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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Success with Homeschool Writing

While planning our curriculum schedule earlier this year, I searched the internet for a writing curriculum that my son and I could use in our homeschool. It was a desperate search I have to admit because writing is a subject my son struggles with. I have tried other curriculum that have ended in tears and frustration for both me and my son. My search brought me to Essentials in Writing, and I was so happy with what I saw on their website! I was given a copy of the Essentials in Writing Grade 5 curriculum in exchange for my honest review.

Remember the tears and frustrations I told you my son and I have experienced with other writing curriculum? Well, I'm relieved to report that is not the case with Essentials in Writing! Excuse me for a moment while I do my happy dance! ;-)
Essentials in Writing does not overwhelm my son, yet I feel confident it will be successful in teaching him proper grammar and the mechanics of writing so that another person can understand what he writes. Now that is success with homeschool writing!

What I Like About Essentials in Writing:

  • Step by step instructions for daily lessons are given for me on the Essentials in Writing website. I've printed these instructions off and place them in my teaching binder for writing.
  • DVD lessons presented by Matthew Stephen, the creator of EIW, are short and engaging as he teaches to actual students.
  • The lessons are a reasonable amount of work so that my son does not become overwhelmed.
  • Worksheets are in PDF format so I can print them off as I need them. My son is sensitive to things such as the binding of a workbook – he likes his worksheets to lay flat – which I can do by printing them off individually with the PDF file.
  • Answer key is provided for the worksheets.
  • The whole program is laid out so that it is homeschooler friendly and not as complicated as some of the other writing programs out there that I've looked at.
  • The price of the program is very reasonable and affordable for homeschooling families with limited budgets.
  • I was given help in choosing the best grade level for my son whose struggle with writing has put him behind. We were told Grade 5 would be best for his situation. It has been a perfect fit for him!


How We are Using Essentials in Writing:

  • We first take a look at the lesson’s worksheet for the day’s assignment. I briefly describe to my son what we will be learning.
  • We watch the DVD segment for the day’s lesson together. If I feel it is necessary, I will do further examples that were discussed during the DVD lesson on our whiteboard.
  • After watching the lesson, we complete the assignment. Some lessons have multiple worksheets that are done on consecutive days. If my son needs the review, we will watch the lesson again before completing the next day’s worksheet.
  • We end our writing time by talking about what he has learned and looking at the next day’s lesson.

Sections of Essentials in Writing:

  • Section I         Grammar and Other Topics
  • Section II        Composition

I like how my son is being eased into the writing process. Matthew has carefully structured his curriculum by first creating a strong grammar foundation in the student before tackling composition assignments. This shows a thoughtful concern for the success of the student in my opinion. I appreciate that so much!

If you have a child who is struggling with writing, I would highly recommend Essentials in Writing. Visit their website here to learn more!

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