The Writing Course and IEW
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!
Okay, let’s get back to our writing this year. This year begins our third year with The Writing Course and the second year with IEW.
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?
RC suggests 1 hr. of writing a day….is that right? How do you break up the use of these two curriculums per day/per week?
Thank you for this information!!
Yes, that is correct, but mainly for the upper grades and according to ability. After copywork, you do begin with filling one page double-spaced, then both sides double-spaced and then move to an hour.
When we used IEW, we used it in the place of the writing time allotted for RC. So, for the year we only did SICC-B using the schedule they provide. Before that we did The Writing Course. We never did them together at the same time.
I hope that clarifies some. Let me know if you have any other questions.
This is very helpful. Thank you Cynthia!
Hey, thanks Cynthia! I'm glad Andrew's work and The Writing Course are complementary…can't wait to see one of your kids on a best sellers list ;-).
Fred Ray Lybrand.
duh, nevermind about the question about the IEW. I just reread that this was your second year with IEW–that’s what I get for trying to speedread. But I’d still like to know about that other writing program. 😉
Hi Cynthia…It’s good to know you are liking IEW. The order is what keeps me coming back to it each time as well. Did you guys finish up SWI-B, or are you starting out with the continuation course. I’m just curious and interested in how other people use the program. 🙂
Also, there was another program that I remember you mentioning. Did you guys get to start that one? I’m so passionate about writing programs. I can never get enough of them, for all the same reasons you posted about. I can so relate! I’m constantly second guessing myself, but in the end, I just talk to myself and say, “Dee, just write.” 😉
Yes, we are liking IEW very much. We actually began with SWI-A last year. I wasn’t sure which to begin with because MaryEllen was in 6th and Donnie was in 5th. I didn’t want it to be too easy for MaryEllen and too hard for Donnie. Now that I look back, they could have done SWI-B okay. Anyway, I decided to do the continuation course B and figured if there were things that the student should have already known from SWI-B, I could do a quick catch up using the ‘Parent course’ (forgot what it was called and am to comfortable to go look for the binder lol!).
We began The Write Thinking Series in August while the kids were going through The Writing Course. The kids didn’t like it. It required more analysis type thinking and I guess they weren’t really ready for that yet. I could have made them go through it, but I figured when we go through The Any Novel Study Guide with one of their books, they will get a taste of analysis, but in a more gentler way…hopefully.
Anyway, I didn’t think it was worth the teeth pulling just yet. I really think it is a great supplemental course though.
Thanks for your reply, Cynthia! 🙂 I don’t blame you. The analysis will be better left for highschool, or if you are like me, do none at all! lol! We only talk about our books, but formal analysis just drives us insane–we have too many opinions. Good stuff, though…:)