Jump to content


Time required for Lost Tools of Writing or Writing with Skill Level 3

Recommended Posts

I am strongly considering LToW for my 9th grader next year, but have considered Writing with Skill level 3 also.


For those who have used either program, can you tell me on average how long your student spent with either program per day/how many days per week?


I realize LToW can stretch to two years, but I would like to complete it within one year.


My son is an average writer - has been in private school k-7, homeschooling our first year this year.  He is familiar with essay structure but struggles with his own ideas, hence the draw to LToW.  I like the varied styles, lit. analysis, compare/contrast, etc. covered in WWS 3, however.  


His 9th grade year could be his last homeschooling, so I want to pack the best punch this year just in case it's my last chance.  I am considering picking pieces from WWS to supplement LToW but am not sure.  I recognize I don't know enough about each program to make a great decision yet either.


What, if anything, have you felt was "missing" from LToW or WWS to prepare for higher level writing?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 9th grade son is taking Lost Tools of Writing 1 online in a live class through Circe Institute this year. The live class is one day per week for 60 minutes. For about the first half of the first semester, he spent an average of around 45 minutes to 60 minutes per week on the assignments outside of class. It was not very time-intensive. By December, the time required went up to around 60-90 minutes outside of class, most weeks, but sometimes less depending on where they were at in the essay-writing "cycle". Now that the second semester is almost over, he's spending around 2.5 hours per week on the assignments. He typically does the assignments over one to two days per week.


So it has been a very gradual ramping up in time spent, and not overly taxing at all. (Granted, I'm not the one teaching it, but I don't see why it would take a high schooler longer than a year to get through LTOW1.)


FWIW, DS is doing well in the class - his teacher has consistently provided meaningful and positive feedback about his work, so even though he still doesn't spend more than 3 to 3.5 hours per week (including the live lectures) at this point in the year, I don't think he's slacking.  : )


After the first semester, realizing that DS could easily handle more writing instruction/practice, we enrolled him in an additional composition class that covers other types of academic writing and he's had no problem at all keeping up with both writing classes, plus a lit class, during his scheduled block of time for "English" each week. So I think if you wanted to supplement LTOW1 with parts of another writing program in the same year that would be do-able.


LTOW1 teaches persuasive writing, of the writer's own thoughts (as opposed to researching and paraphrasing or quoting another author's thoughts). And it really is just as much a system for teaching deep thinking, and constructing and defending an argument, as it is a writing program. We'll be moving on next year and not taking LTOW level 2, but I'm happy with the deep thinking and writing invention skills he's learned with LTOW1. Next year we'll be focusing more on polishing his essay skills (because they can always be improved) and writing research papers. Literary analysis will also be another area to continue to work on.


Edited by TarynB
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used WWS. It is hard to say how much time it requires, as most of the work is independent. I'd guess an average of 45 minutes/day. The lessons are arranged four per week, but we always did them over five days. The fifth day was for proofreading and polishing, or flex time if something took longer or the week was running behind schedule.


WWS is a solid program and I'm really pleased with it. One thing it does not do is teach thesis explicitly. That is something I had to teach, but the transition to writing persuasive essays and longer papers was fairly seamless.

Edited by Penelope
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...