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Additional Writing Requirements with WWS2

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I plan to use Writing With Skill 2 with my 8th grade twins this year.  What additional writing requirements would you recommend for History, Science, and Literature?  Doing all of WWS2 plus all the outlining and writing summaries for History and Science as recommended in WTM and then writing summaries for the literature books seems too much to me.  What do you think?

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I personally think doing all the writing assignments in WWS is enough for a composition course. We use WWS and I really like it but we don't go at the speed recommended in the book. My youngest dd is good at writing but doesn't enjoy it so I break it down for her so she's not overwhelmed. We also do some grammar and lit as part of the days work so I feel like we cover a fair bit. If you want to add other things it might be good to substitute that for the WWS work - for example instead of the outlining WWS assignment, do outlining in history instead, focusing on the same skills.

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Thank you.  Yes, I agree that the writing assignments from WWS are enough to satisfy writing requirements.  And I like your idea of sometimes substituting an assignment from WWS by focusing on the same skills in another subject.  

 

I guess a more specific question is: how do we do history and science as recommended in WTM but not overwhelm them with work?  For example, with history, if I just have my kids read the core text, jot down 6-8 facts, put dates on a timeline, do map work, and then have them follow-up by reading additional resources and doing additional activities (maybe from critical thinking in US History)... is that enough?  Will they get enough without writing summaries and doing outlines?  Or do I really need to keep some of the writing element in the course?

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Thank you. Yes, I agree that the writing assignments from WWS are enough to satisfy writing requirements. And I like your idea of sometimes substituting an assignment from WWS by focusing on the same skills in another subject.

 

I guess a more specific question is: how do we do history and science as recommended in WTM but not overwhelm them with work? For example, with history, if I just have my kids read the core text, jot down 6-8 facts, put dates on a timeline, do map work, and then have them follow-up by reading additional resources and doing additional activities (maybe from critical thinking in US History)... is that enough? Will they get enough without writing summaries and doing outlines? Or do I really need to keep some of the writing element in the course?

I'm always pondering this question.😊

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Thank you.  Yes, I agree that the writing assignments from WWS are enough to satisfy writing requirements.  And I like your idea of sometimes substituting an assignment from WWS by focusing on the same skills in another subject.  

 

I guess a more specific question is: how do we do history and science as recommended in WTM but not overwhelm them with work?  For example, with history, if I just have my kids read the core text, jot down 6-8 facts, put dates on a timeline, do map work, and then have them follow-up by reading additional resources and doing additional activities (maybe from critical thinking in US History)... is that enough?  Will they get enough without writing summaries and doing outlines?  Or do I really need to keep some of the writing element in the course?

 

I think it is enough. The recommendations in TWTM are for writing across the curriculum, however then SWB developed WWS which takes care of a lot of the writing instruction that was being incorporated into History and Science etc. I think the ideal would be to develop those writing skills while doing History and Science but, for most people, that's more work and more difficult. In my opinion you need one or the other or a combination of the two, but not both - that's too much.

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I think of writing outlines and summaries for history and science as part of the  "Writing" block.  The list of important facts, timeline, map work, additional reading, and 3-4 sentence narrations as part of "History" block.  Here's an example:

 

HistoryChina and the Rest of the World

 

Day 1:

 

□ SOTW: Chapter 28 – Section 1: “The Kingdom at the Center of the World†( I have grammar stage students as well so we read this together)

â–¡ Kingfisher History Encyclopedia: “Trade With Chinaâ€, pp. 304-305.

â–¡ Facts: Write a list of the most important facts, in your own words, and in complete sentences.

â–¡ Additional Reading:  Confucius by ...

â–¡ Narrative Summary: China: The Middle Kingdom (this is 3-5 sentences long so it shouldn't be too much writing when combined with the writing she does during the "Writing Block"

 

Day 2: 

â–¡ SOTW: Chapter 28 – Section 2: “The Rise of the Opium Tradeâ€

â–¡ Read: Read about the poppy flower and opium in the World Book encyclopedia

â–¡ Narrative Summary: Write a short summary on poppies (3-5 sentences - some times I assign a topic sometimes she chooses)

â–¡ Narrative Summary: Write a short summary on opium

□ Art Project: Make a clay vase from Chi’en-lung Period.

