Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

danielleisdz

Writing?! Writing with Ease Questions, Please Help!

Recommended Posts

We have been faithfully following Writing With Ease and my 6yo is almost done with the first book.  She has excelled with the book, she has learned to copy very well!  At her best, her handwriting looks phenomenal!  I am also very excited about her ability to recall information from reading.  She regularly remembers and recalls more than me in life; she remembers so many details, words.  It's great!!

 

BUT

 

When she writes original content she is not that fabulous.  She is on par with an average or below average 1st grader according to what I can tell by looking at other first graders' work!  This is bothering me SO MUCH!  My intention is to keep my kids at the same academic level (hopefully better) as what they would be experiencing in schools.  NOT OK

 

Please share you experiences with the WWE and WWS books.  Does it all come out ok in the end?  Are there cases where it hasn't come out ok? 

 

I mean, my daughter is NOT on track to be spitting out a 5 paragraph essay in a year or two like the school kids will probably be doing!?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your first grader WRITES original content?  Cool!  Mine didn't.  ;)

It's not really required.

 

Here's the thing: are you committed to keeping your children at or above grade level at each level?  Or in the long run?  Because they are very, very, VERY different things.  Public schools take one approach to teaching writing.  The outcomes of that approach are...debated.  Some schools no doubt do very well at it, but across the board that can't necessarily be said.  WWE takes a very different approach--it does not require or expect original content.  Instead, the child is learning to write by copying good examples.  It's a long view, yes, but it's a very effective long view.

 

So is your standard the "right now" or the "overall, later on"?

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if she was writing at an average level now, I wouldn't have to worry so much about how things will turn out.  I like the concept quite a bit, but I don't want to risk their ability to write on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all works out in the end.  Don't worry about the future.  WWE and WWS work.  You won't see that after just one level.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if she was writing at an average level now, I wouldn't have to worry so much about how things will turn out.  I like the concept quite a bit, but I don't want to risk their ability to write on it.

 

Sounds like it IS an average level.

 

Here's the thing:

For me, I looked at the difference between what the public schools did and what WWE did.

I panicked slightly.  ;)

I thought about the philosophies behind how the public schools do things.  And how WWE does things.

I thought about how long the traditions of those philosophies are.

I thought about how the quality of writing at university level is doing these days (being mostly products of the public school philosophies.)

 

And I decided that the focus of WWE had a longer track record with, overall, better results.

 

Are those results guaranteed?  No.

Will I regret this later?  Well, it's possible.

 

But so far I don't regret in the slightest not encouraging "invented spelling" as an early writing skill.  ;)

 

This might be a question that you want to ask on the high school section of the board.  There are parents there who've been through writing with young children and can tell you about the results they're seeing now.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go read the intro to the WWE book again. It's a process. And this processes does NOT compare well with public school standards.

 

Which is actually why I like it. :)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SWB's philosophy of teaching/learning writing is totally different from what almost all schools do. If you are trying to copy what schools do and have similar results, you should choose different materials. The classical methods build skills differently than other methods and are working well for my kids, based on the evaluations which go with those methods. Ymmv. Don't use evaluations from one approach to gauge the effectiveness of another approach.

 

I HIGHLY recommend listening to her lectures on teaching writing! Available as a download from PHP for about $4. Listen to the grammar stage one. If you want to see where she is headed, listen to the other ones. She answers many common questions in the lectures and ties the practical details to the big picture so you as the teacher can see the purpose in the daily stuff.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SWB's philosophy of teaching/learning writing is totally different from what almost all schools do. If you are trying to copy what schools do and have similar results, you should choose different materials. The classical methods build skills differently than other methods and are working well for my kids, based on the evaluations which go with those methods. Ymmv. Don't use evaluations from one approach to gauge the effectiveness of another approach.

 

I HIGHLY recommend listening to her lectures on teaching writing! Available as a download from PHP for about $4. Listen to the grammar stage one. If you want to see where she is headed, listen to the other ones. She answers many common questions in the lectures and ties the practical details to the big picture so you as the teacher can see the purpose in the daily stuff.

 

I second this recommendation, keeping in mind that SWB is a professor of English at an excellent school. She regularly sees kids who were products of the school way of teaching writing, yet her own program and philosophy are vastly different. I think that speaks volumes about the long-term effectiveness of the way writing is taught in most schools.

 

 

Edited by mom2att
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't find it now (and nan's words of wisdom tag isn't working for me!), but perhaps someone else has it bookmarked ... but there was a thread at one point by one of the veterans about how she didn't quite get how or why SWB had us do the things we did. It wasn't until looking back that everything clicked together in her head. This vet basically said, "trust the process." She did it much better than I did ... and she has the street cred to go with it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I can encourage you...

 

Take a step back and ask yourself why it bothers you so much? 

