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Hello. 

We are in our first term ( semester) of the Well trained curriculum. We are based in Australia.  My son is in year 4 and my daughter is in year two.  It has been a huge enterprise changing all of our curricula. We were unable to buy it all outright so we have been bits and pieces each fortnight. It's dreadfully expensive here! 

Here are my questions. 

Is Fix it grammar ( IEW) enough for my son to cover this year? it only takes us fifteen minutes a day and I am concerned it is leaving out other important components in English. 

I am unsure what level to use for writing. I am using "The Complete Writer" level 1 and have looked at the samples of the other levels. Level four seemed to advance so not sure if I should go to level three or not or consider another curriculum?

Both children are avid readers and read on average about 1-2 hours a day. He struggles with too much writing as it tires him quite quickly. 

Id love any other advice regarding moving to classical education. I loved reading every page of the book " TWTM" It gave me all I needed and hoped for but I am struggling with putting it all together. It isn't as easy as 123 as I have come to realize. Any advice about transitioning to this way of teaching would be greatly appreciated. 

thank you kindly, 

Danielle 

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What were your children doing before this point?

Are you using Writing with Ease?  I was going to recommend but googled the complete writer and it looks like another name for WWE.  Are you using level 1 for both children?  How are they doing with it?  Is it too easy and you are wondering if you should skip level(s)?  I found it improved my reluctant writer and plan to use it for the next child this coming year.  I liked that it was predictable work yet varied stories and helped them get accustomed to the physical act of writing.

Have you looked at First Language Lessons?  It written by the author of TWTM and is thorough.  I haven't used Fixit but it seemed lacking to me and I thought that it was intended to pair with IEW's writing curriculum.

Rod & Staff is recommended for grammar in TWTM.  It is inexpensive and pretty lightweight so shipping may be less taxing.  It has Christian content.

FLL is scripted with no independent work.  I believe R&S is more independent but I have only tried their spelling.

Are shipping options better via Amazon or ebay?

Edited by parent
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Hello! thank you for replying! 

We were using a mix of curriculm. Mainly what has been set out by the Australian government standards. My children have always done very well academically and exceeded expectations. 

Yes. I am using Writing with Ease. Yes. Rod and Staff or First language lessons may be the way to go,  I can use the IEW writing curriculum but I have been told it's intense. I am wondering which one would be a good fit for my son.  He loves to read but is ADHD and has a hard time with concentration. it's great when he reads.. not so great when it is something he doesn't like. He does seem to like The Complete Writer.   I will go and have a look once again at the different options. 

It all seems overwhelming learning to school this way. That being said I have loved the challenge! I just want to get it right. 

Thanks again 

Danielle

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I just came back to add that maybe you should check out the free options post pinned at top of this forum.  Also, maybe you could try Ambleside online (many free resources.  I find some of their recommendations helpful and regularly refer to the site.  It is Charlotte Mason method.

How about buying pdfs and printing yourself?  Then maybe your cost would be lower.  FLL has this option. 

I have been researching a change in grammar and was looking at Beowulf Grammar, which is only available via PDF so that could be another option (for me, the cost was atrocious to print in color at our local copy shop).

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I have found a lot of good information on this forum and am still actively looking too:)  You came to a good place and I think you are in a good place just having read TWTM.  I've recently been watching Andrew Pudewa's (author of IEW)  youtube talks (just search his name on youtube) and I think his talks are wonderful to confirm the classical education philosophy and why it is important.  Best luck to you.

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3 hours ago, Danielle Healey said:

Hello! thank you for replying! 

We were using a mix of curriculm. Mainly what has been set out by the Australian government standards. My children have always done very well academically and exceeded expectations. 

Yes. I am using Writing with Ease. Yes. Rod and Staff or First language lessons may be the way to go,  I can use the IEW writing curriculum but I have been told it's intense. I am wondering which one would be a good fit for my son.  He loves to read but is ADHD and has a hard time with concentration. it's great when he reads.. not so great when it is something he doesn't like. He does seem to like The Complete Writer.   I will go and have a look once again at the different options. 

It all seems overwhelming learning to school this way. That being said I have loved the challenge! I just want to get it right. 

Thanks again 

Danielle

Definitely keep using the complete writer! It's rock-solid and your son does it well without complaining. That's as good as it gets.

I think fix-it grammar is absolutely"enough" grammar for a lot of kids. Here, again, if it gets done well and the students remember the grammar... There's no problem. Plus, grammar is one of those things you can alternate very rigorous years with years wherin you just attempt not to forget what's already been learned. IOW, choosing one thing this year doesn't really effect what your choices may be next year, or in middle school. 

It sounds like you're all set and doing splendidly!

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Thank you! 

Oh, I will have a look at the free resources. Thank you. 

I'm Canadian and I  miss having access to a great network of resources! HA HA! Australia is just too far away. 

I have just realized that the question I really have is how many of you transitioned to classical education. It is a very different way to teach the children and I wonder if we are new at it whether to start at the beginning or to jump in at the required level.

For instance, 

We have gone with ALL about spelling ( for spelling), after extensive reading, I realized there may have been things that were missed for my children in the state school system. ( still undoing that). It was recommended by the creator to start at level 1. My children are excellent readers but not the best at spelling. We skipped a lot of level 1 but I found there were some things my children didn't know at all and learning this improved the spelling greatly. 

So I am wondering if this is what I need to consider doing in all areas as we adjust to classical education. Switching to this style of teaching has been a major life change for us and I don't want to discourage the children but rather expose them to a world of knowledge. ( we made a family decision to remove all technology as Susan recommended and it has been great) 

It took me a little while to understand my own question! 

Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. I feel honored to be a part of this community! 

Danielle 

 

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I think starting at the beginning or jumping in at the required level depends on your kids.  For my dd, I always had to start at the beginning.  Always.  That's just how her brain works.  She could not jump in at a higher level and understand.

Also, a lot of us, (I think even Susan herself), do a modified classical education.  You do what works for your kid.  If you see holes in their education, you fill them.  If one resource is not working, you modify how you use it or you switch to something else.  Curriculum is your tool not your master.

HTH!

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I’m in Aus.  Look on the Facebook buy swap sell sites for bargains and buy PDFs whenever possible.  With PDFs you can also print as many copies as you need for all the kids.

to your second question, we transitioned from Sonlight to a modified well trained mind plus wayfarers.  There are some things I have never tackled with oldest (Latin) and I definitely think starting well trained mind grammar with youngest has been easier than with oldest but it’s definitely doable!

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Hi Danielle, welcome to the boards!

I'm also in Aus. I had a similar reaction to The Well Trained Mind (when my oldest was an infant!) 🙂

The complete writer is excellent, definitely worth keeping going. Susan Wise Bauer's audio workshop on this is phenomenal, I've listened to them dozens of times, can't recommend highly enough. https://welltrainedmind.com/p/a-plan-for-teaching-writing-grades-k-12-mp3/

And https://welltrainedmind.com/p/a-plan-for-teaching-writing-focus-on-the-elementary-grades-mp3/

At the end of each level of Complete Writer/Writing With Ease is an assessment week (week 36 I think), so if you're not sure what level to start in you could try the assessments from years 1/2/3 and see if there are any skills to sure up (probably dictation!). Don't be discouraged, the number on the book is irrelevant to grade, you meet your kids where they are. All of us miss things and have gaps in education, it will never be perfect but it can be great! Also, there are workbooks to go with each level - called Writing With Ease - many find it easier to implement. I get them in pdf form (cheaper and no shipping!) and my kids just write in a normal notebook.

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