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Thread: Are writing aids enough?

  1. #1
    After looking around for a language arts program, I've decided on using the Well-Trained Mind materials. They recommend for a 1st grader (my dd's range), First Language Lessons, Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, and Writing with Ease. I'm prepared to get all of this, but do I need the Writing with Ease? I've ordered the Writing Aids from ToG. Is that all I need?
    Mom to Lydia (5), Isabel (3), Faith (1), and someone new (we'll meet face to face in September)

  2. #2
    Vice President
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    Hi,
    A language arts program should consist of phonics (if necessary), reading, grammar, spelling, writing, and handwriting. When you use Tapestry, you have the reading and writing covered. Bookshelf Central does sell spelling, grammar, and handwriting as well.

    Does that help?

    Blessings,
    Dana C. in TN
    Vice President
    Lampstand Press

    "Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
    like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
    I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!"
    Deut. 32:2-4

  3. #3
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    I have used all TWTM materials you mentioned above, and realy like them. I do use WWE as well as Writing Aids. For my kids I liked having a writing assignment every day, so I use WWE. I also like the writing assignments in Tapestry, so I pick and choose out of those for something different.

    HTH!
    Kristen

  4. #4
    How do you combine WWE and WA? I've tried that some this year. I tried level 2 WWE with my 2nd grader who is a very good reader but some of the vocabulary in the narration selections were difficult for her to comprehend when she didn't have the context of the story. When I ask her to give me a general narration of her history reading she will tell me a type written page worth of information but I feel like she needs work on summarizing the main point. I would like to do the WWE style of narration but using the history or Tapestry Lit readings instead of WWE selections. Any advice? Also, how many narrations do you require during the week?

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Tammy Casey:
    How do you combine WWE and WA? I've tried that some this year. I tried level 2 WWE with my 2nd grader who is a very good reader but some of the vocabulary in the narration selections were difficult for her to comprehend when she didn't have the context of the story. When I ask her to give me a general narration of her history reading she will tell me a type written page worth of information but I feel like she needs work on summarizing the main point. I would like to do the WWE style of narration but using the history or Tapestry Lit readings instead of WWE selections. Any advice? Also, how many narrations do you require during the week?
    Tammy, were you able to work this out? this is exactly what i am contemplating now...i want to use the methods of TWTM and writing with ease, but i would rather use the reading material in context rather than excerpts from books we may or may not be familiar with. I would love any advice!

  6. #6
    How funny to see you ask me about this, Stacie, because I've been looking at my question again today as I contemplate the Spring semester of school. I had a baby in August so I didn't get things implemented as smoothly as I would like but this is what I've come up with. My goal, in our school day, is to cover each subject area thoroughly without lots of overlap or repeat busy work.

    First off, I'll say that though WA and WWE are both "writing" programs, they are very different in approach. WA teaches you how to write a variety of different styles and really hand holds the teacher and the student through the process. I think it's easiest to use from the beginning as it builds in concepts. For instance, we just finished writing a compare and contrast paper (two short paragraphs) at the third grade level. It is visited again at higher levels. Since my dd now has a background on what that kind of paper is and how to write a simple version of it, it will be easier for her at the higher levels. Her next assignment is to write a play, which she is very excited about.

    WWE really focuses on dictation and narration (to find the main point). This is a different skill set than is in WA but is still necessary to help students apply their grammar skills (dictation) and to focus in on the main point (narration). My 3rd grader can focus on the main point of our history readings or a narration passage easily but this skill doesn't come as naturally to my 1st grader so I have found that doing 2x a week narration exercises beneficial. I use a passage for narration from Tapestry Lit 1x a week. The 2x narration for the week, I use Christian Liberty Press Science readers because they are short and concise and easy for them to narrate. I use dictation sentences from the Tapestry Lit or History readings 1x a week. I follow the format according their level as outlined in the WWE TE.

    For Writing I use Writing Aids and follow it entirely. I tried to supplement it last year and not use it completely and I've since discovered it's extremely thorough on it's own. For instance, in 3rd grade, WA assigns dictation daily for almost the first half of the first unit. The rest of the year dictation is assigned once every few weeks. What I noticed last year is that the writing assignments increase in difficulty towards the end of the year, so doing lots of dictation in the beginning of the year worked out better for our schedule. You'll find that you don't need to spend more than 2 days a week on WA at least in the lower levels.

    I also have my girls do a history response page every week. I just print off the response pages provided in Tapestry's Loom. We discuss what they learned in history that week and I ask questions to help them get to the main point of what we learned. My 3rd grader is able to write 3 or 4 sentences on her own but I walk my first grader through it a little more by asking the questions in the same format as in WWE. Once she is able to say the main point in a sentence, I write her sentence and she copies it onto her response page and draws a picture.

    If that was all clear as mud, I'll sum it up with my schedule for writing.

    Mondays: Dictation (using sentences from TOG Lit or History readings covering the concepts as
    outlined in WWE)

    Tuesday: Narration from TOG Lit

    Wednesday: Begin WA writing assignment.

    Thursday: Narration & dictation (according to WWE format)from Christian Liberty Press Science
    Readers)
    Continue WA writing assignment

    Friday: Finish WA writing assignment
    History Response

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

    Tammy

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