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zarabellesmom

IEW, someone reassure me...or not

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So, my 10YO has just started Level 7 of Barton, is reading pretty well and her spelling is improving but still has a long way to go. I have IEW SWI A, and CC-A, which I used with my older daughter before moving away from it. (She found the method really frustrating.) I pulled it out and have started Lesson 1 with DD10. Has anyone used this all the way through and felt like their child was a successful writer? Also, DD is still learning to type and is nowhere near proficient despite having worked on this skill for a long time (years...). We are using Google Docs with speech to text and maybe she just needs more practice, but she finds it very frustrating. Tell me this gets better...

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What do you mean by "all the way through"?   I have used it several ways, with several children and they are all successful writers.

Child #1 used SWI-B in 5th, Ancients in 6th, SWICC-B in 7th and SWCC-C in 10th.  He got a 5 on the AP English Lang and Comp in 11th.  He won scholarships that had essays and entrance into an honors program.  He is a strong writer.

Child #2 is a natural, strong writer and thinker.  She used IEW less, but only bc she was a natural and didn't need as much support.  I think she only did Ancients in 6th.  I used some of the techniques with her informally (varying sentence openers, strong verbs).  She just wrote our church pageant and is often praised for her writing.

Child #3 did the Myths and Fables one in 3rd, SWI-A in 4th, Ancients in 5th. He is now in 8th (6th was a class I put together, 7th was Jump In) He is my stealth dyslexic.  I am very pleased with his writing.  He chooses strong words and varies his sentences and knows how to approach assignments.

Child #4 just started SWI_A in 4th and used some of Myths and Fables in 3rd. She, like my first, is not a natural writer and needs the structure and guidance to learn to write paragraphs and stories.  She is responding really well to the teaching and I am very pleased with her progress.

I think IEW provides the structure that some children need.  It certainly hasn't gotten in the way of any of my children.  I don't think that my first would write as well as he does without it.  I think my second would write as well if she had never done any of it.  I think my fourth is like my first.

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Freesia: Yes, that is exactly the information I was looking for. I guess, "all the way through" isn't the best way to phrase it. I meant more like, has anyone used this as their primary writing curriculum for their children and feel like those children became good writers. It's not at all the way I learned to write and I used to be a pretty decent writer--but being able to write and being able to teach writing seem to be two completely different things for me, and I didn't struggle with reading or spelling either. 

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4 minutes ago, zarabellesmom said:

Freesia: Yes, that is exactly the information I was looking for. I guess, "all the way through" isn't the best way to phrase it. I meant more like, has anyone used this as their primary writing curriculum for their children and feel like those children became good writers. It's not at all the way I learned to write and I used to be a pretty decent writer--but being able to write and being able to teach writing seem to be two completely different things for me, and I didn't struggle with reading or spelling either. 

I had only taught first and second grade writing.  Watching the teaching videos and the SWI with my kids gave me a lot of tools for teaching writing.  It took me a while to realize that the checklists were like scales--only meant to be enforced for the first few years until it becomes natural.  The first units are all about learning to write strong sentences.  The later units are about learning to write paragraphs without coming up with ideas yourself. The final units are about learning to come up with the ideas.

One thing I didn't say in the beginning was that the child I started with would literally through himself on the floor and sob in third grade when a writing assignment was assigned.  When he laughed and begged me to write the first paragraph right away after the workshop video I was sampling, I knew I found a winner. 

I think another benefit for those of us with children who struggle to write is that it provides systematic clear step by step directions and progress.  There are no big leaps. So we can be sure that we are covering what is suppose to be covered and it feels "doable."

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If it's any comfort, your dd sounds like she's making really good progress! 

Heathermomster told me something a few years ago, and I think about it when I'm in a pinch. She can laugh or share it too if she wants. She had said that there were "dark years" with her ds, like points where the disabilities seemed insurmountably bad and like things weren't going to come together into a functional dc who could do forward.

I can't guarantee everything will get better, but I think if we keep going forward with goals and best practices and being flexible when methodologies aren't working and we need new ones, we'll make progress. Like with writing, no we can't guarantee SWI/IEW will do the trick. My ds has narrative language issues, so he needed intervention for that. But you can assess whether it's a time thing or whether there are some more deficits that need to be addressed first.

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Yes, it will get better.  Scribe for her.  I know that getting words to paper is a challenge; however, she is really young and has years of maturing ahead of her.  You need to separate the thinking from the actual act of typing/penmanship/STT...

I don't believe that most 10-year-olds like to type.  My DS has dysgraphia and dyslexia and learned to keyboard when he was 11 years old.  I think he maxed at 30 wpm with 95% accuracy.  He was totally typing everything except math by 7th grade.  We also used the mindmapping software called Inspiration on the iPad.  I currently use the Inspiration app with my writing phobic 5th grader, and we use it to outline across subjects.  My iPad has the speech to text option built in which is a huge plus.

At aged 10 years old, my DS was writing 2-3 sentence BMEs (beginning middle ends) of book chapters and completing poster board style book reports.  BMEs basically identify the central narrative of a chapter.  You could practice that using WWE3 or use MP's writing program.  

