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Trying to decide if we should begin Writing Tales 1 in the fall or wait a bit longer?


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Oldest DS will turn 8 in August. If he was in public school, he would be in 2nd grade next fall (cut off here is August 1st), but he will mostly be doing 3rd grade work (will be completely 3rd grade level by thanksgiving I think.)


His reading is just now really taking off...he's been sounding words out since he was 4, but it really just recently clicked for him to read more fluently. His handwriting is ok (although not the neatest as he doesn't seem to remember to use the lines to make his letters neat and leave adequate spaces between words.)


What should he be able to do before starting WT1? Is it necessary for him to do all the writing or can we start out with some narration to me? I haven't yet seen the book, so I'm unsure about where he needs to be before we can begin.


I'd greatly appreciate any help with this decision. Thanks. :)

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here is the response she gave when I asked whether to start WT next year in 2nd grade (ds will be doing all 3rd grade work even though he will be 7) or wait until 3rd.....


"Your first question is tough - when to start WT 1 with your son. I do have to say I have noticed that the curriculum works best in almost every case if you wait until the child is chronologically in third grade. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that the program can be tough for them if they are any younger than this when they start. I know at first glance the beginning of the program looks easy, but it does increase in difficulty as it goes on pretty quickly. And the task of actually writing a story every single week can be daunting for almost every student younger than this. I have to qualify that statement by saying "almost every student" because I have seen the curriculum work for ONE student that did work his way through it at age 7. He was a very very advanced student though, and I was not around to see how he did the next year when he was advanced to WT 2. My guess is that, no matter how advanced he was, he struggled when he got to that level.


And that brings me to my second reason for waiting. You want to consider not only what your child is capable of now, but also where your child is going in the future. WT 2 is significantly more difficult than WT 1. I imagine very few 8 year olds would make it through that level without significant difficulty. It is tough for anyone less than 4th or 5th grade chronologically. Not only that, but if you do progress into the CW series afterwards, you'll potentially be going into two years of the Homer level, and then the Diogenes level. Looking waaaay ahead here! If you started a child in WT 1 at age 7, that child could potentially reach the CW Diogenes level at age 11, which I would consider to be a serious mistake, especially for boys. Diogenes is a fantastic essay writing course, but my son did it last year at age 12, and the other mothers-of-boys in that class agreed with me that our boys were not ready for that kind of thought processing at their age, especially when compared to the girls in that class. They would have benefited much more from the Diogenes class (we were in a co-op) had we held off until they were at least 13. We even saw a vast difference in their ability to handle the material from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Their maturity level in their thought process was that different in just those nine months of growing.


Now, if you'd really like to start WT next year, there's absolutely no reason you couldn't start it, and just move slowly through it. If he handles the stories allright once you start, continue on a slower pace. Give yourself three years to get through the two books, and you'll be doing fine."


Hope that helps with your decision.



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Thank you both.


Chronologically I do think he would be a 3rd grader in the fall...his birthday falls less than 2 weeks after the August 1st cutoff here, and many places have the cutoff much later than ours. So it's a difficult decision for me to think of.


I may have to go ahead and buy the book and take a look at it...it may just be that we wait and start it in January next year to give him an extra 4 months of time.

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