Has anyone used both IEW and TGATB for elementary school? Not at the same time, necessarily. We have been using TGATB for a 2 years and we like it just fine, but I wouldn’t say we LOVE it. It’s just not quite as CM as I would prefer- I would like the grammar to be taught later, I wish the writing had more guidance, and I wish the lessons were a bit shorter. I’m considering trying IEW + Language Lessons for Today because I’m nervous that TGATB’s method for teaching writing might be a bit too free for my kids. I think more writing guidance coupled with shorter lessons might be a good fit, but I know IEW isn’t exactly CM either. I’m just wondering if someone who has used both could do a quick comparison for me and also list some pros/cons of IEW since I’ve never used it. I’d really like to find something that might work for us long term. Thanks in advance!
And I just have to say, I’m so grateful for this website and forum. I sometimes feel a bit like a Charlotte Mason island in an ocean of homeschoolers. I feel like I have friends here who actually understand where I’m coming from and what I’m moving towards even when no one else does! <3MissusLeataParticipant
I’ve never used TGATB but my sister has and I thought the lessons were too long for my kids. I’m using IEW and really love it! Of course, I’m not teaching it because it’s at our co-op, but my kids are writing and doing great. I’ve switched a few of them to Fix It Grammar, too.
Thank you, MissusLeata! I appreciate your input. How CM do find IEW to be?MissusLeataParticipant
IEW comes from a different perspective than CM, but it has a similar outcome — they aren’t overwhelmed with writing.
I was barely able to get a paragraph out of my boys while trying to do a more CM approach to writing or using Story Starters. With IEW, they are writing whole pages and they just aren’t overwhelmed with it. They are given lots of tools and it takes the hard work out of figuring out how to write. So I’m very pleased with it.sarah2106Participant
We are using IEW for the first time this year with my older 2, 9th and 7th grade. It has been such a great fit for us. The video led lessons help guide the writing and it is taught in smaller pieces that makes writing much more manageable. I grew up being homeschooled and I am learning so much too. Even just the basics of a key word outline to help organize thoughts. It takes all those oral narrations, and basic written narrations to the next step of really organizing thoughts and putting them to paper.
All that said I am glad we waited to do a more formal writing program until later school age. Prior to this year my children did oral narrations before moving into written narrations around 4/5th grade (depending on my children, one was ready 1/2 way through 4th the other two 5th).
To round out language arts I also had my kids do Spelling U See through 6th grade. I tried SW but wanted a little more phonics reinforcement and SUS was a great mix of dictation and phonics. Also starting in 5th grade my kids start Fix it Grammar from IEW. The lessons are short and gave a little extra reinforcement in grammar with out being overwhelming.
For elementary language arts are pretty basic, reading, copy work, dictation, narrations (oral and moved into written when they were ready). For my children things really started coming together with age/maturity so for us a bit more relaxed approach worked well in elementary and each year raising the bar bit by bit.
We have to do yearly testing so prior to the tests I would do a quick overview of what a subject, verb are… remind them of capitalization rules and the basics and they would always do well. They really do pick up on so much through copy work, dictation, reading in elementary… so that even if they didn’t know the “grammar name” it worked out every time. 🙂sarah2106Participant
Sorry, I don’t have any experience with TGATB. If you like it but lessons are long can you just cut some of the parts out, or spread it over a couple days?
I actually really like the SCM suggestions for elementary because it is not one set curriculum, more of suggestions for each part of the language arts umbrella. At first I thought it was not “enough” but realized that it was just right. Yes, I tweaked things here and there but keep going back to SCM for reminders, especially reminders that school does not have to be overwhelming or long days to be a solid program for my family, and every family is different. The blessing of HSing, does not have to be one size fits all program and even boxed curriculum can be adjusted here and there 🙂
Thank you to both of you! It’s encouraging to hear that you’ve both had positive experiences with IEW and that you both have found a way to make it work with a CM education. I’ll have to ponder some more on whether or not my kids are old enough, but at least I know other CMers are enjoying IEW. My oldest daughter loves to write, but her stories don’t always make much sense. I thought IEW might be a way to capitalize on something she enjoys while helping to hone her writing skills. She’ll be in 4th grade next year and I was thinking of having her do the Bible Heroes program, which is for 2nd-3rd graders. I have no desire to push her. Just want to help her grow in an area that she enjoys.TristanParticipant
I’ve used both over the years. IEW was a good help for a year with one child when she was super resistant to writing. She really needed the handholding of IEW, which begins with not really writing anything of your own for a very long time, just rewording what is already written. You read IEW’s paragraph and rewrite it in your own words. After a year with the program she was done, could sit and write something, but didn’t enjoy it, and we moved on. She did a variety of writing programs over the years, but the biggest key was simply handing her an old laptop without internet and inviting her to write what she loved, along with a round of NaNoWriMo. She did use TGTB for her senior year, and it was a good help with fine tuning her essay writing. She is now a college sophomore who has been on the provost’s list every semester, who loves writing and is in a special writing program with Orson Scott Card and people he brings in from the writing and publishing industry, in addition to her psychology major.
We’ve used TGTB for 3+ years now with a bunch of kids (the oldest her senior year, and my currently 10th, 9th, 7th, 6th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd graders). We really like it. I have several kids who love to write (college girl, both high schoolers, and another younger one). Having used nearly every level of TGTB language arts, here is what I have found:
– The writing is gentle instruction, and not too many projects in the earlier years.
– They have kids do a mix of things: writing a letter(about something they’ve read), writing a couple sentence narration, learning about a topic and writing a report-ish, creative writing/stories, writing poetry, and as they get older they learn to write essays.
– The grammar is introduced earlier than CM did, but not a lot of it in the early levels. In the early levels it really is just introducing terms – for example they talk about what a noun or adjective is and then they use those terms when asking kids to do a picture study and name nouns in the painting or read a story and find some of the adjectives used in it.
What I love the most is that many of the different areas I want to cover with my kids (reading, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, picture study, geography, making art, etc) are already built in to the language arts curriculum in a rotation. I don’t have to think – ok, have we done all those things with each of my kids this week? Have we forgotten anything? What will I plan out for next week for my family of 12 that won’t be a repeat for the big kids or way over the head of the middle or younger kids? It is already there and ready for each one.
At the same time, we love using their history because it is family style – we are reading and learning together, with extra reading for the older kids to go further and deeper.
I’m so glad you chimed in, Tristan! I’ve gone through almost all of the older forum threads using any and all of the search words surrounding TGATB and IEW and your name is usually in those somewhere, LOL.
Since you’ve had so much experience with TGATB, would you be willing to answer a few sort of random questions?
1) How integrated are the readers beyond level 2? I’ve used everything from TGATB Level 2 and below, and the readers are optional. I think they’re cute, but a little hokey and would really like to use the Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers. Do you think that would be difficult to do in the upper elementary and middle school years?
2) Have you ever used SCM’s history or geography? If so, how do they compare to TGATB? I love the books that SCM uses, that history is done along side the Bible, and the emphasis on people and cultures rather than the more standard info in most geography programs. But I also like that TGATB has the Student Explorer pages (my kids like having something to look at and to show off what they’ve learned) and that it looks like it would appeal to multiple learning styles.
3) Would it be too much to use Visits to… and the geography from TGATB’s LA?
Sorry for all of the questions, but I really do appreciate your input.
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