Susan Wise Bauer has designed the curriculum according to the governing principles of the classical model of education, which often means that the timing of instruction is different from what it is in our American school system, and very likely, in the UK school system. She explains the model in The Well-Trained Mind, 4th Edition, on pages 13-19.
In the classical model, we lay the foundations in the early years. Then, in the middle years, we start to order them, to make sense of them. In the upper years, we build on a solid foundation, with ordered thought, to write and speak with force and originality. This pattern is not the one followed by our school system, where 1st graders are asked to order paragraphs before they have the foundations in constructing complete thoughts in sentences. It’s like being asked to build a house before learning how to use a hammer.
You can read also in The Well-Trained Mind more detailed explanations about the language skills gained in each of the stages, where each topic is fleshed out, and where Dr. Bauer correlates the students interaction with writing, grammar, literature, history, science--not as separate "subjects" but as bodies of knowledge brought forward together. She also discusses the integration of creative writing as an elective, especially in the middle- and upper-years.
You can see samples of the Well-Trained Mind Press curriculum on our website. Each product has an extensive sample (click the purple button under the photo of the product), which includes the table of contents and some of the pages so you can see how the curriculum is set up.
You might find these articles on writing interesting.
And finally, you might find some helpful bits of information in our Help Center's FAQs.
Each state in the U.S. has its own curriculum standards--the Well-Trained Mind Press makes no attempt to match the requirements of any of the states, but writes its curriculum to help parents (and schools) deliver a top-notch education for their students.
Whenever our curricula divert from the pace and objectives of school system standards, it is because we have tailored our curricula to match the child’s developmental stage and capability. By writing our curricula with the student in mind, we are able to engage students instead of exasperating and over-stretching them. Because of this, students using Well-Trained Mind curricula are often better prepared than their public school counterparts for the rigors of high school and college.