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IEW or Bravewriter for high school? Help!


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Okay, I haven't posted on here in FOREVER, and since I'm still having trouble with the "search", I thought I'd send out a public appeal for help!

I need help ASAP in determining which way to go for dd (16) next year for writing.  She's used EIW for a few years, and it was ok, but we felt it was lacking.  This year, she started back to basics with WWS, but....still issues.  We need something that is extremely explicit when it comes to instructions & specifics for her, as well as for me.  She needs lots of help with essays & research papers, as well as note taking.  I am leaning towards IEW, but I did see Braverwriter's "Help for High School" curriculum, also.  I am thinking she needs to do some sort of on-line course at some point, and get feedback and help from someone besides myself, but not right when she starts.  She's still too intimidated & unsure of herself.

Thanks for the help!

(My siggy is totally outdated?)

 

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Well, I used IEW in middle school (and some high school) and then Bravewriter in high school. My younger kids have only done BW.

IEW does have very explicit instructions. However it is very teacher dependent on the feedback. Also, the feedback tends to be toward did they follow everything in the IEW list of things to do. This can be good to try some new things out, but can also be constricting to some students.

My oldest was entirely anti-writing and had done IEW. He's a math-dude that likes exact instructions, but he flourished with Brave Writer. BW instructions are not as exact, but they are good enough to get a good start. From there, the feedback is incredible. The instructors give lots of feedback, lots of questions and direction. IEW writing will fit a mold which is good. BW does not   give them a mold to fit, but allows more freedom. This sounds hard if you are looking for explicit instruction, but is actually very good. The instructions are very good and have examples to get started. However if you get stuck, you can say I don't know how to start - or whatever, and the instructors are very good at giving explicit individual help. 

BW does tend to be expensive, but I've found the feedback to be priceless. My math-dude says he still hates writing, but if he HAS to write then he'd rather do it the  BW way. It's also been fantastic for my writing-comes-easy kid and my talented word girl. It's impressive how well they meet each student where they are and help them improve from there.

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IEW really helped my organizationally challenged DS to figure out how to structure a coherent paragraph. He had no trouble with style and is very creative, so we ignored the style checklists in the IEW program. But I did demand that he scrupulously follow the key word outline and topic/clincher instructions for each unit, even though it caused much weeping and gnashing of teeth ? We had used Wordsmith prior to that and while it worked fine for my uber-organized oldest DS, it just wasn't enough structure for my 2nd DS. I was so impressed with the program I eventually started it with my younger DDs as well.

I don't have any experience with BW so I can't compare.

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10 hours ago, Julie of KY said:

Well, I used IEW in middle school (and some high school) and then Bravewriter in high school. My younger kids have only done BW.

IEW does have very explicit instructions. However it is very teacher dependent on the feedback. Also, the feedback tends to be toward did they follow everything in the IEW list of things to do. This can be good to try some new things out, but can also be constricting to some students.

My oldest was entirely anti-writing and had done IEW. He's a math-dude that likes exact instructions, but he flourished with Brave Writer. BW instructions are not as exact, but they are good enough to get a good start. From there, the feedback is incredible. The instructors give lots of feedback, lots of questions and direction. IEW writing will fit a mold which is good. BW does not   give them a mold to fit, but allows more freedom. This sounds hard if you are looking for explicit instruction, but is actually very good. The instructions are very good and have examples to get started. However if you get stuck, you can say I don't know how to start - or whatever, and the instructors are very good at giving explicit individual help. 

BW does tend to be expensive, but I've found the feedback to be priceless. My math-dude says he still hates writing, but if he HAS to write then he'd rather do it the  BW way. It's also been fantastic for my writing-comes-easy kid and my talented word girl. It's impressive how well they meet each student where they are and help them improve from there.

 

This is almost exactly what I would have written. My math-dude son did one IEW class and it killed any tiny enjoyment in writing he had. He hated it. I hated it. Making him finish the class is the one big thing I regret in our homeschool so far. 

I was reluctant to try BW because I felt like it was too vague and not explicit enough and I couldn’t really wrap my mind around it.  However, we did two classes this year for 9th grade and it was fantastic. I was so impressed by the feedback he got. More importantly....he actually maybe admitted to enjoying it a little. I think what he said was something like “Well, if I have to write, I guess that’s ok.” That was HUGE coming from him. He has agreed to do more BW classes and I really can’t say enough good things about them. 

