Letter Writing

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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Michele in WA
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Letter Writing

Unread post by Michele in WA » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:15 pm

dorenekimberly wrote:Regarding writing a letter on Fridays (a great idea!), in the ECC Teaching Tips section, it says for the first week the student writes a rough draft. The following week, he revises it with adult assistance and writes the final draft.

Does this mean do the rough draft one week, revision next week, just for the first two weeks of school, and then the student writes a letter (including rough draft and revision) every Friday for the remainder of the year, or does it mean for the whole year do a rough draft one week followed by revision next week and keep alternating like this for the whole year?

I know the beauty of homeschooling and this program of course allows flexibility, but I'm just wondering what MFW's recommendations are. I am going to be using ECC this upcoming year with both my third grade son and seventh grade (special ed) daughter.

Thanks so much!
That's how we did it, although obviously you could do it any way you felt your child would benefit from!!

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Thanks, ladies!

Unread post by dorenekimberly » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:06 pm

Thanks, ladies! That would work out best for us as well! I appreciate hearing from you.



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Unread post by kellybell » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:02 am

That didn't really work out that well for us. What was "news for Grandma" this week was "old news that we don't even care to report" the next week. Not always but sometimes.

So, we write a letter a week (even in non-ECC years!) and I check them over. My older girls can write letters that don't really need much editing but the little two need to write first drafts on plain paper and then they do the final on nicer paper.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

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Letter writing in ECC - Who?

Unread post by sojen » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:17 am

paliz wrote:Who does your child write to on Friday's in ECC? My ds is having a hard time thinking of someone to write to and he doesn't like my suggestions.
My brother and sister-in- law live in another state. My SIL agreed to keep up correspondence with my daughter. Another person she's written to a couple times is a friend's son who is the same age. He lives close, but it's good practice for both of them. Remember, you don't actually write a new letter every week. One week your child writes and the next week they edit.
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Re: Letter writing in ECC - Who?

Unread post by 705emily » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:24 am

Ooops.... Shsh.... we haven't always done the letter writing over here!! Sometimes I just use that time to wrap up an English lesson, or practice cursive handwriting, or do another writing assignment... and sometimes we do write letters.. but not every week! :)
Irmi Gaut
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Julie in MN
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Re: Letter writing in ECC - Who?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:02 pm

The HUGE majority of my son's letters over the years have been thank-you letters. There have been a few others that he or I initiated for different reasons, but since he has a fall birthday and then there is Christmas, well, I've always combined the tasks to make my life easier.

I will say that when he looks through his old school notebooks, the letters are his favorite thing to re-read. Since he has always typed almost everything, I would slip a copy of his letter into a page protector for his notebook. If he received a reply, I would slip that into the same page protector (printing it out if the reply was via e-mail). The letters give him a little glimpse into himself in 3rd through 7th grade, now that he's an 8th grader.

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Re: Letter writing in ECC - Who?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:45 pm

After Christmas we did thank-you notes. And when my dd has had a pen pal, she's written letters to her then, too. Often, though, we end up doing spelling.

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Re: Letter writing in ECC - Who?

Unread post by wisdomschool » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:48 pm

I was thinking about this awhile back--we have lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, long distance friends.....that we will choose from (we will begin ECC in July), but it crossed my mind a few weeks back that not everyone has all of the options we do and I wanted to mention an idea here on the board:

What about having pen pals that are also doing ECC? Could it be set up here if anyone is interested? Pen pals are a fun thing (snail mail or email) and might be fun to correspond with someone that lives "far away", but that is studying the same thing.....

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Re: Letter writing in ECC - Who?

Unread post by tabby » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:21 pm

We have a missionary family we support through our church that we write sometimes. They have children our kids' ages, so that helps to make it fun for everyone involved.

Sometimes we do use the time to go back to something we did in PLL (like when it says to write your own ending to a story or write about a picture, etc.) and edit for a final draft. :)
Tabatha :)
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Re: Letter writing in ECC - Who?

Unread post by RachelT » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:15 pm

This year we have handwritten several thank you notes and made birthday cards for cousins, grandparents, friends, etc. I just had both children try typing a short note today for the girl we sponsor who live in Haiti because friends are going to her village again soon. We might do more of that now that it gives them a purpose to learn to type. I have tried to remember to make copies of the handwritten letters/notes for their notebooks, too, so we can look at them again later.

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Julie in MN
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Letter writing

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:44 am

Michelle in WA wrote:We are using ECC this year. We are going v e r y slowly and are only on week 4. 8O My question is about the letter writing sequence. I feel like doing a rough draft & corrections and making it perfect will totally take the fun & joy out of letter writing. The older kids each have penpals of sorts. Is all the correction & perfection necessary?
Since my ds has been doing schoolwork on the computer forever, he's always done his letters on the computer. They're easy to correct, and we usually went over them the same day they were written, or possibly the next day. So, no, we didn't do it the way described in the manual. Feel free to adjust for your needs.

