Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Write Foundation




We began this school year knowing that we needed to put an emphasis on writing in our homeschool.     Writing hasn't been our highest priority in the past, but with our daughters reaching higher grades, we know it's time to focus on more structured writing assignments and styles.



I was very excited when we found out we'd be reviewing The Write Foundation as part of our Homeschool Crew duties.   We were allowed to choose our level, so I chose Level 2: Paragraphs, which is geared for ages 12-15.   By choosing level 2 instead of level 3, I was able to use it with both my 8th and 10th grade daughters.


The Write Foundation has 3 levels to its curriculum:

  • Level 1 - Sentence to Paragraph Writing (ages 11 - 13)

  • Level 2 - Paragraph Writing (ages 12 - 15)

  • Level 3 - Essay Writing (ages 14 - 17)


Within each level, there are 3 components required to teach the course:

  • Spiral Bound Lesson Plan Book

  • Worksheets for each student

  • Additional Resources CD


We received the Lesson Plan book, a packet of worksheets for both of my daughters, and a download of the additional resources.

ElCloud Experience:

We struggled with implementing this course at first.  It took me awhile to understand the format of the lessons, and figure out how to tweak them to better suit our family. Our first lesson included too much of me staring at the page, going "huh?" because I hadn't spent time reading the lesson and figuring it out  in advance.

The curriculum is designed to have a long lesson on day 1, as well as some independent assignments.  The rest of the week focuses on independent assignments.  We chose to break up the lesson throughout the week, covering some of the lesson, and some of the assignments each day.   This saved us from one LONG lesson on Monday each week.

Jumping into this at the pace it's written for was a bit of a shock to my daughters who weren't used to using a formal writing curriculum.  If we'd had more time, we would have taken the first few lessons at half-pace, over the course of two weeks instead of one.

Despite that rough start,  we did enjoy the program.  Its step-by-step approach to writing was helpful to my daughters.  It was also very easy to use the curriculum with both my daughters, even though they are in different grades.  Since most of the work is done independently, students do not need to be at the same grade or ability level.

You can view lesson samples and the syllabus HERE.

Pros:

  • Walks students through the components of a basic paragraph

  • Teaches brainstorming and outlining before writing

  • Includes poetry writing

  • Teaches different styles of writing each week

  • Progresses from a single paragraph to multiple paragraphs

  • Can be taught over the course of one year, or two years

  • Can be taught in a group setting or to an individual

  • Each week's lesson builds upon previous lessons

  • Introduces the 5 paragraph formal essay

  • Includes helpful checklists for reference when writing

  • Includes guidelines for grading and record sheets

  • Weekly assignments are included at the back of each lesson in the Lesson Plan book, as well as on the Resource CD

  • Includes grammar and sentence structure lessons

  • Includes an extensive reading list for different levels

  • Can be used with multiple students, even if in different grades

  • Worksheets can be photocopied for use within the original purchasing family (but not if sold to someone else, and not in a classroom)

  • There is a Yahoo Group where you can receive help and support


Cons:

  • Lesson Plans aren't always clear, and require some thought to sort out

  • Designed for class use, and requires some tweaking for individual use

  • Requires teacher preparation - can't just pick it up and go

  • Day 1 of each week has a HEAVY workload if used as written


Purchasing Information:

Bundles:


  • Lessons 1-15 bundle with Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Resource CD - $65

  • Lessons 16-30 bundle with Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Resource CD - $65

  • Lessons 1-30 bundle with Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Resource CD - $100


Individual Components:

  • Lesson Plans - $75 if bought together, $40 each if bought individually

  • Additional Resource CD - $15

  • Worksheets - $25 for each semester set


ElCloud Opinion:

This is a very thorough writing course which takes the student from the basic paragraph to formal essay writing.  When reading assignments from the recommended books list are included, it provides a complete language arts program for the year.  Despite the fact that the lesson plans aren't always clear, it is an excellent writing course.  Parents just need to allow extra time to grow accustomed to the program at the beginning.  I strongly recommend taking a week or two to read over the program before starting, and then covering the first couple lessons at a slower 2-week pace.   I would definitely recommend The Write Foundation to other homeschool parents.

This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.


Trusting In Him,
April

3 comments:

  1. Great review! I did not do this one day a week...no way. That is a fly in the ointment for sure. But I did enjoy the program. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds like a wonderful product.

    Thanks for the review.

    Annie Kate

    ReplyDelete

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