Item description for The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease: Strong Fundamentals (Complete Writer) by Susan Wise Bauer...
Overview Outlines a four-year writing program for elementary-grade students that combines traditional and alternative methods, in a guide for parents and teachers that shares specific steps for helping children to write with skill and confidence.
Publishers Description Young students who learn to write well need one-on-one instruction--something which your child's classroom may not offer. In The Complete Writer series, Susan Wise Bauer turns every parent into a writing teacher. No experience is needed. Drawing on her fifteen years of experience in teaching writing, Susan lays out a carefully-designed sequence of steps that will teach every student to put words on paper with ease and grace. This alternative plan for teaching writing combines the best elements of old-fashioned writing instruction with innovative new educational methods--and explains why so many writing programs fail. Designed for elementary-aged writers and for older students who still struggle, Writing With Ease builds a sturdy foundation of basic skills for grades 1-4 (or levels 1-4 for the older student who needs more work) all in the same book. Diagnostic tests within the book will help the parent to determine where the child needs to start and which workbook the child will need. You can use the text by itself as a guide, then choose your own copywork and dictation; or you can buy the workbooks (available separately), which do all the work for you. Each workbooks will cover one grade. This Instructor Text covers grades 1-4 in 144 lessons, 4 explanatory chapters, and 4 appendices.
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Studio: Peace Hill Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1.12 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2008
Publisher Peace Hill Press
Grade Level Grade School
Series Complete Writer
ISBN 193333925X ISBN13 9781933339252
Availability 0 units.
More About Susan Wise Bauer
Susan Wise Bauer is the best-selling author of the Story of the World series, The Well-Trained Mind, The Well-Educated Mind, The History of the Ancient World, and The History of the Medieval World. She lives in Charles City, Virginia.
Susan Wise Bauer currently resides in Charles City, in the state of Virginia. Susan Wise Bauer has an academic affiliation as follows - College of William & Mary in Virginia College of William and Mary Coll.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease: Strong Fundamentals?
line upon line Aug 17, 2008
my daughter HATES to write. we've been using this program for a week, and already the sentences chosen to copy are so intriguing for her she actually requested we check out the book it's taken from. this is the child that doesn't have patience for chapter books. she's already read through 24 pages of it within the first two days of starting it. but i digress...
this copy work and narrative work is exactly what my daughter needs. mrs. bauer is precisely right when she teaches the parent that writing from thoughts is a two step process and the children need to be taught how to do those steps separately (copy work & narration - parent writes the narration). my child continuously gave me zippy little narratives because she didn't want to copy down big long sentences after she was done thinking it through. with the time to grow her writing ability even five words at a time while simultaneously strengthening her summary and narration skills, she is now on the path for inevitable success.
the best part is these writing exercises take no more than 5-10 minutes per day, four days per week. ahhh, gone are the cries in protest when i announce it's time to do writing! thank you susan bauer yet again!
Hopeful Homeschooler Aug 16, 2008
CAVEAT: Take this preliminary review with a particular grain of salt, for I am an English teacher who unabashedly embraces "The Well-Trained Mind" philosophy behind the Wise-Bauer/Buffington writing team. While this review is a bit premature, I am hopeful that my children will reap benefits similar to those acquired through their related Peace Hill Press grammar and history series.
THEORY: SWB explains that her motivation for this book was her experience as an ivy league college professor of literature and history. Simply put, her well-educated students could not write well. She argues against the theory that one should "Give the children high-interest assignments and have them write, write, write, and revise, revise, revise." This is not how I was taught to write, but it WAS how I was taught to teach, and I, too, endured the blank and panicked students' stares produced by that philosophy.
SWB compares writing to a foreign language. The conventions must be absorbed before the non-native speaker is fluent. Says Wise-Bauer, "Imagine that you have had a year or so of conversational French...After the first year, your teacher asks you to explain the problem of evil in French...(it would be impossible) to express complicated ideas in a medium that is unfamiliar... The conventions...need to become second nature -- invisible -- so that you can concentrate on the ideas rather than the medium." Speech is natural and necessary. Writing is not. Many can, and do, get by without learning to write well.
PRACTICALS: In Writing With Ease, the elementary years are less about creative output, and more about intake and foundations. The small book is packed with week-by-week exercises (36 for each year) aimed at building one layer at a time. She covers roughly four years in a succinct 216 pages: Years One and Two: Narration, Copywork and Dictation; Years Three and Four: Putting the Steps Together. The copywork samples come primarily from fables, fairy tales, and childhood classics such as "Little House" and "Charlotte's Web". No dull prose allowed.
SWB then thoroughly describes the writing process taught through the middle and high school years, giving this homeschooling mom courage. Says Bauer, "The goal is to turn the young writer into a thoughtful student who can make use of written language, rather than struggle with it." She adds, "Good writing requires training. It demands one-on-one attention." To that I respond with a heart-felt "Amen, sister!"
I've given it four stars after I've previewed the contents, but I hope to add the fifth after the year is over.
NOTE: Some teacher prepraration is required. SWB models the lessons, and then you will cull material from the student's texts and literature books. It's actually very simple to implement and takes very little time. I like to take passages from literature relating to other subjects they are already studying. My kids, second and fourth grade, respectively, love it because we are done in 5-10 minutes. SWB also gives short grammar cues for you to subtly tie in to the lesson.
MY TWO CENTS: I am ridiculously grateful to have my hands held when it comes to teaching writing to my own kids! I used to teach grammar and composition on the middle and high school level. I left public school dismayed by the students' response to writing in general (never mind the heinous grammatical butchery -- the slaughter wrought through "texting" still haunts me to this day). They hated and feared writing. I never expected prose worthy of Faulkner, but the ability to write simply, clearly, and meaningfully was beyond most -- even the "honor roll" students were woefully inept and overwhelmed by the simplest assignments. I had 145 students x 100 assignments (there were always many who would never in a years' time complete a single writing assignment) X 36 weeks divided by the few hours I had after the 100 daily "administrative" tasks (I actually had to spend the first precious minutes of each day doing a "clothing check" for violations -- Argh!). There was little time to address the fundamentals so obviously lacking, and even less time for meaningingful (and mostly ignored) editorial, instructive feedback. I'm thankful for the experience, for I might never have known the joys of homeschooling.
Best writing program i have seen. Aug 8, 2008
This book is what i had hoped to find. My son has a vivid imagination and talks incessantly. But, when it came time for him to write he would write the simplist of sentances, ie. "I like blue." I was unsure of where to start. With this book I have four years of direction and an understanding of what he should be accomplishing. I have been using this book for 2 weeks now. I can already see a difference. I would never have thought it would help so quickly. I am glad that this book was released just in time for me. I look forward to years of using this book.