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Has anyone used "Writing with Ease?"

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

It's a Susan Wise Bauer/WTM book.  I'm looking for some sort of writing curriculum, and honestly what got me interested in this one were the reviews on Amazon.com where people talked about it taking just 10 minutes a day to do each lesson. 


It was also unclear to me if you really need the workbooks.


Any feedback or experience with this program?

post #2 of 16

I just ordered it and got it in the mail on Monday. I haven't had a chance to look at it, but I'm looking forward to starting it! I ordered the hardcover book as well as the workbook.

post #3 of 16

yes. we use writing with ease & love it. i use WWE2 with my 3rd grader.  it really does take just 10 minutes a day.  i use WWE1 with my son (first grade), but i only use it for narration currently.  next year, i'll use it fully as instructed though.  for writing, i use spelling plus with him currently.  it is age appropriate for grade 1, i just like WWE2 for grade 3, so by pacing it out this way it works best for us.  


with my daughter we add in a lot of extra narrations, R&S english (which has additional writing assignments), and we just started using "ignite your writing". 



post #4 of 16

oh. yes...imho the workbooks are awesome, as it lays out perfectly what to do each day.  however, if you prefer using passages from other subjects, the guide instructs you well enough in how to do that.  i bought the complete writer to begin with, but switched to the workbooks.  i prefer them, but the complete writer is good too (just more work).  we do narrations with science and history as well.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for your feedback!  So do I really need the teacher's manual AND the workbooks, or are the workbooks self-explanatory enough? 


Also, do the workbook levels correspond to approximate grade?  E.g., if I buy one for my first and third grader, would I buy levels 1 & 3?



post #6 of 16

no, you only need the complete writer OR the workbooks - not both.  yes, the levels are meant to correspond to the appropriate grade level (according to the WTM anyway) BUT i have found level 3 to be too much for my daughter, as we just began using WWE this year.  level 2 is perfect though, not overwhelming at all, and very doable for her.  with my son, level 1 would be appropriate...but knowing that i'd like to use level 2 in grade 3 with him, i'm stretching level 1 over this year and next (but it isn't necessary...just my personal preference).   i *think* there's a placement test or something.  i would definitely ask at TWTM forums before buying, that way you're sure to get the best level for your 3rd grader.  your first grader should be fine though.  for some reason if it was too much (which i doubt it would be) you could use it for narrations this year and incorporate it as intended in grade 2.

post #7 of 16

oh. i was wrong. i just checked at peace hill press & the grade levels vary a little.  book 1 is recommended for grades 1/2. book 2 is recommended for grades 2/3 & book 3 is recommended for grades 3/4, etc.  anyway...there is a little leeway (and falls nicely in line with my master plan, lol).



post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info Elizawill!  Would you mind telling me how the program goes?  What do you do everyday for 10 minutes with this program?  I'm also confused about the concept of narration; is that just where the child tells you a writing idea, and then you/they write it down?  Anyhow, if you have a moment I'd love to hear a little more about this. 



post #9 of 16

I'm using WWE 1 for my 1st grade DS1 right now.  I bought the PDF version of the workbook and had it printed out in black & white and bound at the UPS store.  (I just print out the student pages for him as I need them, that way I can do the same for my younger kids when they get to 1st grade.)


There are lessons 4 days a week, and they do only take about 10 minutes.  For each week there is one literature selection.  Typically day 1 would be copywork, DS1 picks one of two pre-printed sentences to copy.  Day 2 is narration - I read a selection from that week's piece and ask some questions about it, then ask him one thing he remembers about it.  We've been a bit lax about doing WWE so far (we're pretty relaxed classical homeschoolers) but I've seen a big improvement in his listening skills and his retention.  Then I write down the sentence he comes up with about what he remembers.  Day 3 is copywork again, and day 4 is narration again (and this time he also copies down the sentence that I write about what he remembers from the passage).


I wasn't so sure I was going to stick with WWE, with the copywork and me writing down the sentence about what he remembered from the passage, etc.  Based on a recommendation from the WTM boards, I downloaded SWB's audio lecture "A Plan for Teaching Writing: Focus on the Elementary Grades" and listened to it, it helped explain the reasoning behind the program a bit more.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

That is really interesting - thanks!  I actually like the idea of copy work, because that could do double-duty of practicing handwriting at the same time.  Where did you buy the pdf version???

post #11 of 16

red sonja covered it all. it's 4 days a week. we're on week 15 of book 2 & this is what it looks like:


day 1: narration exercise (read passage from mrs. frisby & the rats of nimh). ask questions about the passage. then my child in 2 or 3 sentences needs to summarize the passage.


day 2: copywork exercise (She wished she knew where to find a bit of green lettuce, or a small egg, or a taste of cheese, or a corn muffin.)

It also gives you some instruction for reviewing the grammar of the sentence.


day 3: dictation exercise (you'll use the sentence they copied yesterday. you repeat it a few times, and your 3rd grader will need to "hold" the sentence and write it all from memory correctly.  you should not feed it to them line by line). 


....this is basically why i went with WWE2, as level 3 requires more & we just hadn't exposed enough dictation to my dd at that point. i think she would have been frustrated.  some passages are more complex than the sample above, and other passages can require spelling help for my little girl (you aren't supposed to let them misspell words).


day 4: Narration & Dictation (read another passage from same story. ask questions. summarize. you write it down while your child narrates & she watches you... then, you dictate it it back to her without her looking, and she writes it down.)


anyway. easy. painless. simple.



we also use simply spelling and spelling plus (and their dictation resource book) for additional copywork & dictation. we also incorporate narrations in science and history.






ETA - the pdf is available at peacehill press. i like the workbook though, as it includes instructions and student pages

Edited by elizawill - 12/3/10 at 4:28pm
post #12 of 16
I don't like it. I bought it and you only need the workbook. Both of my kids think it's ridiculously boring and tedious, and I have to agree. Plus when used with FLL, it's totally redundant and unnecessary, IMO.
post #13 of 16

irked.gifI'm a little ticked off because either the WTM website or the home education website I bought it from led me to believe I need both the complete writer and the workbook. So I bought both. Waste of money and I can't return the complete writer. We are using the workbook. The complete writer was a complete waste of money because we will be using the workbooks. If you buy the workbooks, you do not need the complete writer. If you buy the complete writer you don't need the workbooks.

post #14 of 16

What's the difference between the workbooks and the Complete Writer book?  My 7yo dd needs more help with writing (not just actual penmanship but also with spelling and the actual process) and this sounds like it may be a quick and simple addition to our schoolwork if it may help her a little bit with where she's struggling.

post #15 of 16
I think the main difference is the workbook already has selections and questions preprinted for you. If you're using the book then you can just pick your own selections from whatever you're reading, or from your science, history, whatever you want. Since DS2 was only 2 months at the start of this school year I went with the workbook, I wanted to make everything as easy on myself as possible. wink1.gif
post #16 of 16

What I like about the Complete Writer is the breakdown about the writing process in the first half or so of the book . I liked buying the Complete Writer first because it helped me understand the program before investing in the workbooks. We completed FLL 1/2 and are working in FLL3 and I mistakingly bought WWE Workbook 3 and found it too much for where we were. Workbook 2 breaks down dictation and helped me understand that process more as I was wasn't using much dictation.

If your child is comfortable with the narration,dictation and has a good grasp of spelling book 3 would be a good start for a 3/4th grader. The narration helps with questions and focusing on the process of writing. We love it. I like that all of the passages are chosen and it is a pick up and go subject for us. We will follow it loosely and probably not do all of the weeks before moving on to book 3.

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