We used IEW in the 7th and 8th grades.  It was OK, but it doesn't really teach the topics of invention.  I certainly wouldn't use IEW for more than a couple of years.  

ETA:  I need to add that starting in 7th grade when DS came home from the classroom, we kept a WTM styled history notebook.  DS wrote narrations, definitions, and summaries via history.  He typed the info in a word document and then appended more info later to the document.  We periodically printed his work and placed it in the notebook.  Your DD could practice answering questions across subjects now using complete sentences.  When DS was younger, he craved independence with his school work, so I didn't super correct his writing.  I usually read aloud his sentences, and he would hear a mistake.  I had him go back and correct but did it in a non-confrontational way.  He also practiced his vocabulary daily for 5-10 minutes using the website freerice.com .

 

 

Edited by Heathermomster
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8 hours ago, Heathermomster said:

At aged 10 years old, my DS was writing 2-3 sentence BMEs (beginning middle ends) of book chapters and completing poster board style book reports.  BMEs basically identify the central narrative of a chapter. 

Oh man Heather, you just MADE MY DAY! LOLOL That means we're on track, because that's just what we're getting to! :biggrin:

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I was just looking over previous posts about writing, and I remembered Dr. Haynes of the Landmark Foundation.  He recommends the first writing assignment be a first-person sequential event type of assignment.  Haynes also emphasizes well-written sentences first and then paragraphs.  

Depending upon the individual dyslexic and their exposure to written and oral language through story, they may not be ready for much writing beyond sequential event type paragraphs because of their maturity level and limited language exposure.  My son made the mighty, multi-year reading comprehension leap when he was 11 yo.  That leap came after about 3.5 years of Wilson tutoring with an awesome certified OG instructor.  

IEW pushes the paragraph structure with the KWOs and the sentence complexity, but I'm not sure it's appropriate immediately for a newish reader without major accommodations.  Depending upon how it is taught, IEW can absolutely suck the air out of a room.  ETA:  Might I add, there are other ways to work on sentence complexity that are just as effective without following the IEW methodology.

EKS and 8fill are better candidates for answering these questions.  I'm a science person, not a writer, and I'm not 100% satisfied with the way I taught DS.

 

Edited by Heathermomster
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1 hour ago, Heathermomster said:

I'm not 100% satisfied with the way I taught DS

You crack me up! I've seen your ds' writing and it's FINE!!!!!!!!! You did a kick butt STELLAR job!! And he's a fine human being to boot, which is even more important. :smile:

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1 hour ago, Heathermomster said:

I was just looking over previous posts about writing, and I remembered Dr. Haynes of the Landmark Foundation.  He recommends the first writing assignment be a first-person sequential event type of assignment.  Haynes also emphasizes well-written sentences first and then paragraphs.  

Depending upon the individual dyslexic and their exposure to written and oral language through story, they may not be ready for much writing beyond sequential event type paragraphs because of their maturity level and limited language exposure.  My son made the mighty, multi-year reading comprehension leap when he was 11 yo.  That leap came after about 3.5 years of Wilson tutoring with an awesome certified OG instructor.  

IEW pushes the paragraph structure with the KWOs and the sentence complexity, but I'm not sure it's appropriate immediately for a newish reader without major accommodations.  Depending upon how it is taught, IEW can absolutely suck the air out of a room.  ETA:  Might I add, there are other ways to work on sentence complexity that are just as effective without following the IEW methodology.

 

Ok, I'd just like to put a therapy spin on this, for the situations where the normal extent of intervention isn't getting you there. So same concepts, but extended a little further.

-start with a sequential assignment --> the narrative structures like an action sequence in the Mindwings/Story Grammar Marker. They'll then show you how the narrative structure sequence of development connects to what expository structures they're ready for

-first well-written sentences --> has to get the idea of a sentence,lol. That's where my ds is right now, syntax. We're using Rothstein's Powerbook for Syntax, adore.

-the leap --> wow, was it 11? I had lost track of when? That's coming up? Whew! Gotta keep pushing, so he has all this material in to build on when he gets that surge, vavoom.

-suck the air out of the room --> too dull to abide

-other ways to work on sentence complexity --> For younger kids, Writing Tales is brilliant and FUN, super fun. We diagram sentences from ds' reading, but then I think diagramming is fun and make it fun. We're doing some work now with ambiguous sentences. You find lists of them just by googling, and we'll just work through maybe one a day, drawing pictures for different interpretations, diagramming what that means (what is modifying what). It's building their syntactic flexibility. (not a term I read somewhere) Kids with EF issues can get rigid, so we want to make them very FLEXIBLE with their language, able to move things around and understand them more ways and understand the differences.

So Heather already said it. I just find it interesting to realize that all this stuff she did with her dyslexic + ADHD is the same as what I'm needing to do, just maybe not to the same EXTREME. So we can find how far we need to go in those topics for our kids. It's all good. Heather's ds turned out GREAT and is a beautiful writer. She has total street cred. :wub:

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