Writing With a Thesis appropriate? Post WWS1?

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I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'm curious: at around what grade / writing level would you consider Writing With a Thesis appropriate? Post WWS1?

 

For us, we wouldn't have done well with it before 7th grade.  You want to be ready to tackle the thesis-driven essay, to be ready to be able to form an opinion and make an argument for it.  Some kids may do this sooner, but for us it would have been a stretch before this year.  We're actually finishing up Lively Art of Writing now, and have just dipped into WWaT this year, we will finish it in 8th.  

 

I think you could use it any time from 7th on up through high school  Skills wise, probably post WWS1 & 2.  WWS1 has you just working on the pieces of a composition, you don't really get the intro & conclusions and putting it all together until WWS2.   So if you are going that route, maybe do WWS 1 & 2 first, then WWaT.  With the caveat that for most kids I wouldn't do WWS in 5th grade . . . Or, if WWS isn't a good fit, hit those basic composition skills, and maybe LAoW to introduce the basic essay form, and then WWaT after that.

 

What we did, for the record, was WWS1 in 5th, bits of WWS2 but mostly writing across the curriculum, reports and such, in 6th, and then LAoW and beginning WWat in 7th.  WWaT will be completed in 8th, and I think we'll work through They Say/I Say next.  We've hit our stride with doing a combination of rhetoric study plus writing across the curriculum.  Not that I'm suggesting you follow our footsteps! 5th and 6th felt pretty cobbled together here, but we're at a good place now.

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I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'm curious: at around what grade / writing level would you consider Writing With a Thesis appropriate? Post WWS1?

 

I own the book. It makes a lot more sense to me than WWS, which I also own. It is whole to part for sure, and I think we need that.

 

For fifth grade, we've started one level outlines to find the organizational structure of pieces from Scholastic News publications and Cricket Magazines. The structures in those articles, and all I read anywhere for that matter, follow the types of paragraphs/sections/essays outlined in Writing With a Thesis.

 

We are focusing particularly on example paragraphs and essays right now. I'm teaching them the applicable aspects Writing with a Thesis emphasizes for example pieces as they analyze and write. I am also using some of the book Common Threads. It's more detailed, but also less interesting to read for me compared to Writing With a Thesis. My kids are writing decent example paragraphs. Not essays, but paragraphs using that particular organizational structure. A friend is doing process (how) paragraphs with her 5th grader using the same resources.

 

I'll give you an example of how this is working, because it feels right here. Yesterday my kids wrote an example paragraph. These were rough draft paragraphs. Sometimes they are slightly more sophisticated, but yesterday one child wrote a paragraph with examples of how Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes) imagining himself as Spaceman Spiff causes trouble.

 

Today we read an article in one of the Scholastic News magazines about cave exploration in China. We did just one level outlines, but also noted the structures, which were: narrative story/descriptive (first section/Introduction), definition paragraph (bedrock), Process Section (how caves are formed), problem/solution paragraph (caves are hard to measure/new laser technology makes that easier), process section (how the laser technology works), example paragraph (examples of what scientists discover from caves explored), description paragraph (specifics of one of their findings), conclusion (future work in caves).

 

Then we looked a little closer at the example paragraph, as we're working on those now. We then pulled out yesterday's paragraphs for editing/rewriting.

 

I plan to do the same for the other organizational structures in the book, but focusing on just one paragraph at a time, not the entire essay. We're not ready for whole essays, and most essays use multiple organizational structures anyway. Once we master paragraphs using the various structures, I'll work on introductions and finally conclusions, which I think will be most difficult. We will have lots and lots of expository pieces we've analyzed under our belt by that time, and I'm in no rush.

 

 

This handout from Armstrong University's writing center might give you an idea of what this type of writing instruction might look like. http://www.armstrong.edu/images/writing_center/handouts/Modes.pdf

 

 

 

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I tried in 5th, tried again in 6th, Enrolled in the WTM academy for 7th and it is his favorite class. It seems spendy, but it is a small class, meets twice a week and the teacher is great. When I think of all the time I worked with prep, teaching, then grading, I feel I am getting a lot of bang for my buck with the class. It is also my son's favorite subject now.

Which WTM class is he enrolled in? Thanks!

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So, how can I simplify WWS1 to make it work? I don't won't to give up on it. Or should I try something else? Ironically WWE is working well for my 1st grader and 4th grader (dyslexic kid), both boys, but of course it is more simple to follow. I have basically shelved it for now, telling myself I will do a crash course with her when all her work is done for the year. But that doesn't sound reasonable or fun either!! :)

 

I am by no means an expert on WWS1 since we are working our way through it now.  One thing that might be helpful is that when a new topic is introduced, you work right beside her while she's doing it the first few time.  Model it after WWE.  Ask the leading questions listed in the Instructor's book.  Give her the prompts and lead her through it.  While I do feel that WWS is independent, whenever something new is introduced I have to slog through it with my son the first couple of times and then he's able to work independently for the most part on that particular skill from that point on.  Then my role is to evaluate his work based on the rubric which helps me to concentrate on what is important. 

