Friday, August 25, 2017

2017-2018 Curriculum Preview - IEW Themed Based Writing Lessons and Literature....

I'm trying a new approach this year for writing with my Year 7 child. I'll be using Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons with Ruben. I don't typically use writing curriculum. Our children simply narrate. Beginning orally and transitioning to written. However, Ruben has a bit of trouble getting started. We briefly tried Writing & Rhetoric by Classical Academic Press for a term last year unsuccessfully. I then pulled my dusty IEW Level B off the shelf and tried it.

IEW is something I collected years ago after completing a seminar with a local homeschool group, watching the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style together. Once I learned the method, I dabbled in it with our high school graduate, but didn't stick with it as she was a fine narrator and I didn't see the need. I have since heard many success stories of people using IEW with their dyslexic kiddos. Ruben and I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing Mr. Pudewa speak at the CiRCE Regional Conference back in January. Ruben enjoyed Mr. Pudewa immensely so I thought maybe I'd give IEW another try.

We completed several lessons of IEW Level B in the spring. Ruben bought into it and enjoyed writing as much as he could. Having dysgraphia, writing has been a consistent struggle alongside reading. However, while using IEW Level B, I saw growth. This was very encouraging. I want to continue. Since we are studying Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation this year for history, I decided to try the IEW Themed Based Lessons for this time period.

The Theme Based Lessons come with a Teacher's Manual and Student Book. The Teacher's Manual includes the lesson pages from the Student Book, along with teaching notes, sample key word outlines, answers to questions and vocabulary quizzes, as well as ideas for motivating the student. There are 30 lessons. It is suggested that one lesson will take approx. one week at 4 days per week. However, a few may take 2 weeks. I'm not as concerned about timing of a lesson as much as whether Ruben is understanding the material and showing continued growth in his writing. In addition, the Student Book contains vocabulary cards to accompany the writing lessons. However, I'm undecided as to whether or now we'll use these, as Ruben's vocabulary is very strong. I attribute this to years of classic book and literature read alouds.

Something that I really like about the Medieval Theme Based Lessons is the suggested literature list. In the scope and sequence, Lori Verstegen, the author, has included a list of titles to accompany the writing study. The suggested books look wonderful and many of them are the same books used in BF's Medieval History Intermediate study, which means Riley and Ruben will be reading many of the same titles.

The suggested books are:

Beowulf by Michael Morpurgo
1001 Arabian Nights by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Legend of King Arthur by Roger Lancelyn Green
The King's Shadow by Elizabeth Alder
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle
Robin Hood by J. Walker McSpadden
Marco Polo by Demi
The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
Crispin: The Cross of Lead by AVI

These will be Ruben's literature books for the year. I will throw in a few other history titles and that will be covered as well. So there you have it, our writing, literature, and history base for Ruben's Year 7!

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