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DD is hitting a road block with IEW-SWI B


Jenileigh
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Sky is 13 in the 7th grade and we starting IEW in October. Over the period of the last two months she has started bulking writing. She says the lessons are taking too long and that she is board and wants to use something else. I'm torn. I'm just not sure whether this is coming from laziness and lack of desire to do school or if she is being honest and she is bored. If I do decide to use something different I'd like some ideas. Could you ladies throw some gentle opinions at me on what you would do and what to change to. I'd like to hear what you've used and what's worked and not worked for you.

 

Sky LOVED IEW when we first started but now says Mr. Pudewa drives her nuts.

 

I'm looking at Jump In by Apologia- any opinions here?

 

I do have Writing Strands 3 & 4 on the shelf.

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My12yodd has been using IEW American History this year and she doesn't like it so well because she doesn't care for history and she would rather do creative writing. However, she has learned a great deal and I've caught her transferring things she learned from IEW to the writing that she does for pleasure. For next year I've decided to intersperse IEW with weeks of other writing programs here and there. I too have writing strands on the shelf and will use that along with some other miscl. creative writing. I think breaking it up for variety will help a lot.

Edited by skimerinkydo
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I would have her finish SWI-B with the promise of switching to something different afterwards. I, too, think the "tools" in IEW are good ones, and, once she knows those, they can be transferred into other writing programs. We have done IEW for a couple of years, and I am going to do something else next year (either Lost Tools - it's scaring me, or Writing Strands). However, I plan to mentally draw on the IEW ideas in terms of editing. Things like, "You need a better variety of sentence openers," "Wouldn't a who/which fit nicely here," and "How about a more 'quality' adjective."

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Could it be that the IEW checklists are bothering her? I attended SWB's writing workshops in Cincy last month and she advised ignoring the stylistic techniques when using IEW. I used IEW with my co-op writing class 2 years ago. I found that while the tools were helpful at first, they became very cumbersome later. This was especially true for the best writers. They had their own style and wanted to develop that naturally. Also, many students tend to tire of writing on the same subject for an entire year, so using one of the theme based IEW books may work against you.

 

I have "Jump In". I think it would work well if she needs it. I have mine lent out right now, but did consider it for my 11yo for next year; we are just going to use TWTM. I would only use Jump In if she still needs a lot of guidance with structure. If she is already writing well, it may be to "young" for her.

 

My older DD's never did find the assignments in Writing Strands to be very inspiring. If she is writing well already, levels 3 & 4 will probably be too easy. (Of course my versions were 10 years old and things may have changed.)

 

My advice would be to check out TWTM for the writing sequence recommended for 7th graders. It's free, easy to implement, and works across all subjects. I can explain it here later if you don't own TWTM.

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IF you like IEW and want to continue, there are many other options such as theme based books and dropping the checklist. Also check out the iewfamilies yahoo group if you want lots more advise of how to make IEW work for you. Of course, moving away from IEW is always an option.

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It's spring, so it could largely be spring fever. Has she been dragging it out? Why isn't she done yet? I wouldn't let her quit, but that's just me. I think finishing what you start is important and teaches a more important lesson than the writing even. If *I* think it's ok to stop, we stop. But if dd initiates the stop, we perservere. I trust my gut to tell me when to tell me if we need to stop, where my dd only knows her temporary feelings.

 

If she's been dragging it out all year and still isn't done, she just needs to get going. I don't even use IEW, but I can tell you with all the things we've done, there comes that point where you want to chicken out and not finish, haha. You have to fight that. And little slackings each week, a lesson missed here, a day off there, really add up. So I say build character and perservere. Finish what you started. And as a wise friend around here once told me, when they say they're bored, it doesn't usually mean they are. ;) If you're bored and think the material is too easy, finish it up faster. Sometimes when they say they're bored they actually mean they're overwhelmed and are spinning their wheels, wanting to stop. Pudewa has a line to that effect in one of his convention talks, that kids LIKE to do what they CAN do. Have some of the assignments gotten hard for her lately, or are they just the opposite and quite easy?

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Thank-you everyone!

 

The reason she isn't finished yet is two fold. One we started this school year late- the end of October. (After a failed attempt in a private school)

 

Two, she has procrastinated with IEW and isn't working as diligently as she should.

 

:)

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Maybe you just need to give her a break from it. We had been using Jump In with my 7th grade ds and he just hit a road block (at the research paper). He loved it when we started, and then began to hate it. We put it aside and have been using Write with the Best. It has been a hit with both of my older kids-so far. I know the poetry will throw my oldest, and I will probably just skip it. He likes a combination of things, like switching between Write with the Best and Writing Trails.

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Kim- Well see she has had a break, I let her take 4 weeks off from writing because of her complaining. I'm not so sure that was smart of me but I thought maybe if I allowed her a break, she would be more willing to pick it back up. She hasn't.

 

It may be a discipline issue. I mean not everything is going to be fun or entertaining. They have to learn.

 

I just didn't know if this was a common complaint from other kiddos about IEW or not. Trying to feel my way around, kwim?

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They did fine with IEW before we got SWI, but they could not stand sitting there and watching the DVDs. So, I returned it and got my money back. I went back to teaching them myself using TWSS and everything was fine.

 

I love Andrew Pudewa, and my kids even enjoying listening when I have one of his talks on in the car, but they did NOT enjoy the DVD lessons. I was willing to teach it myself, so that's what we did.

 

I have no opinion about whether or not you should switch, but it is possible that she really is not enjoying the DVD lessons.

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Well that wouldn't be an option for me, but I thank-you for sharing with me. I think she's going to have to tough it out for now. Once she completes SWI B I will move her onto to something but else. What? Not that's the question.

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JeniLeigh,

 

Are you using the Lesson Plans for SWI-B or just watching the DVD's and doing the assignment that was given on the disc?

 

I do agree with your assessment on pushing her through it and finishing even though she is bored. All schoolwork won't be exciting. And let me tell you I have a 13 dd and it does not matter what I give her, there is never any enthusiasm. I am not saying yours is like this but from talking to other parents with this age, it seems to be a common problem with Middle Schoolers:tongue_smilie:

 

Beth

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Beth we are using the lessons plans and watching the dvds. I think her writing has improved. She was late learning to read and has always resisted school to an extent. She still struggles with spelling and I believe she would hit a wall with creative writing, having to come up with something on her own. I'm hoping some time and a little maturity will help with this.

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Beth we are using the lessons plans and watching the dvds. I think her writing has improved. She was late learning to read and has always resisted school to an extent. She still struggles with spelling and I believe she would hit a wall with creative writing, having to come up with something on her own. I'm hoping some time and a little maturity will help with this.

 

Jenileigh,

 

You may try taking a disc and watching it throughout the week and then doing the same assignment that was on the disc and then maybe do some of the assignments in the lesson plans over the next couple of weeks. When she has got that concept, move to the next disc. We really hated doing a part of the disc every week, as suggested in the lesson plans(although, I love having Jill Pike's plans).

 

Stick with IEW, it really works and will get easier for her. Don't make the mistake of being overly critical like I was at the beginning.

 

HTH!

 

Beth

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