 

The only other suggestion I have is to to WWS1 first thing in the morning.  If it's your least favorite subject and your daughter's least favorite, then get it over with so you don't dread it all day.

 

Also, consider working ahead of her in the book.  It won't take you long to do and it might make it easier to help her.

 

You do sound like you have A  LOT on your plate!  I only have two children to homeschool and that's enough for me!

 

 

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DD started WWS1 last year in sixth, and with a toddler, a newborn, and two other boys, I didn't always get to do writing with her. WWS1 was a big step up for her, and she needed a lot of help and hand holding last year. She's now most of the way through it in 7th, and I don't mind at all that it's been a two year book. It has been very well worth the learning curve and pushing through the first part, because what she's produced has been excellent. It has also gotten easier, so she doesn't need nearly as much help now. Also, later in the book, it gets into literary analysis, and that was easier and more fun too. So I vote that you plan for it to take a couple of years, break days into two parts if need be, don't stress about getting to it every single day, and keep on keeping on.

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DD started WWS1 last year in sixth, and with a toddler, a newborn, and two other boys, I didn't always get to do writing with her. WWS1 was a big step up for her, and she needed a lot of help and hand holding last year. She's now most of the way through it in 7th, and I don't mind at all that it's been a two year book. It has been very well worth the learning curve and pushing through the first part, because what she's produced has been excellent. It has also gotten easier, so she doesn't need nearly as much help now. Also, later in the book, it gets into literary analysis, and that was easier and more fun too. So I vote that you plan for it to take a couple of years, break days into two parts if need be, don't stress about getting to it every single day, and keep on keeping on.

 

Yes! Same experience here. Started WWS1 in 6th grade, worked on it slowly and took breaks to do other things, now finishing it in 7th grade. With a little more maturity and growth this year, DS is getting so much more out of it now (7th grade).

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This has been a great thread to follow. I am trying to make a curriculum decision for my two sons who will be in 5th and 6th grades next year. I am hoping for something that develops their writing skills but is mainly student led. WWS1 seems like a good fit, but I wonder now after reading experiences if it will be too challenging for them. But if WWE4 is teacher led, I am not sure I can sustain it. Thoughts? Thank you so much.

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By "student led" do you mean independent?   If so, I don't really know of anything that is entirely independent for 5th and 6th graders.  Writing is our most teacher-intensive subject.  My dd could go off and do the actual writing by herself in 5th and 6th grades, but she needed a lot of help understanding the assignment, setting it up and organizing it, and revising and editing.  Can you clarify what you are looking for in terms of a student led curriculum?  That way we can make better suggestions for you.

 

FWIW, WWS is not at all independent for a 5th or 6th grader.  It is very student led in the sense that the book is written to the student, but the vast majority of students need a lot of help reading and understanding the instructions.  Way more than most moms thought when we first looked at the program - there was a lot of active discussion about this when it first came out.  It takes a lot of hand holding to teach a young kid to actually read, understand, and follow the instructions.  My sense from reading posts is that it is much more independent with an older student.  I think that would be true for my student too - in 5th grade she needed me sitting right by her.  This year, in 7th, I think she'd be mostly independent with it.  So it's a maturity issue as well as a curriculum issue.

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Ds10 is ding Jump In!

It is very independent. We started two weeks ago. He just finished writing a 800-word five paragraph paper on the game he plays, Terraria.

He used all WWE 1-4 and IEW Student Writing Intensive A. Last fall and winter he did CAP W&R Book 3 and half Book 4. A month ago I let him try WWS 1. He was frustrated and not ready for it. I showed him Jump In! He is happy now and is writing totally without me.

 

I would recommend Jump In! for an advanced 5th grader and an average 6th grader.

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By "student led" do you mean independent?   If so, I don't really know of anything that is entirely independent for 5th and 6th graders.  Writing is our most teacher-intensive subject.  My dd could go off and do the actual writing by herself in 5th and 6th grades, but she needed a lot of help understanding the assignment, setting it up and organizing it, and revising and editing.  Can you clarify what you are looking for in terms of a student led curriculum?  That way we can make better suggestions for you.

 

FWIW, WWS is not at all independent for a 5th or 6th grader.  It is very student led in the sense that the book is written to the student, but the vast majority of students need a lot of help reading and understanding the instructions.  Way more than most moms thought when we first looked at the program - there was a lot of active discussion about this when it first came out.  It takes a lot of hand holding to teach a young kid to actually read, understand, and follow the instructions.  My sense from reading posts is that it is much more independent with an older student.  I think that would be true for my student too - in 5th grade she needed me sitting right by her.  This year, in 7th, I think she'd be mostly independent with it.  So it's a maturity issue as well as a curriculum issue.

