Writing with Skill - Questions

Issues specific to teaching 6th to 8th graders, including the transition to Saxon math, Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, and grammar lessons
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Julie in MN
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Writing with Skill - Questions

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:50 pm

Do I really need the teacher's guide for Writing with Skill?
Missy OH wrote:Is it necessary?
Mornin' Missy, (woops, I started this draft in the morning but now it's afternoon !! &) )
Since this is probably new to most folks 'round here, I'll just share a couple thoughts. Of course, there may be a person or two who have used it who will have better answers :)

My first thought is that Marie spoke highly about the parent guide:
Marie wrote:The Writing with Skill Instructor Text acts as a writing coach, leading the parent step by step through each lesson in the student workbook, explaining specific ways to assist students (parent involvement about 15 minutes per day).
My second thought is that you could look at the samples I've seen, I think on SWB's blog? I think you'll find them if you google, but if not, send me a note and I'm sure I can find them.

However, if you've successfully been coaching your children's writing all along, you may be willing to give it a try on your own and you can always order the guide later if needed.

Julie
homemama wrote:Thanks Julie! I didn't find it on her blog, but there is a long sample on peacehillpress.com website. I am looking it over now and wanted to pop back in and let you and anyone else know that there is a large sample on the website.
Last edited by Julie in MN on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
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Julie in MN
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Re: Do I really need the teacher's guide for Writing with Sk

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:02 pm

Erna wrote:Can the teacher's guide be purchased through MFW or is it to be found elsewhere? I have already placed my order for next year and wonder if I missed this.
Erna,
MFW is selling it as a set, here: http://www.mfwbooks.com/item/30084/Writ ... l-Level-1/

It is a new recommendation this year for grades 7 & 8, which Marie announced here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15074

I'm sure if you just ordered, you could give the office a call about your options, but you will probably be receiving the full set.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Erna
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Re: Do I really need the teacher's guide for Writing with Sk

Unread post by Erna » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:13 pm

I believe that's the one I got. My order is in the US until relatives bring it to Canada so I can't check it right now. :o( I'll have to get them to check it for me to make sure I got the right product.

Missy OH
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Re: Do I really need the teacher's guide for Writing with Sk

Unread post by Missy OH » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:49 pm

Julie, thanks. I found the sample. I think I will buy the whole set.

I'm really excited about the language arts changes.

Julie in MN
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Re: Do I really need the teacher's guide for Writing with Sk

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:58 pm

Missy & Erna,
Glad you both seem to be getting the info you need on this new program.

There is actually also a YouTube video about the teacher guide also. It's called "Writing With Skill Overview" by peacehillpress. Susan Weiss Bauer seems to be saying that her "writing teacher brain" is in the teacher book, and that its main components are (a) help for when a student gets stuck, and (b) help in evaluating student work. The samples probably give you more information, but I thought her perspective was interesting as well.

Julie
P.S. Here is the video http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BNs2ImH27E0
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TammyB
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Re: Do I really need the teacher's guide for Writing with Sk

Unread post by TammyB » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:29 pm

Yes, you definitely need it. :)

Julie in MN
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Writing with Skill vs. IEW

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:21 am

CindyC wrote:We have home schooled for 20 years! We have 9 children, and our oldest 4 have graduated but are living at home and going to college. We still have 5 younger ones that are being home schooled. We're praying about using MFW for this fall and I was wondering why IEW isn't recommended for composition? It is such an amazing program that is so easy to teach and gives the students, in a short time, a "toolbox" for writing any kind of paper they will be called on to write. Can someone tell me about Writing With Skill?

Blessings,
Cindy
Hi Cindy,
Since few folks may have experience with both in order to compare, I thought I'd just start a general conversation.

I know MFW has looked at lots of writing programs, including IEW. I've used a bit of IEW and I've looked over the substantial WWS sample that used to be available on Susan Wise Bauer's blog (not sure if it still is).

One of the big differences that jumps out at me is that WWS is focused on the types of writing that will be used in high school and college. There is no creative writing in WWS, no dressing up sentences. WWS teaches outlining, summarizing without plagiarizing, using a thesaurus to choose the correct word instead of adding more descriptive words, chronological vs. cause/effect logic, critique -- these are things that match what professors and even bosses have expected from my kids.

Also, IEW might take a little more parent time both in instruction and correcting, at least if it's used the way it's intended, and it might require a little more "learning the lingo" to use the program, which is okay if you're going to use something over many children and many years but maybe time-consuming for just 2 years.

Again, my experience is limited, so those are just some random guesses about the choice!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

mothermayi
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Re: Writing with Skill vs. IEW

Unread post by mothermayi » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:42 am

I am totally guessing here but I wonder if the decision to use something other than IEW has to do with the prerequisites to teach IEW. TWSS is cost prohibitive for some families, and it would have to be purchased in addition to the actual writing program. It requires more work for mom or dad to prepare to teach (TWSS, learning the lingo, etc), and assignments can lengthen the time students are in school. Longer school days aren't necessarily a bad thing ;) but many are really busy with multiple children. I agree that IEW is fabulous!! We used it for the first time this past school year. Composition usually took over an hour on days my son had to write a draft. It usually took even longer to do all of the dress-ups and edits for the final copy. Some days I would have to end the lesson because he would be an hour and a half in, so we would make some assignments last for two or three days instead of one. My kid produced some very nice pieces and I am very proud of his work. But he dreaded it...each and every bit of it because he knew it was going to take an hour or more.