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23 hours ago, Julie of KY said:

Well, I used IEW in middle school (and some high school) and then Bravewriter in high school. My younger kids have only done BW.

IEW does have very explicit instructions. However it is very teacher dependent on the feedback. Also, the feedback tends to be toward did they follow everything in the IEW list of things to do. This can be good to try some new things out, but can also be constricting to some students.

My oldest was entirely anti-writing and had done IEW. He's a math-dude that likes exact instructions, but he flourished with Brave Writer. BW instructions are not as exact, but they are good enough to get a good start. From there, the feedback is incredible. The instructors give lots of feedback, lots of questions and direction. IEW writing will fit a mold which is good. BW does not   give them a mold to fit, but allows more freedom. This sounds hard if you are looking for explicit instruction, but is actually very good. The instructions are very good and have examples to get started. However if you get stuck, you can say I don't know how to start - or whatever, and the instructors are very good at giving explicit individual help. 

BW does tend to be expensive, but I've found the feedback to be priceless. My math-dude says he still hates writing, but if he HAS to write then he'd rather do it the  BW way. It's also been fantastic for my writing-comes-easy kid and my talented word girl. It's impressive how well they meet each student where they are and help them improve from there.

I am just worried that since dd is not confident at this point, she will be totally intimidated by having to have her writing displayed for the students, as well as the teacher.  I do agree feedback is great & helpful, but.....  I do agree their on-line classes look fantastic but don't know if she'd be ready for them at the start, and while BW "Help for High School" did look thorough, it didn't seem as specific as IEW.  She'll probably hate no matter what we choose, but I want her to at least come away knowing how to do essays & reports! ☺️

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2 hours ago, Angie in VA said:

Essentials in Writing? It is less teacher intensive.They've added online classes and scoring services since I first looked at it. I never used it, though. 

I would definitely work towards an online class be it EIW, Brave Writer or WTMA. It was good to have mine writing for others. ?

We did use them for a couple of years (8 & 9) and I thought they would be perfect, but as she advanced with them, they weren't enough instruction for her.

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25 minutes ago, happyWImom said:

and while BW "Help for High School" did look thorough, it didn't seem as specific as IEW.  

 

I wouldn't pick the BW Help for High School pdf for specific instructions. However these are the instructions for the old Kidswrite Intermediate and the first Essay class. I think most everyone that has commented that BW is good gives the reason that in ONLINE classes, the teacher feedback is excellent. The initial instructions are not as good as IEW, but you will get multiple more rounds of individual instruction/feedback from the teacher that is directed at your specific writing. This is where it is very different from IEW.

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On 5/16/2018 at 8:40 PM, Alice said:

 

This is almost exactly what I would have written. My math-dude son did one IEW class and it killed any tiny enjoyment in writing he had. He hated it. I hated it. Making him finish the class is the one big thing I regret in our homeschool so far. 

I was reluctant to try BW because I felt like it was too vague and not explicit enough and I couldn’t really wrap my mind around it.  However, we did two classes this year for 9th grade and it was fantastic. I was so impressed by the feedback he got. More importantly....he actually maybe admitted to enjoying it a little. I think what he said was something like “Well, if I have to write, I guess that’s ok.” That was HUGE coming from him. He has agreed to do more BW classes and I really can’t say enough good things about them. 

 

Exactly opposite for my STEM inclided one. We had an amazing experience with IEW. We tried BW, which neither he or I liked. IEW is very heavily teacher dependent, I agree. We have done their courses online, and through our local HS co-op. We are going back online as that experience was very different. IEW gave my kiddo structure and confidence, which for us was invaluable.

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I suggest you try an online BW class to start. It may help to boost confidence in itself. If it is a good fit continue with BW. If not a good fit go to IEW. 

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I'm looking at those programs, too.  My DD doesn' think either will be z good fit.  She does not like the preaching tone of the iew guy, and BW seems too loose for her.  We used eiw, too, but it felt sort of shallow, like she needed more depth and better example essays.

 

Following to see if there are some other choices!  

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