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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I bought this because my son missed something in public school when it came to writing. I have since taken up homeschooling.

This book, as long as it is NOT labeled "Homeschool", is very good. The version, at this level, labeled "Homeschool" comes up short by about 20 pages.

Writing Strands Level 2, requires adult participation; levels 3 & 4 require very little, if any.

This book is easy to read, easy to follow and in some parts funny. It is designed for children 6-7 years old and is meant to last an entire school year. However, since my son is 10 and so far behind, some lessons were modified to be more age appropriate and we did more than one lesson at a time.

As articulate as my son is, 3 months ago he was hard pressed to write simple 4 word sentences, and had no concept of a paragraph. Using just this book he is now writing 6-8 word descriptive sentences with 5-8 sentences per paragraph. However, I must admit it is with applied effort, and continued coaxing. He'd rather chat than write.

He is now into the Writing Strands Level 3 book, and I am extremely impressed. Writing has become easier for him, and much more pleasant for me to read.

If you are a homeschooling parent, or would like to give your public school child a leg up, I highly recommend any of the Writing Strands books. Just double check the version you order.

Do NOT order the versions labeled homeschool anywhere in the title. Although these books were designed for homeshooling, the versions with Homeschool in the title are revised versions and have been watered down.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I thought when I bought this book that it was a little bit thin to cover writing skills over the course of a year. It is not too thin. It is just right. It provides a years worth of lessons that will improve your child's writing. For a homeschooler this is an easy to follow, well written beginning to writing.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book starts off good, it appears. My daughter started it spring of her 3rd grade. We gave up on it winter of the next year with the typical summer break.

The assignments seem fun at first, but then it just gets monotonous with little real guidance.

We switched to SonLight's Language Arts program co-developed with Dr. Ruth Beechick (The 3 R's). It's so much easier with well thought out guidance. My 2nd grader is dictating (still working on penmanship) full paragraphs! Writing Strands schedule feels overwhelming when you get into more substantial assignments. SL's is broken down into child friendly portions easily completed in 10-20 minutes, and really the most time consuming is the child's physiological struggles with penmanship.

5/2011 We have moved on, yet again. I found the SL curriculum lacking guidance for me and my kids. There is no instruction on how to write outlines. I was avoiding the lessons. The dictation exercises (we made them copy work) gave no real results. They just seem like busy work. We are now using IEW Institute for Excellence in Writing and loving it! I purchased the kids curriculum and an all important teacher's guide (both include dvd's). This one is a keeper.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am an eclectic homeschool mom, and piece together a full curriculum from several different sources, rather than using a boxed program. Writing Strands 2 is by no means a full Language Arts curriculum, but makes a wonderful addition to our other materials. I divide our Language Arts work into four sections: Spelling, Grammar, Handwriting/Composition, and Auditory/Comprehension. My daughter has CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder), and this curriculum helped her to become more descriptive, both when speaking and writing. She has always enjoyed writing, and this taught her how to make her words flow. Paired with All About Spelling, Easy Grammar, and independent reading and testing for comprehension, my daughter is thriving. Because there are 15 exercises, we rotate weeks with this curriculum, and on the weeks she is not using this book, she is writing independently, and incorporating what she's recently learned. I've gotten rid of many curriculum because it didn't work for my daughter, but this is one I'm definitely hanging onto for my other two!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This has been a less traumatic (and dramatic) way to teach my youngest son to write. He seems to enjoy the writing process so far. And it is easy for me to guide him through the process.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
We are fairly classical in our homeschooling. I bought this book on recommendation from Cathy Duffy. I was horrified when the book claims that "problems with grammar can best be solved on a need-to-know-basis. The way young people learn to write is by writing and not by filling out workbooks or identifying verbs and nouns." Statements such as "there is no one right way to write anything" follow. As a former English teacher, I have seen the results of this educational philosophy come through my classroom; I won't subject my kids to this standard of learning. The assignments themselves cover a variety of skills from "reporting" to "role playing" and "imagination". I will not be using this book.
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on January 14, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I rated this with five stars because it truly breaks writing down into smaller steps and focuses on different aspects of writing without overwhelming. It gives clear instructions to the parent/teacher. Writing has become fun again in our home. Thank you, Dave Marks. I highly recommend Writing Strands. If your students loves writing and it comes naturally or if your student struggles...all students can benefit from Writing Strands.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am home schooling my 7-year-old who HATES writing and this book is so great for him. Instead of rote writing boring sentences, he gets to write about what interests him and then he gets to build on that choppy sentence to create his own full thought! It is simple, fun and engaging for both him and I.
I LOVE Writing Strands!
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on September 4, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I found that although this book was very thorough, that it was a bit too advanced for my second grader last year (homeschool). The curriculum we are using now recommends this but waiting and using the level 4 and starting in 4th grade, which is what I plan to do now. Like I said, good book- just too advanced for my grade 2 child.
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on December 31, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
After getting it and reading through it, I found it wasn't what I was looking for. I wanted a more comprehensive writing program and most especially a way to evaluate my daughter's work. I ended up using an Excellence in Writing curriculum which I love.
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