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Recommend a Writing program to me for 5th grade

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We have been using CAP Writing and Rhetoric until DS (also in 5th) is ready for Writing With Skill I.  It's been fantastic!  However, it depends what your goals are for this year's writing.  Are you looking to introduce him to academic writing, to have him write creatively, or to have him write and beef up his punctuation and mechanical skills?

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Treasured Conversations and CAP Writing & Rhetoric (particularly the 3rd book, Narrative 2) are good bridges between WWE & WWS.  You would think you could go straight from one to the other, but not so much.  It's a big leap in challenge, not a smooth transition, and for many families WWS is best delayed a year or two.


I know you said you wanted a program, but really, just listening to SWB's lecture about Middle Grade writing and following her advice for 5th grade seems like the best bet to me.  What she suggests you do with a 5th grader is actually transitional in difficulty between WWE & WWS.  

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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My son started WWS in 5th grade and he is definitely a reluctant writer as well. However, he really enjoys learning factual things about people, places and things and WWS does a great job of providing a variety of topics and information for the student to write about. I love that he never has to "come up with" what to write on and she has all the resources you need right in the book. He enjoyed learning about each topic, but he hasn't fallen in love with writing by any stretch of the imagination. He can complete the task though, and do it well. Also, he is gaining the confidence that he is able to do it even if it is something that he wouldn't chose to do. This year we are in WWS2 and I'm so proud of what he's accomplished. 

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Sounds like a perfect time for a break to a different program to take time to put into practice and develop a solid foundation for writing with what was learned in WWE without being overkill of drill.


I vote for Wordsmith Apprentice (written for secular use). Something written directly to the student, that is informal, yet builds on the different types of writing (descriptive, narrative, expository, persuasive), and is, quite frankly, very fun. It is set up as though the student is writing for a newspaper as a cub-reporter, with a silly one-page cartoon of the editor in chief speaking to the student to introduce each new type of writing (which is writing for a different department of a newspaper :) ). You can schedule as much or as little of it a day as you like. Also, it's quite flexible as it can be as much about factual writing or about creative writing as the student would like.


Both of my DSs who disliked writing really enjoyed this program.


See table of contents and samplemore sample pages and general lesson plan/schedule.

Edited by Lori D.
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