 

You're likely going to see similar things often--scope and sequences vary, different educational models build skills differently, brain development in kids varies widely as does their readiness to do certain things...

 

Look for her growth and development, celebrate her successes and achievements, and let go of the academic rat race. Were you proud of her accomplishments this year until you compared? Also...look long-term at the PS record--is that what you wanted for your dd when you chose to homeschool? Does all this early writing really mean that a majority of students are solid writers when they graduate? (not by national test scores.) You're homeschooling to invest in her education; give yourself time to do that.

 

She's 6. Many kids her age are still working on letters and basic reading skills. Even if it seems like every kid out there must be easily writing paragraphs at her age, it's really not so. But she is doing great, and so are you. Enjoy the journey. It's precious and wonderful. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Please share you experiences with the WWE and WWS books.  Does it all come out ok in the end?  

 

YES!!  (I'm shouting here)  It turns out OK in the end.  My kids worked through the Writing with Ease series and are now halfway through the Writing with Skill series.  Her writing programs are very solid.  I learned a few years back that my kids do not write on the same time table as recommended.  So, when WWS1 first came out, it was supposed to be for 5th grade writing.  I tried it with my 5th grader and we bombed about halfway through.  I started it last summer with a 7th grader and it's been a huge success.  So, for our family...WWS1 = 7th grade and WWS2 = 8th grade.  We will use WWS3 for 9th grade writing.  

 

If you want an example of what they can do, my 8th grader was able to write several essays this fall.  She read Watership Down, Animal Farm, The Yearling, Firebringer, The Sight...and she wrote some complicated essays (about 10 pages average) about the books.  In one paper, she broke down the prophecy in Firebringer and analyzed it line-by-line in her paper.  I mean, I was really impressed!  It was like a paper I would've written in college.  She did this with no help from me.  The first I saw of her essays were her rough drafts ready for editing.  

 

My son (the 7th grader) who was probably the worst writer in the world is able to take a whole page of notes during confirmation class and turn in lecture summaries.   :thumbup1:   I almost fell out of my chair when I saw his first summary.  This is the same kid who (on our very first day of homeschooling), slammed his pencil on the table, threw himself back against the wall and ran to his room and slammed the door - all because I asked him to write a sentence.   :ohmy:

 

It all falls into place!  But...it won't fall into place in 3rd grade, YKWIM?  It takes years of consistent work to develop good, quality writing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your first grader WRITES original content?  Cool!  Mine didn't.   ;)

 

 

Exactly.  My kids are usually still trying to read and spell CVC words when they start 1st grade.  They're definitely not writing essays.   :tongue_smilie:  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

When she writes original content she is not that fabulous. 

 

She's six. She shouldn't be expected to produce original content.

 

 

 

 This is bothering me SO MUCH!  My intention is to keep my kids at the same academic level (hopefully better) as what they would be experiencing in schools.  NOT OK

 

Your child can only do what she is developmentally capable of. What do you actually think a six year old should be doing? Perhaps your expectations are off, and if she senses the pressure, it will just make it that much harder for her to perform.

 

Maybe you should do some reading about the purpose of WWE. It is NOT to have six year old producing original content. The entire focus on the program is to build up to original content over the course of several years.

 

If she's doing well with WWE, I would consider that sufficient for first grade and not worry about the rest.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all works out in the end.  Don't worry about the future.  WWE and WWS work.  

 

It depends on the kid. WWE did NOT work for my kid. He is dyslexic, and no amount of copywork would have resulted in perfect copying and the absorption of writing conventions. But I was able to see that fairly quickly, and we have adopted something that works better for his learning style.

 

That doesn't mean WWE and WWS don't work for other kids. As homeschoolers we have to be flexible and meet the needs of our kids, not some generic kid that some generic program was written for. We shouldn't stuff our kids into programs that don't work just because we are single-mindedly pursuing someone else's educational vision. That was a tough lesson for me.

 

But I stand by my previous comments that if a six year old is performing well with WWE, then the OP has nothing to worry about at this point. 

 

Comparing two vastly different approaches to writing and expecting them to yield the same results isn't a good idea, imo.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... average or below average 1st grader according to what I can tell by looking at other first graders' work! This is bothering me SO MUCH!

I'm not sure how much actual work you've seen from public-schooled first graders, but I'll share here a piece of writing from my friend's little girl, who is a 7-year old first-grader (October birthday, I think). She is very bright and is in a good school. My friend posted this writing on social media because she got a laugh over her daughter's love of bacon. I'm sharing it here to point out, that although her handwriting was quite nice and it was mostly spelled correctly, the content was not at all impressive. I think this was at least a 2nd or 3rd draft. You can see below that I have a DD6 who is also a first grader. I'm quite happy to keep chugging along with WWE. I know it is laying a foundation for very solid writing skills in the future.