â–¡ Additional Reading:  Confucius by ... (she'll continue reading the book if she didn't finish the first day or I'll assign a different book or she works on the other projects)

 

Day 3:

â–¡ Map Work: Student page 105. Follow the directions on your map work page (She gets a blank map and labels all areas without referring to an atlas.  Once she's done, she checks her work using an atlas. We do other things for map work as well, but I won't go into that here  :001_smile: )

â–¡ Art Project: Poppy water color painting

â–¡ Art Project: Paint the clay vase

â–¡ Additional Reading:  Confucius by ... (she'll continue reading the book if she didn't finish the first day or I'll assign a different book or she works on the other projects)

 

My daughter will be in the 8th grade this upcoming school year.  I'll be trying a "loop schedule" with her writing block.  Her "Writing Block" will looks something list this:

 

Day 1: Writing With Skill  Level 2 Assignment 

Day 2: Choose 3-4 pages from a non-fiction history text your read, and write a three-level outline.

Day 3: Writing With Skill  Level 2 Assignment 

Day 4: Rewrite: After making an outline of the history passage, the student will put the original away and then rewrite the passage using only the outline. Then she’ll compare her assignment with the original. (This is the "summary" )

Day 5: Writing With Skill  Level 2 Assignment 

Day 6: Choose 3-4 pages from a non-fiction science text your read and write a three-level outline.

Day 7: Writing With Skill  Level 2 Assignment 

Day 8: Rewrite: After making an outline of the science passage, the student will put the original away and then rewrite the passage using only the outline. Then she’ll compare her assignment with the original. (This is the "summary" )

Day 9: Writing With Skill  Level 2 Assignment 

Day 10: Creative writing (we'll likely work through "The Creative Writer)

 

Then the cycle will begin again.  A couple of things to note:

 

* The goal is for her to work on writing an hour a day.

* She won't be doing every "type" every writing every week, and that's o.k. with us so long as she practices each type of writing several times in the course of the school year. We prioritize WWS.

* Since the main objective of the  outlining and rewriting from the outline is a "writing objective" and covering a certain amount history or science material is a secondary goal (for this activity) then, it's o.k. if she moves on to another topic during her science and history blocks.

 

 

I apologize for the long response.  We just completed our 5th year of homeschool  and it has taken me every bit of those 5 years to figure out how to put the TWTM recommendations into practice  :001_smile: . Hope this helps.

 

Lily

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I think WWS is challenging and demanding. I think ds is quite stretched just doing the assignments. I have not yet required him to apply any of it to other subject areas. 

 

How you do your other subjects I think depends a lot on what curriculum you are using for history and science. We are using SOTW again. I am having him fill in the narration questions worksheet style instead of answering orally. For science, we are using Apologia. He's just doing the assignments in the book. So neither require a full length essay. For literature, he reads and then writes a narration summary. For this upcoming year, I bought several lit guides, and for everything else I created my own book report form that incorporates some of the questions that WWS asks (who is the protagonist/antagonist? What is the conflict? etc.). But I am not planning on making him work it into an essay. We'll apply it in high school. 

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We do history outlining, but not nearly as often as it says in WTM. My kids do the writing that I assign (for my middle schooler that is still using Rod and Staff English, for my high schooler she was doing R&S comp. exercises and WWS,) and do the history outlining for middle schooler and writing for high schooler, but not as much. Instead of once a week or for every history spread from KHE, middle schooler does maybe one history outline a month and one summary a month as opposed to every week. She does all of the timeline dates, as much mapwork as we have time for (not every week either.) Both of mine have been doing textbook science classes for a co-op, so they do what she assigns there vs. WTM style. And for lit, we play it by ear. High schooler does lit as laid out in WTM for 9th, but doesn't read as many books as it assigns a year. She does the history context for each and the response paper for each though.  Middle schooler covers quite a bit of books, but doesn't write on every one. It all seems to balance out.  Some years, when we weren't doing WWS we have done a lot more history outlines a year. But another year, even when not doing WWS, they had writing for a speech class at co-op, so still didn't do as many history outlines.  I do have both of mine outline science occasionally even though their teacher doesn't require it.

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