The letter-writing was a precious part of elementary schooling, and doing it on the computer means that I have a copy of each letter in ds's notebook, plus the reply is in there, if he received one. He loves going back and reading those :)
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Re: Letter writing

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:57 am

I think it depends on the audience a bit. If they handwrite a draft, then check it again, that's a good skill to learn. Some people find it better to have the child say the words out loud, parent writes it down on dry erase or paper, then have student copy it correctly. Then, wean from that as they get older.

But, I prefer getting letters/cards/ etc. without tons of mistakes. It's cute when it's from a very very very young child if it isn't perfect, but it gets less cute as they get older. i still appreciate it and don't send it back with red ink, or anything, and my daughters still make plenty of mistakes.... It's not like I'm grading the writing with informal friendly stuff. kwim? and when an elderly friend of ours has harder to read handwriting and not perfect sentences, I don't worry about it. I just love getting letters and cards from LeRoy and loved hearing about his missions trip last year at age 78. love it!

But let me tell a story when I was an executive secretary for a vice president and we had to have it perfect for Myles Brand's inauguration. (RIP Dr. Brand) Some of the envelopes had to be done by hand because of certain protocols in the university settings. And we had to proof read that invitation very very carefully and it was read by at least 5 of us before going to the printers. Each and every envelope label (printed from computer) was double checked at least double... triple..

So, there's a tug o war on it: for peer level pen pals, you don't have to go overboard for everything. For grandma letters, make it pretty. type when needed. and when they do a resume in life....

balance it out.


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Re: Letter writing

Unread post by Poohbee » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:09 am

My dd is in 4th grade, and I really help her a lot with the proofreading and editing at this stage. After she writes her letter, I look it over to check for spelling and punctuation errors. I have her erase the misspelled word or the part of the word that is misspelled and rewrite it on the letter right then and there. At this point, I don't ask her to completely rewrite the letter or she would be completely discouraged. If there are a lot of errors, I would not target all of them, but perhaps just a few of the most obvious ones. It is important, I believe, for a letter that will be sent to someone to have it be free of mistakes and errors. So, if the letter will truly be sent to someone, I would try to have the student correct it as much as possible without totally destroying their desire to write the letter in the first place. That's where writing the letter one week and proofreading, editing, and rewriting the next week would work well. Otherwise, if my dd doesn't have many mistakes on her letter, we just correct them the same day she writes it and send the letter off, without rewriting the letter completely. When my dd writes a letter to a friend or family member, she wants to send it right away, not wait a week to fix it and then send it. She would lose interest if we had to wait a week to send a real letter.

One thing I have done for the letter writing activity on Fridays is to use some of the ILL lessons on Letter Writing. There are a lot of ILL lessons that ask the student to write a letter using a given beginning or writing prompt, so I often skip those lessons when they come up and then come back to them on Fridays for the Letter Writing segment of the day. Those are good ones to practice editing and proofreading because they won't actually be sent to someone, and the student doesn't need to fix EVERY mistake. Sometimes I tweak the letter assignment a bit to make it more personal for my dd. For instance, one lesson asked her to write to some Uncle or some friend, and it gave a fictional name for the uncle and the friend. I changed the names to be her uncle's name and her friend's name. She liked the assignment much better.
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Re: Letter writing

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:29 am

Poohbee wrote: I have her erase the misspelled word or the part of the word that is misspelled and rewrite it on the letter right then and there. At this point, I don't ask her to completely rewrite the letter or she would be completely discouraged. If there are a lot of errors, I would not target all of them, but perhaps just a few of the most obvious ones.
yep... nothing wrong with erasers at this age. I know one wildly popular writing program out there says "no erasers, use ink pen", but so what ? I don't have to do it.


Michelle in WA
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Re: Letter writing

Unread post by Michelle in WA » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:51 am

Thank you for helping me see things in a more balanced way. I do think learning to proofread and self correct is a good skill. Since she is already writing letters, I am not sure how to present it as part of lessons. I do not currently proof/correct the letters she sends to her friends. And, while she can type, I would prefer her to hand write some letters still. To me, it has a much more personal feel to it. Not to say that I don't like getting typed letters. She could use the handwriting practice.

The idea to use the PLL/ILL writing starters is a good one. I may just have to do that. We have been a bit slow going through PLL so, even though she is 4th grade, we are still not in ILL.
Michelle, momma to
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Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Letter writing

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:13 am

We're probably doing it wrong, but this is one thing I don't care if I'm wrong about. I need to remember to tell my dh that later, he will be so proud of me. :-)

My dd writes letters in her pick of pen or pencil, depending on her mood. I prefer pencil so she can erase if needed. If she goes with pen and makes a mistake, she corrects it without too much mess. (On a bad day, she crumples it up and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. "Teaching moment.") That's why I prefer pencil. It's also why I don't have her do rough drafts at this point - not for letters. There's just too much angst over it.

Last summer, she wrote her daddy a wonderful letter for Father's Day and then copied it over in her best cursive in pen. That was worth it. He has it posted in his office and cherishes it. A simple weekly letter to a cousin or friend, etc., isn't worth that kind of effort to my little 8yo, and I don't feel it's really needed. We'll probably have to step up the game when she starts ILL and WS, but I'm not concerned over it for the letters in ECC.

That's just how we do it. Probably wrong. :~
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