I thought I would share a little about what we are doing for writing this year. Writing is one of those areas where I feel that I lack. It might because of all the grammar rules about how to and how not to write.
Yes, it takes me back to English class in high school. I actually had a great teacher, Mr. Shimabuku. You could tell he enjoyed what he did. But, I did not share the same joy and dreaded when we would correct papers orally. I also remember being handed back papers with lots of red markings and questions in the side bar.
Even to this day as I write I think of the ‘do not’ list, but I give myself a break since I am no longer in school. I am in charge!
We have enjoyed The Writing Course and it has helped the kids get their thoughts on paper. The principles outlined in Mr. Lybrand's course are ones that the kids will take with them whenever they sit down to write.
Mr. Lybrand recommends that the course be taken at least once every semester. That is what we have done. It is a great refresher.
So why have we included IEW? Well, it was more for me than the kids. In writing, I needed a little more structure. When I say structure, I mean that I needed help with implementing different types of writing.
With the RC Curriculum, the student is to write for 30 minutes to an hour or until a page is full front and back double-sided. Of course this isn't done right off the bat, and it is mainly for older students. Who are older students? My guess is junior to high school age.
Anyway, with the kids heading into junior high, I was thinking about different types of writing, poetry, biographies, essays, speeches, arguments, etc. I began to panic. I know nothing about these sorts of things, so began my search.
I found IEW to be a great compliment to The Writing Course. In Mr. Lybrand's course, he tells the student not to expect to begin writing 'great'. This has helped the kids tremendously. They just write not worrying about grammar or spelling.
Without getting too much into the course, he basically tells the kids to start with okay, get feedback and work towards great.
So, I tell the kids that Mr. Pudewa is our 'making it great' part. The kids write their piece just as they speak and without worrying about grammar. They then dress it up using Pudewa's methods. This has worked out wonderfully.
This year, the kids are going through SICC-B and will learn:
- Dress-up & Opener review, Pictures
- Decorations, Editing,
- Editing, Topics for Essay, Multiple Ref.
- Decorations, Essay
- Advanced Dress-ups/Openers, Symbols in Note-Taking
- Decorations, Creative Writing, 5-ParagraphLetter
- Analyzing & Imitating Authors' Styles
- Triple Extensions, review and Final Exam
Another thing that I found to my liking and that I have found many others like is that the kids don't have to stare at a blank piece of paper and figure out what to write about. Mr. Pudewa tells them what to write about. This has helped greatly. Although when the kids finally did find out what to write about previously, it was a joy to read what was on their mind.
I am so thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling. So what writing curriculum or course do y'all use?