In case any of you have been checking back to see what I think of our new writing program, I wanted to give an update.
We've been homeschooling for 26 years now, and I have never found a program that's brought us as much benefit as Classical Writing
.We've tried Understanding Writing, Writing Strands, the writing component of Tapestry of Grace, and several others whose names I can't recall right now. While we've found some good points about all of these, we've never seen the kind of success we'd hoped for, either in results or in our ability to be consistent with the programs. And despite that fact that I am a writer, I was never very good at teaching writing skills. I can mark up a writing assignment just fine, but pointing out errors is a far cry from teaching good writing.
Well, so far this academic year, Tim has produced a dozen good pieces and has learned a lot of grammar and diagramming skills to boot. I will humbly confess that this is probably more than I've ever accomplished in an entire academic year with any of my other kids, as writing was always one of the first things to fall off during the crazy times (read: several times a year). Well, we've had our share of crazy times this year, with a wedding, travel, BMT graduation week, etc. and yet we've still managed to accomplish what I consider a tremendous amount of quality learning.
Granted, I am only teaching one student writing this year (John Caleb is taking his writing through our co-op). I can't claim that everyone is going to get the results we've gotten with Tim. However, Tim is a boy, and boys tend to be more resistant to writing than girls, and yet he is thriving in this program. As a matter of fact, what I've learned this year is that he's already a very good writer and I just didn't know it! He's enjoyed each piece he's done, especially because much of the material has been very guy-friendly: Trojan horse, Genghis Khan, etc. And during the weeks that we haven't been able to do a writing project, he's actually been disappointed, prompting me to check to make sure he's feeling okay. I've NEVER had this kind of writing enthusiasm with any of my nine, even with those who are natural writers.
The program is time-intensive for the mom, both in planning and executing. But for me, for this year, it's been perfectly doable since I'm only working with one student and really wanted this to be the year of a lot of one-on-one time with Tim. If you have just one or two students, or you have two or more who are close enough in age/ability to do the same assignments with small adjustments, I encourage you to take a hard look at Classical Writing. I couldn't be more pleased.