Staying on the subject of curriculum, I just have to share my experience with Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). My oldest, who is just finishing up his Sophomore year of high school took his first on-line class from IEW this year and I must say that it is the MOST fabulous program!! Writing is something we have struggled with from the very beginning. Just forming letters was a challenge for this child. There where times we were both in tears. As time past he did progress and did manage to learn grammar, however when he actually had to USE grammar things fell apart. Another obstacle was the fact he was extremely sensitive to ANY criticism. This makes teaching writing quite an under taking to say the least.
Then when he got into the middle school level of work, a friend had recommended IEW. At the time I looked into it, but it was cost prohibitive for us. As time went on I was feeling like a total failure in the area of writing and thought, that while my son seemed quite bright when he had to represent himself on paper his brightness would fade to dim. I used to stay awake nights thinking he'd never be able to go much further education wise unless I hired a tutor or had some other kind of intervention. Finally a couple of years ago, I bit the bullet and managed to purchase the IEW program. It was wonderful, however I still had the challenge of a sensitive child to criticism. I thought "I just can't be this child's teacher for this subject". I just couldn't get him past thinking, "If I can't write it correctly the first time, I can't write". No matter how many times explained that even professional writers had editors, I just could not convince him. Then this school year IEW offered their first on-line class option. It was indeed an answer to prayer!! As soon as I received the email about it I enrolled him. He was quite reluctant at first and quite anxious about having someone else reading his writing. However, after just a short time he was successful and as many of you know success begets success. He has one more week of class and after two semesters has carried a high B to a low A average throughout the class. His writing today is so well done, for the most part, my worry is over! Now we just have to keep him writing so he doesn't lose his new found skills.
So if you have a reluctant writer and don't know what to do. Check out IEW! They will also be at the WHO Conference next month! You won't be sorry and they have curriculum beginning in the lower primary grades. You don't have to wait until high school to fix this challenge!!