Regular readers of this blog have probably heard me talk about the ongoing battle I have with teaching writing with the boys. To ease the unease in the house, I’ve switched gears when things have gotten desperate.
A few years back, we reviewed Write Shop Primary, Book A with D. It was just the gently, guided approach he needed at the time to learn a bit more about writing.
While we were using a product with R that was working to a degree, I decided that he’d join D and I in using Write Shop Junior, Book D. Even though you can do this with just one child, I thought he’d benefit from the gentler approach and some lessons would be more fun in a group.
Book D Table of Contents
- Letter of Invitation
- Science Fiction
- Historical Fiction
- Personal Narrative
- Expository Writing: Factual Article
Skills Introduced in Book D
- Identify and use proper grammar and punctuation
- Narrow a broad topic to a specific topic
- Brainstorm before writing
- Structure a sentence
- Write a paragraph
- Choose strong words instead of weak ones
- Write sentences of different lengths
- Use emotion words to develop voice
- Use the five senses to add descriptive detail
- Self-edit and revise their work
- Creatively publish their final drafts
Each lesson has a grammar section where the child puts together a folder (they call them fold-n-go’s) that provide some immediate activity and learning and then can serve as a reference when writing.
One feature of this program that the boys have really enjoyed is the games to reinforce learning. Below are a few photos from the first lesson’s game where they randomly choose a section for the letter’s body and each time draw another piece, checking if it matches the letter and either keeping it or putting it back into the pile for another round. They are supposed to put all the pieces in the correct spot, but the bottom photo just shows pieces together. The boys had a blast playing this one (J joined in with help and somehow managed to ‘win’ most of the times we played!)
Things I like about this particular product:
- Everything is laid out for the instructor with some prep work required for certain lessons.
- The lessons are broken down into bite-sized portions so the child does not get overwhelmed.
- As the instructor, you can opt to work through lessons at a pace that fits your child. The teacher guide provides the schedule for either a 2 or 3 week approach for each lesson. (We ended up somewhere in between, speeding up to a 2 week approach when we were going to be getting busy.)
- With the ebook formatting, I can print what I need, when I need it. Permission is given to make as many copies as you need for your family. Site licenses are available for schools or co-ops to use the program.
- There are a variety of writing assignments covered in this title. Starting with a letter of introduction was a more gentle approach compared to some writing programs we used and it showed a very practical need for writing skills.
At this point, we are wrapping up the second lesson and I plan to keep going through part of the summer with it. I want the boys to grow in their ability to write and this product is fitting quite well for both my 3rd and 6th grader at the moment. While I eventually want them to graduate to a program that does not require me, as instructor, to be actively involved in each step, I am seeing that my higher level of involvement is what they need right now.
Write Shop Junior, Book D comes in several parts that are available in ebook or print format:
Teacher Guide ($39.95 in print, $35.95 in ebook format)
Student Activity Pack ($39.95 in print, $29.95 in ebook format)
Time Saver Pack ($13.95 in print or ebook)
Level 1 Fold-n-Go Grammar Pack ($19.95 in print, $11.95 in ebook format)
If you visit the website, you’ll find samples from the book as well. Don’t forget to check out their packages for younger elementary as well as the older kids, too. Order one of the WriteShop Primary or Junior items and use CREW15 to receive 15% off those items through June 15, 2012.
Disclaimer ~ This review was done as part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew program with time limited access to the product for completing the review. No monetary compensation occurred and all opinions are my own. You can find the thoughts of other homeschool parents at the Homeschool Crew page for this product.
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