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7th Grade Writing - into public school


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There's a chance DS will be attending public school in 8th grade, so I'm trying to create 7th writing sequence that will be helpful if he goes next year.

We use mostly Memoria Press, so he's completed the first 3 levels of Classical Composition. CC does NOT follow any semblance of a public school writing curriculum, so I fear there could be some unknown "lingo", procedures, etc that he would just be expected to know. CC is great for logical thinking, but has little to no practice in writing to a prompt or particular sentence or paragraph composition.

So, I would like to choose a workbook type program that is not intensive that will introduce him to all those things I fear he's lacking. He also has the tendency to complete an assignment in as few words as possible, so I'd like to work on diction and description. This would be in addition to "writing across the curriculum" as topics present themselves. Between his literature studies and American history, I don't think we'll be lacking for material.

I'm looking specifically at Jump In or Killgallon's Sentence Composing and/or Paragraphs for Middle School. Can anyone speak to either of those books or some other option I should consider?

Thank you!

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Each Killgallon book doesn't last more than 6 weeks tops over here if we were to do it every day. I do enjoy their books though as a supplement for what we are doing. Killgallon will not cover what I think he will need. It does do a great job of improving the style of writing sentences and writing paragraphs.

I think I would suggest IEW either the Student Writing Intensive level B (totally can find this used) OR the new version Structure & Style Level B (this is the revised program w/new videos). This link shows what is covered in level B. He needs to be able at minium take notes, write an essay, and properly reference his writing. While the program says intensive, it is not overwhelming to a student...so they mean intensive like focused if that makes sense. It is easy to skip some assignments (I did) that are meant for reinforcement if your student easily mastered the material. It's rather useful as well in practice in using the composition checklist which isn't too different than working with a rubric.

https://iew.com/sites/default/files/videocourse/fileattachment/SSS-1B-S_Sample.pdf

Edited by calbear
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I think I'd reach for Writing With Skill level 1, which is a four days a week book. Then I'd use the unscheduled fifth day to do basic prompts and maybe Wordsmith. 

Edited by SilverMoon
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20 hours ago, SilverMoon said:

I think I'd reach for Writing With Skill level 1, which is a four days a week book. Then I'd use the unscheduled fifth day to do basic prompts and maybe Wordsmith. 

I like WWS as well and have used it. I hesitated suggesting this because I don't think it gets to teaching an essay well. It teaches lots of useful tools (parts that you need for good writing), but essay writing not really coverd by the end of the level 1 book.

 

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How about something from Lantern English. Ds12 has just finished English 1 and will be doing English 2 next year.  I don't know how it  compares with US school but the instruction is a lot more focused and grammar heavy than in NZ schools.

Edited by kiwik
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Do you know which curriculum the public school uses? You could try to get a copy of the textbook or take a look at the table of contents to see what is covered. 

Killgallon is great for sentence and paragraph composition. There is a lot of practicing by imitating great authors' sentences and paragraphs. Those sentences tend to be complex and descriptive so it should help with his tendency to write as little as possible (although there is nothing wrong with that if his word choice is precise.) It is more of a supplement or an 'intro to writing' course than it is a full curriculum. I don't recall any writing to a prompt practice. You would need something else for that.

I haven't tried Jump In, but it does seem to fit the bill for writing to a prompt practice. The most common negative comment that I have heard about Jump In is that is brings up some pretty grown up topics as things to write about (i.e. abortion, same sex marriage). Some 7th graders are mature enough for those topics; others need a few more years of growth.

You could also try Sprectrum Writing or something similar for writing to a prompt. It's a simple workbook and is based on the way most public school teach writing (and it's cheap!) You could easily do both Killgallon and something like Sprectrum Writing to prepare for public school. Combined with writing across the curriculum, I think you would have a full writing program.

 

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