Again, I'm guessing here but that is my first impression when wondering why MFW doesn't recommend IEW.
Returning to MFW for 2015!! :-)
ds13 (8th)--MFW EX1850, EG, WWS, PP Guides, TT 2.0 Pre-Algebra
ds11.5 (7th)--MFW EX1850, AOG, WWS, PP Guides, Singapore 5B-6B
dd7 (2nd)--MFW EX1850, LLFT2, Miquon, AAS1
dd5--MFW K

MFW-Lucy

Writing with Skill- Can we skip Writing Strands Level 5?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:43 pm

lori4prez wrote:My dd is going into 7th grade, but has only just completed Writing Strands Level 4. Can she skip Level 5 and go directly to Writing with Skill? I read somewhere that it's good for ages 11+. (She will be 12 in October.)

Thanks for any input!
Lori
Dear Lori,

You do not need to complete level 5 to begin Writing with Skill. Your daughter will do fine with completing level 4 as she moves into 7th grade next year. This book will be completed over 2 years in 7th and 8th grade.

Blessings,
Lucy

Julie - Staff
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8th grade ?s: WWS 1

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:24 pm

Missy OH wrote:There is a suggested schedule on how to do WWS 1 in one year for an 8th grader needing that option. I think it's listed on the main site under the curriculum tab, click language arts. The TM for WWS does a thorough job helping the parent help the student navigate through the writing suggestions. It does take about 15 minutes a day (average) of parental guidance. Some days my student could fly on her own and some days there needed to be quite a bit of guidance.
I thought I'd copy that info here for you. It's in the FAQ, both under the Support tab and the Curriculum tab/Language Arts which Missy mentioned.
  • How do I begin Writing with Skill with an 8th Grader?
    My Father's World schedules two lessons a week in Writing with Skill Level 1 to be completed during 7th and 8th grade. For an 8th grader who is beginning WWS, we recommend completing as much of the book as possible. Consider adding one additional writing day to complete more lessons by the end of the year. By following this general guideline, you should be able to complete more than half the book. If you would like more specific recommendations for beginning Writing with Skill Level 1 with an 8th grader, see below.

    The author of Writing with Skill recommends the following:

    You may progress more quickly through any assignments the student finds easy, skipping steps that seem unnecessary. Your goal is to familiarize the student with the topics taught and with the skills covered in the exercises.

    1. Have the student read the General Instructions, the Overview for Weeks 1-3, and the Overview for Weeks 4-15 carefully.

    2. Have the student complete the narration exercises in Day 1 of Week 14 and Day 1 of Week 15. If the student can do this without too much difficulty, you may skip all of Week 1 as well as Day 1 exercises in Weeks 3-13. If the student struggles, do not skip these exercises.

    3. Have the student complete the outlining exercises in Day 2 of Weeks 14 and 15. If the student can do this without difficulty, you may skip Week 2, and Day 3 of Week 3. The other outlining exercises serve as models for the topics being taught and should be completed.


    My Father’s World adds the following recommendations for those following our language arts recommendations and planning to continue in high school:

    1. Writing Strands Level 4 does not need to be completed before beginning Writing with Skill. If completed, you may skip Weeks 8 and 9, but discuss the Space and Distance Words/Phrases for descriptions found in Appendix I of the Student Journal (p.488) and complete week 10.

    2. If you are using Progeny Press literature guides which provide similar lessons, you may skip Part IV: Beginning Literary Criticism: Prose, but read the overview together. Additional literary analyses will be a focus in MFW high school especially in years 2 and 3.

    3. MFW high school includes two formal opportunities for large research projects in years 2 and 4, so you may skip Part V: Research, but read the overview and complete Weeks 30 and 31: Writing from Notes. Note taking is a valuable study skill for high school and beyond.

    4. If your child completed Intermediate Language Lessons poetry lessons, you may skip most or all of Part VI: Beginning Literary Criticism: Poetry. Poetry will be studied in MFW high school. (If you have boys, consider completing Week 34, "Charge of the Light Brigade." Several of the poetry concepts from this section could be explored orally including younger members of the family.)

abrightmom
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Re: 8th grade ?s: Apologia Physical, WWS 1 and RTR

Unread post by abrightmom » Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:09 pm

Thanks so much. These instructions are a big help.
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

RachelT
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Re: 8th grade ?s: Apologia Physical, WWS 1 and RTR

Unread post by RachelT » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:22 pm

Aha! I am so happy to see the instructions for using WWS with an 8th grader! I had not found them yet on the website until seeing this post. :) How many days a week should I schedule WWS for my 8th grader who did not use it in 7th grade? I have an older ECC guide that shows Writing Strands for 2 days / week for 7th & 8th graders? It looks as if you could do the whole book as it is laid out in 4 days of lessons each week for 36 weeks. Thanks for your help!
Julie - Staff wrote: Consider adding one additional writing day to complete more than half the book by the end of the year.
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

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