Writing Help!


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  • MissusLeata

    My 10 year old really doesn’t like to write. Last year, I got a couple of written narrations out of him by giving him a “chapter report” template. But he hated it. We also used story starters, but he mostly just wanted to draw out the story and then tell me what was happening (I let the little kids do that.)

    His older brother really struggles with writing, too, and I wish I had helped him earlier, so I want to be pro-active this time around.

    Our co-op had been planning on offering IEW to the upper elementary kids and I thought I would have him do that, but it looks like we might not have that class next year and I’m scrambling to find another option. In my head, I know the CM approach — oral narration slowly transitions to written narration, but my older kids really HATE writing. This particular child LOVES to orally narrate, but he doesn’t like writing at all.

    Writing was very natural for me as a child, which makes it very hard for me to teach to non-writers. I don’t understand why they don’t like it and get it! 🙂

    I’ve looked at Writing with Ease, but I don’t where to start someone older.  Ideas? I’d love something that doesn’t take a LOT of teacher involvement since I have several children, but it doesn’t need to be totally independent. Ideas?


    Here to Help Writing  looks interesting. I looked at it, but it was too classroom/co-op looking class for me.


    We are going back to  Writing Strands and Wordsmith Apprentice. My kids prefer book learning vs dvd.


    I decided I needed a little more handholding for writing and after looking at samples decided on IEW writing course. I am going to combine by 9th and 7th grader level B (I think it is). We watched some of the samples and the kids really like his style and relaxed way of teaching.

    Just another option is to go a head with IEW but do it at home. They came out with new series, so there is a chance the older one might be found used for a good price. The new one is the one we watched and I like that he explains it all and then I can come along side the kids and encourage with his methods. It is similar to why we like MUS, I need some hand holding 🙂

    I tried Jump In and it was fine and my daughter wrote with it but just didn’t fit us quite right. We wanted something a little more, not necessarily more work, but more guidance.


    Okay, this may be off track here, but what about letting him write about anything he wants. Basically, you give the guideline that ‘writing time is for the next 20 minutes’ (or however long/short), and that he is to spend his time brainstorming by writing lists of things (give a starting topic, but tell him to write and shift as desired, ex: beginning topic for brainstorm is natural disasters, but he ends up thinking about animals after listing a few disasters and the list shifts to be animals he’s seen at the zoo or wants to own, etc), telling about something he loves, or a recent book he read or movie he watched, describing a place he has been, making a wishlist of places to go, or retelling a favorite fairy tale, etc. When he is done, put his writing away. Congratulate him on working on writing. The next day you want to work on writing, hand back the notebook, have him browse past work, and then turn to a fresh page and write again, about anything. Repeat, repeat, repeat. In a few weeks, have him flip through and choose something he has written that he wants to ‘finish/polish’. This may be a description of a place he has been, which he can re-read, add details to, and then rewrite and illustrate. Ta da. Go a few weeks free writing again in the same notebook. Then have him flip through the notebook and pick something to polish up again. Maybe this time he wants to send a letter to a relative with a few favorite jokes. You get the idea.

    Is this obviously helping with moving to written narrations? Maybe, maybe not. BUT if he can learn to use and enjoy writing, it will eventually become more natural to him to write things down, and THEN written narrations become easy.



    My girls 10 and 12 are both using Writing Tales by Amy Olsen. I really like it inthat it is gentle but progressive. Based off the progymnasmata but without the intensity that some classical programs have.

    Id encourage you to look it up and take a look at the free sample pages. Similar to IEW in that they do a rewrite BUT there is no prescription with how and what to rewrite so much more compatable with CM methods IMHO. The student is using Aesop’s fables and 50 famous stories retold by Baldwin as well as folktales, Bible Stories and fairytales as a basis for narration, spelling, dictionary work grammar (I love the grammar in this) outlining, rewriting and editing. Itcomes with a teacher’s manual with lesson plans for either family use or co-op use which is handy plus an answer key but its really not necessary and I would not bother purchasing for home use. The student book has all the instructions included in it. Easy to read font and spiral bound makes it user friendly. There are 2 levels, and my girls have both. Im not sure you would need to do both though.



    Lot’s of good ideas here. Thank you!

    Has anyone used Writing with Ease and have an opinion of it?

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