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Momma4

Should we stick with WWE2?

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My 8 year old son is on week 10 of WWE 2, he never complains about doing it, he loves the story passages, answers the narration questions quite well and is starting to get the hang of summarising in a few sentences. However, I do find that this is the only time he will put pencil to paper.  The only time he will write something is when we're doing our science note booking, and even then its one sentence and it just seems really laboursome for him, like he really has no interest in writing his thoughts down.  

Where we live, school aged children are learning how to organise paragraphs and, if they are writing non-fiction, use headings. When they are writing stories, they're learning to use settings, characters and plots. Children his age are expected to use what they know about grammar in their writing and to read through what they have written, to find ways to improve it. This seems so far away from where my son is.  Getting him to write a couple of sentences is hard enough never mind a paragraph! 

He does sometimes struggle with the longer dictations that we've just started and I don't want writing composition to become something that he really hates, I can already see that its not something he's interested in. Should I switch to something more traditional, maybe given the opportunity he'd write more if it wasn't so prescriptive.....thoughts please....

 

TIA

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Boys especially have issues with their hand getting tired very quickly when writing. So if he is okay with giving you oral narrations and only complains when he has to write it down, that might be a clue that that's your problem. I really struggled trying to get my son writing things out up until about grade 5. The only exception was science because that was his favorite subject, so he was more motivated. 

WWE can feel a little too basic so I understand questioning whether he should be doing more now. I find the introduction to the WWE instructor text to be helpful in understanding what you're doing, why, where you're going, etc. for the big picture. You can read it in the sample text https://welltrainedmind.com/p/the-complete-writer-writing-with-ease-instructor-text/

WWE does eventually lightly introduce things like paragraph structure, but for the most part you aren't going to really see instruction on lengthy writing (beyond four sentence narrations) until WWS. My son is at the end of WWS book 2; it took us quite a while to get there, but I'm very pleased with his writing skills. So I trust the process!

Finally, regarding dictations... ignore the instructions to only read it to them twice. It's totally unrealistic! Do whatever it takes for him to memorize it.  

Ok one more thing regarding "prescriptive"... I'm sure there are some kids for whom this is a negative, but if he struggles to come up with things to say, you might find that prescriptive is exactly what he needs. I know this is true for my son. He does great following the prescribed structure of whatever assignment he's on, but any time he's asked for a free flow of ideas, he has no idea what to say! 

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WWE is a VERY different way to learn to write than what public schools do. I know right now that it looks like your son is behind those other children, but I promise he isn't. Just because the public schools say they are doing those things doesn't mean that it works, or the kids are good at it. Those skills are too advanced for 8 years old, IMO. Your son sounds like he is doing fine, and he's just where he should be. I agree with Milknhoney - read more about the WWE method so that you have a bigger picture in mind for where you're headed. All of my older children have been through WWE and it's been successful every time. It does look very different than public school, but trust the process! ?

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If it helps, I had the exact same concerns when starting WWE with my oldest, and now on the other side of WWE3 I have zero regrets.  The idea that he may be “behind” his public-schooled peers haunted me.  It also seemed too “easy” (at least until we hit the lengthier dictation in level 3- ha!).  

Fast forward and here we are at the beginning of 4th grade and I just now formally taught him how to write a paragraph.  And you know how long it took him to get it?  1 day.  He has the tools he needs to confidently get his thoughts on paper, so it just wasn’t a big deal.  In fact I keep waiting for him to complain about the increase in output that I’m asking for this year, but that has yet to happen.

Anyways, YMMV but I just wanted to throw my experience out there since my early feelings so closely mirrored the ones you’re describing.  I’m so glad we stuck with it!

ETA: I also wanted to agree with the above poster who mentioned reading the dictation passages more times than prescribed in the book.  If I remember correctly, SWB herself published updated recommendations for WWE giving her explicit permission to read those passages additional times if the student needs it ?  

Edited by maptime
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+1 on what maptime said. I was wondering where this was going. No regrets...we are about 2/3 the way through WWE3 and dabbling in IEW. I did jump off over the summer working through an outlining book because of some other stuff we are tackling this year. He picked up writing a paragraph from an outline very quickly because he already had a lot of the skills that have to be in place before you actually put pencil to paper. It's worked out very well since he is now tasked with writing more this year across other subjects. Mine just turned 10, and I am glad I just let things be for awhile. 

Edited by calbear
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My oldest is in school and my youngest was until 8.  They may be supposed to be able to do all those things but that doesn't mean they can.  And a lot of those who can are not writing anything like as sophisticated as it sounds like it would be.

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Yes. Stick with it. It seems behind, but it’s teaching very important things. I had the same qualms with my oldest. To boot, she was a poor speller because she didn’t write very much. 

Fast forward to seventh grade. My daughter had no problem writing one-two page essays with properly formatted citations and works cited pages. 

The classical way isn’t the public school way, but IMO, it’s better. 

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