Thursday, December 19, 2013

Writing With Ease - Review

writing with ease Australia

My 7 year old is a reluctant writer. When I say reluctant, I mean that he is more than happy to spend time writing stories but resists any of the rules of writing e.g correct punctuation. It is often messy, rushed and unreadable to anyone but him. When he was 5 I was happy with this as I wanted him to simply enjoy the experience of expressing his thoughts. I felt that perhaps as time went on that he would seek to be understood in his writing and learn to write so that others could enjoy his beautifully creative stories. This didn't happen. He continued to resist any guidance in even just the simple idea of capital letters and fullstops. Why? I think he just honestly didn't see any point! Hence why I named him a 'reluctant writer'.

In my search for writing program that would work for him I turned to Writing with Ease. 

wrtiting curriculum homeschool Australia

It is written by Susan Wise Bauer who is well known for her classical approach to homeschooling and curriculum. I consider my homeschooling style to be eclectic but a lot of what we do is fairly classical. We use many of the Susan Wise Bauer's resources including first language lessons for the well trained mind which can be used with this writing resource. 

Writing with Ease is a program that begins in the early years of years 1 - 4 and has subsequent programs that move through to the proficient writing of year 12. The idea is that at around certain ages children have a readiness to learn particular skills in relation to writing and these skills build as the child grows. For the early years the focus is on copywork, narration and dictation. These provide a solid foundation for building the skills of writing and set children up for success in written communication.

Writing with Skill (Years 5–8) 
In the middle grades the student learns to organize sentences into short compositions.
By now, he can put ideas he’s already read into his own words and get those words down on paper without difficulty. The technical difficulty of learning the act of writing has been conquered. But until the student can begin to think about the order in which ideas should be set down, he’ll continue to struggle with written composition. So during the middle-grade years, you’ll help the student develop a
toolbox of strategies for putting ideas into order.
writing with ease Australia
The lessons are short and simple and easy to follow and for this reason would be suitable for children younger than my son. However, it also engages older children through the use of classical literature. 

One thing I love about using narration as a technique is that it forces my son to THINK. What have I just read or heard? What happened first? Who are the characters? What happened when the princess kissed the frog? This technique, that I'd never heard of prior to homeschooling, is fantastic at encouraging higher order thinking and building skills in verbal expression and reasoning. 

We have been really happy with writing with ease and I plan on using this resource with my 6 year old next year too!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Writing with Ease: Strong fundamentals and workbook 1 for the purpose of this review.

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