 

It is My Opinion! (the title of the worksheet on which the 'essay' was written). It is my opinion that you should eat more (writing prompt supplied by the worksheet): "bacon." "Thanksgiving First I Love bacon so that's wi we eat bacon because bacon is so good I Love bacon. Second, it is gresy. Third The Smel from bacon and the bacon is good that is yiy bacon is good." {Side note on the worksheet: Remember to add at least three supporting details and a strong conclusion.}

 

I'll stick with SWB on this one.

Edited by fourisenough
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I third or fourth listening to SWB's lecture on writing.  It was so, so helpful to me and would directly answer your questions.  You can also read it in the WWE teacher book.

 

Just because kids are writing a lot in the early years doesn't mean it's good, nor does it mean schools are producing good writers.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used WWE for a couple years and then started pulling my own copywork and dictations from the fiction my kids were reading. I used the same concept though as WWE. 

 

Whatever curriculum you end up choosing, none of it will make any difference if your kiddo doesn't internalize complex and beautiful language structure and logical thinking. To get that, they need to hear lots and lots of it over the years. As a former high school writing teacher, I'm a firm believer that you could have kids who have never written a paragraph in their life become great writers in a short period of time if (big "if") they already have the language and great ideas in their head. 

 

(Just a thought - the worst writers I had in English 111 at the local university (I taught two sections of ENG 111 when I was working on my masters degree) were kids who received A's in public school composition. They knew all the right forms but couldn't think to save their lives! I'd rather teach grammar and punctuation to someone who can think than teach thinking to someone with perfect style.)

 

If you are reading aloud to your kids and they're listening to audiobooks for a couple hours a day, your kids will be better writers than if they had the perfect writing curriculum to keep them ahead of the public school. 

 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if she was writing at an average level now, I wouldn't have to worry so much about how things will turn out.  I like the concept quite a bit, but I don't want to risk their ability to write on it.

 

Can you expand on what a six year old should be doing that your daughter is not doing, wrt writing? What would constitute average level here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used WWE for a couple years and then started pulling my own copywork and dictations from the fiction my kids were reading. I used the same concept though as WWE.

 

Whatever curriculum you end up choosing, none of it will make any difference if your kiddo doesn't internalize complex and beautiful language structure and logical thinking. To get that, they need to hear lots and lots of it over the years. As a former high school writing teacher, I'm a firm believer that you could have kids who have never written a paragraph in their life become great writers in a short period of time if (big "if") they already have the language and great ideas in their head.

 

(Just a thought - the worst writers I had in English 111 at the local university (I taught two sections of ENG 111 when I was working on my masters degree) were kids who received A's in public school composition. They knew all the right forms but couldn't think to save their lives! I'd rather teach grammar and punctuation to someone who can think than teach thinking to someone with perfect style.)

 

If you are reading aloud to your kids and they're listening to audiobooks for a couple hours a day, your kids will be better writers than if they had the perfect writing curriculum to keep them ahead of the public school.

Yes, I agree.

Andrew Pudewa has a lecture called Nurturing Competent Communicators which speaks to the internalization of complex and beautiful language and it's effects on writing. Well worth listening to.

Edited by ScoutTN
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't find it now (and nan's words of wisdom tag isn't working for me!), but perhaps someone else has it bookmarked ... but there was a thread at one point by one of the veterans about how she didn't quite get how or why SWB had us do the things we did. It wasn't until looking back that everything clicked together in her head. This vet basically said, "trust the process." She did it much better than I did ... and she has the street cred to go with it.

 

Found this:   

Why you should work on TWTM skills - copywork, narration, dictation, outlining, etc. (K-8 Curriculum Board)

 

and this: 

Crosspost - Why you should work on TWTM skills - narration, dictation, outlining, etc (Logic Stage & Middle Grade Challenges)
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I highly recommend listening to Susan Wise Bauers audio lectures on the different stages of writing, they really helped me see the big picture.

 

Here is the link to purchase them from peace hill press...

https://peacehillpress.com/c/language-arts/

 

I also really love The Joy of Classical Education for the same reason.

https://peacehillpress.com/p/the-joy-of-classical-education-introduction-to-classical-education-at-home-mp3-download/

Edited by ForeverFamily
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing my 6yo can write is his name.  He can make up original stories but he dictates them to me to write for him. If your DD can write her own stories herself she is doing fine...seriously. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My six year old went from writing no original content to writing his own stories all within the space of a couple weeks.  It was right after we had finished WWE1.  I decided to spend a couple weeks working on spelling before starting WWE2 and during that time something just clicked and he started writing stories on his own initiative.  So I don't think there is anyway to even predict what your child could be ready for in a year or two based on her current progress.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...