 

I actually like the fact that WWS is student led and that it can be hard for ds11 to read a lot of instructions and process them to produce the work.  It's preparing him to be a more independent learner.  I don't look at is as a fault in the program and I am very pleased with this design.  Perhaps this was intentional on SWB's part?  It's not only teaching writing but prepares the logic stage student to learn on his/her own.  Yes, that does make it more work for the parent at first because it's not as open-and-go and easy to hand off but I am seeing results, both in ds's writing and in his ability to learn on his own and to follow directions.  I think that this program gets a bad rap and I wonder if it's because as educators we don't really understand our role.  I was very hesitant to use it because of threads about it and I'm happy that I decided to take the plunge anyways.

 

In fact, I like how this program is working so much that I'm on the fence about having my son take WWS2 online through WTMA next fall.  I think it would be a great experience for him and I want him to take an online class but I also like how he's doing well on his own with this program.  I wonder if it might be more beneficial for him to continue on his own like this because he's learning a lot more than just expository writing.

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I don't disagree with you.  I was just responding specifically to the pp who said they wanted something "student led" and trying to understand if by that she meant "directed to the student" or "independent."  WWS is directed to the student, but not independent - hence an entire TM the same size as the student book.  I actually think that's a good thing, and have trouble imagining how writing instruction can be completely independent.

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I think that this program gets a bad rap and I wonder if it's because as educators we don't really understand our role. 

 

In our case, it wasn't because it was too hard or we didn't want to be challenged. It was because it was too wordy. The forest got lost for the trees, and my writing-loving daughter began to hate writing. Personally, I think that a writing curriculum can be challenging without sucking the joy out of writing. That's what we found with School Composition and its follow-up, Writing in English. Both are written to the student; both can be accomplished somewhat independently. Both stretch the learner/writer as they progress through the program. But whereas my dd felt challenged by SC and WiE, she felt bogged down by WWS. Writing can be a sensitive topic because it is so personal. If the instruction is needlessly complex or dry, kids can be turned off, and that can be hard to overcome. My dd felt that the reading selections in WWS were incredibly dull. I felt that the reading selections were frequently at too high of a level to be an appropriate match for the skill being taught; that is, my dd could read and comprehend the passages, but they were often rather complex (and uninteresting) for someone just beginning to practice a new skill.

 

I am sure that there are kids for whom WWS is a great fit. But I, personally, feel that WWS fell short of the mark in what SWB was hoping to achieve simply because so many people find it unsatisfying, for lack of a better term.

 

This is not a slam against SWB. I find her an inspiring educator and a lovely person. But I know I am not the only person who was disappointed with WWS. And I think her clarification of when to use the program says a lot. It's not really appropriate for most kids as an immediate follow-up to WWE, which is what is was originally supposed to be (from my understanding).

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Rose, I am definitely agreeing with you too.  Student-led is definitely not the same as student-independent.  Your post was an "aha!" moment for me and that's why I quoted it.  I should have bolded one of the sentences that you wrote:  It takes a lot of hand holding to teach a young kid to actually read, understand, and follow the instructions.  This sentence really resonated with me, only I didn't indicate that well (or at all!) in my post.  Somehow everything I think doesn't automatically appear on the computer screen.  Hmmmm... Anyways, your words crystalized for me the reason why I like WWS so much. I like it because WWS not only teach the basic skills for expository writing, but it's also a great way for students to begin to learn on their own.  And there's even a script for me to help them do that in that very thick instructor's book. 

 

TaraTheliberator, your comment about WWS falling short of the mark is why I'm posting that WWS is working for us.  I've heard this over and over again from posters and these comments made me very reluctant to give it a shot.  I'm glad I did because it works for us.  When I take on the role of helping ds to understand SWB's instructions  rather than helping him to learn to write, I am able to hand back to him his own reluctance to write.  It becomes his struggle at that point  because how to begin and how to proceed is laid out for him in all its wordiness. In turn, he completes his assignment and hands it to me to review according to the rubric.  This is how WWS gets done on a daily basis at our house.  I hope you didn't take my post to mean that anyone who tries WWS and finds it lacking isn't trying hard enough or isn't doing something right.  I just wanted to offer a different perspective to other people who might be considering the program.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't read through the replies, so I apologize if someone has already said this. Have you tried the WTM Academy class, Expository Writing I? It uses WWS1. We did it this year and it has been wonderful!!! Writing was the last thing getting done in our house even though I love to write. Teaching writing is what I don't care for, lol. One of the best curriculum decisions I have made in all our time homeschooling. Good luck!

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