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DD17 is currently in her junior year of high school. She is somewhat dyslexic, which we are going to be working on through a neurodevelopmental program. Writing well has always been a challenge for her. She is doing fairly well with grammar, but composition has been difficult.
We started off this year with Writing Strands level 5, and I was hoping to get through both levels 5 & 6 this year. The pace (3 times a week) does not seem to bother her, but she does not like the Writing Strands book at all. I decided to use it because we already had the books from my older daughter (who did not like it either) and because it seemed to be well-recommended by those who had used it.
Her complaints are things like “it sounds like it was written by a two-year old,” and “it’s confusing,” and “they give you an example and then ask you to write the same thing in your own way.” For example, chapter 2 gives a story about how an old, homeless man lost his bridge because it was torn down. They then ask the student to write their own version of the man losing his bridge. She said to me, “How am I supposed to write something different about that? I don’t know what else to write about it.” It is clearly not working for her. I offered to go through it with her instead of having her read through it herself and then discuss the assignment with her, but she keeps going back to the issue of not liking the book.
Is there anything else to teach writing skills that would be simple and straightforward, suitable for a struggling writer, and not horribly time-intensive (especially for me)? I just cannot give her topics to write on and then simply correct errors. Her writing is not always fluent, she tends to use rather basic vocabulary, and the way she constructs paragraphs is really below her age level. Written narrations have not gone well for her over the past several years.
I really want her to be able to write more confidently. She has a lot to say if you ask her about organic farming, GMO’s, or poultry. She simply has a hard time writing appropriately on a variety of topics when asked to write something specific.CrystalNParticipant
My oldest is only 8th grade so I have not used anything with him yet. Except Writing Strands, which he loathed. I gave up and just let him write narrations until high school. I have been looking at the following and like them all for various reasons, maybe one of them will appeal to you.
Jensens format writing – very straightforward, simple and fluff-free
The Power in Your Hands – seems to have more hand holding, step by step, not condescending
The Lost Tools of Writing – very classical, seems to teach thinking logically as well as writing.
I have no experience with any of these yet, but maybe one of them will appeal to you.
Hi Sue! 🙂
So far, my favorite writing curriculum for high school age students is The Power In Your Hands by Sharon Watson. The instruction is incremental and she doesn’t assume that the student has any prior formal writing instruction. The intuitive writer can treat this program more like a handbook with assignments while the struggling writer can follow it, step by step. It covers all forms of composition needed for college as well, which is a huge plus to me. So many programs force you to buy several levels throughout high school. While Sharon Watson does offer another writing program for high school students, it isn’t necessary.
I’ve used IEW and looked at Writing Strands, Wordsmith Craftsman, and other writing programs. Neither my daughter, nor myself have liked any of them. My daughter has been using TPIYH for several months now and she likes it fairly well.
Both my daughter and I looked at the Cathy Duffy review of The Power In Your Hands and some samples of the writing program, and we decided to purchase it. (Used, through Homeschool Classifieds, for both student & teacher books.)
Thanks for all of your recommendations.
Forgot to ask, does PIYH take more than a year to complete? DD will be working on the assignments 3-4 days per week due to some outside activities and coursework that take up part of Wednesday and most Fridays each week.Melanie32Participant
The guide says the curriculum can be used in one year or stretched out over two. We just spend a certain time of amount on it 4 days a week.
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