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Don't like how W&R teaches outlining, stay or leave?

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On 6/10/2019 at 11:10 AM, wehave8 said:


Are you still doing W&R?

Can you write an update review?



I wish I was still using it!

The co-op I mentioned in this post wanted me to keep teaching high school writing, but I couldn't do that using the Writing and Rhetoric program because I'd have new students jumping in ninth grade every year, so I needed something I could plug kids into without having completed previous books. 

I still use W&R at home for those early levels because there's just nothing better. I've been thinking about getting the upper level books for my own writing resources. I'm really sad my kids won't be able to work through the entire series. I love it so much.

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I would love to hear more from those using this, too, especially in the upper books!

We have used Classical Writing from Primer through Homer A for my rising 6th grader, and Aesop B, for my rising 5th and 3rd graders.  I always planned to do CW all the way through, but it’s just too much and wearing us down. We all have come to dread it.  I bought W&R 3 just to look at and it seems so easy and writing-light compared to CW.  Are we supposed to do writing above the specific exercises in the book?  Will it ramp up quickly in later books?  My kids will love the change in workload, but are the end results similar between the two programs?

Please understand, I am not bragging about how much ahead my kids are AT ALL.  I’m actually kicking myself for beating them up with CW when a gentler, kinder option has been there the whole time. I’m kind of in shock about the whole thing.

If I do switch us, I was considering Fix-It Grammar to go along with it.  Is that enough after finishing all 4 FLL books?

Edited by ivey_family

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Hi, I was one of the previous posters in this thread. I have used W&R with my oldest ds through book 8 (with the exception of book 4). I mentioned before that we took a year off and did IEW and some of the pros and cons with that. 

I am so glad we stuck with W&R even with the outlining frustrations. And now that I’ve used the higher levels (and my ds took Scholé Academy course this past year with books 7&8), I understand how to use the program better. I still stick to my earlier opinion of using W&R at the higher recommended grade level. As a matter of fact my ds was in 8th when he did books 7-8. And most of the kids in his Scholé class were too. 

In Narrative 3, outlining is introduced but it is not expected for them to master it until later levels. In the Tell It Back section of the upper level books there are 3 exercises: Oral Narration, Written Narration, and Outline. I remember reading in the notes to teachers that it is not intended for your student to do all three of these. So, we alternated or picked one to focus on for a few weeks and then switched. The Scholé teacher doesn’t have them do it all either. 

Also, as they learn the different kinds of essays, outlining becomes a little more natural. For example, in an encomium/vituperation we know the function of each paragraph and outlining becomes much easier. As I look back I wonder if the outlining instruction in book 3 was more for an introduction and the teacher was meant to walk alongside the student in the outline, not expect them to do it all independently. 

The higher level books definitely ramp up but it isn’t unreasonable. My ds liked to complain a lot but I think it was because he was a middle school boy who decided he was bad at writing. However, even with that he still liked the curriculum as a whole and didn’t want to switch to something else. He ended up doing really well in his class this year and earned an A. So now he can’t say he’s bad at writing, lol. 

We will be using book 9 and 10 this year but can’t swing the class. I thought his teacher was excellent and I liked how she drew in a lot of public speaking into the class. That was an area we weren’t getting to very well and I was glad to see him being pushed a bit.  

If you have more specific questions I can try to answer them. I think there are many great writing programs out there. W&R may not be the best fit for everyone depending on what your goals are for your child’s writing. However, I think it is an excellent program and I’m very pleased with the results so far. 


Edited by specialkmom
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