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Thread: Help!!

  1. #11
    Okay, I just came accross this thread by accident, on my way to something else. I haven't even started any writing with my kids because I don't know how to do the TOG writing. We have done several other writing programs but have failed, failed, failed. My 13 year old son does have something legitimate learning holdbacks in the language area, and writing is a terrifying process for him. My 10 year old seems to be totally comfortable with this, but I have younger kids also, and trying to give them what they need. I SO BADLY want to help my oldest son in particular, as he is in 7th grade. Where in the world do I start?

  2. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Villa Rica, Georgia
    Posts
    33
    Hi,

    The first thing is to relax and look at writing as an enjoyable experience, for all of you.

    You said your oldest has some issues, so the first thing is to assess where he is. Does he have a good grasp of basic grammar? If not start with a good grammar program. The A Beka grammar program for grades 4 - 6 is excellent. It starts with the eight basic parts of speech at the 4th grade level; 5th grade adds note-taking, outlining (important skills for both high school and college), and paragraph building; and 6th grade really focuses on composition and includes a nice writing handbook in the back of the book. All three levels include report writing and teach research skills. This program has been rated by The Well Trained Mind as the best out there from either Christian or secular publishers. The only drawback, if money is an issue, is that it is in a consumable workbook format. You do not need to order all of the teacher materials. If your own grammar skills are weak (like mine) Christian Liberty Press sells an inexpensive answer key to each grade level.

    Another program is the Rod & Staff series. Also very thorough, the advantage to this one is that it uses non-consumable textbooks that you can re-use with your younger students. I have not personally used this program, but it is also recommended by The Well Trained Mind.

    Once the basic grammar skills are in place the big thing is just to get them to write. Have them write daily if possible, even if it is just a paragraph or two to begin with. Did he read something in his Tapestry readings that interested him? or science? Have him write a paragraph about it. Maybe he can read one of his short compositions to Dad each week as an oral report. This will also work to build his public speaking skills, something that is often hard for homeschoolers to do.

    Look over the different levels of the Tapestry writing program. As you analyze some of his short essays evaluate what ToG level you think he may be most comfortable with. Try and pick at least one writing project per unit that you think he may enjoy. These can be chosen from different levels for each unit of ToG. You can also spread them over a long period of time than the ToG schedule, if need be. I would continue the daily short topic writing even as he works on one step of the big project at a time.

    Hope there are some ideas here you can use.
    Sharon
    Wife of David, Mom of Nathan (24), Mandie (23), Meg (16), Zeke (14), and Ike (12)

  3. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Heidelberg, GE
    Posts
    1
    I think every Home School mom has at least one, if not two areas, that they are just really uncomfortable with...or just want help figuring out how to teach it.

    I went through a lot of different writing programs. Writing Strands was horrible for me, but worked great for a friend. IEW was horrible for a friend...but has worked amazing for me.

    We also use the Write Source books (recommended by Debra Bell) as a great tool. The best part is the yellow pages in the back..but I also love their ideas for writing paragraphs with the younger kids in books like "Write Away" or "Write on Track." They would show what's important in a certain kind of paragraph (descriptive, for instance) and then show 2 or 3 examples of it. Worthwhile just for the yellow pages though.

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