Austin and I did the first lesson from the Student Writing Intensive A (from the Institute for Excellence in Writing) last night. This lesson involved watching the DVD, and I sat with him, watching and pausing the DVD to give him time to write things down and to clarify the expectations!
The first lesson was in key word outlines, which I am familiar with from the seminar that I took about IEW a couple of years ago. This is going to be a really good exersize for Austin, because he struggles with comprehension, and pulling important things (i.e. key words) from what he reads! I enjoyed having the DVDs and Mr. Pudewa emphasized that the expectation is not perfection! He also said that he doesn't want the children to spend alot of time on being so neat that they lose the flow of their ideas. In fact, he wants them to use a pen so they aren't tempted to erase! This is huge for Austin, as he has been known to erase a word a number of times because it isn't 'right'!
The first lesson took about an hour. I did end up taking dictation for Austin when it was time to re-write the paragraph from the keyword outline since it was after 9 PM. The next few weeks will be spent practicing keyword outlines, so I will be shooting for him to complete the process on his own by the end of that time (well, at least doing the writing himself, he may still need help with the act of doing a keyword outline).
The lessons that come with the SWI-A are supposed to take 15 weeks, but we're doing them at half-speed so it will take all of the school year. I would rather go slow and steady with Austin and allow him the time he needs to get used to this approach to writing!
I'll continue to update about our writing lessons as we continue through the program!