Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: The Write Foundation Sentence to Paragraph Writing AND Essay Writing

The Write Foundation
Level 1~Sentence to Paragraph (Lessons 1-15)
Level 3~Essay Writing (Lessons 1-15)
The Write FoundationAges:  11-13 /  14-17
Price: $100 30 lessons OR Lessons 1-15 or 15-30 $65 each.  Student worksheets: One set are included in the curriculum, but additional sets are $25 for year or $15 per 15 lessons.
I say:  Good!

Writing IS my most challenging subject to teach for various reasons, and the subjectivity of grading and knowing just how to break the process down has been a daunting task for me.  I've really struggled in knowing HOW to take both my writers where they need to go.  When I got the information I was reviewing The Write Foundation, it's as if God smiled upon me.  I was so excited, and began researching the curriculum to decide which level to chose to best suit my writers.  I have two VARIED writers.  One who takes to it like a fish to water and the other like a fish OUT OF the water~I made a call to Rebecca Celsor who spent time hearing all about my writers and offered me encouragement as well as her personal insights and guidance over choosing the proper levels.  This is why you see two complete levels.  It was her opinion that my children would both be best served by the different levels.  I give Mrs. Celsor a HUGE thumbs up for taking her time (over an hour!) and effort to assure that we got just what we needed in the first place.  It was her sincere desire that we find what would really and truly WORK for us~she certainly didn't have to offer two sets of her curriculum for this reviewer to work through! I do believe that this is a peak into the kind of honest and caring customer service her clients will receive.  She was a wealth of information and insights~SHE KNOWS her stuff!  For me, it was invaluable! Short days our call, I got an email from her husband (This is a homeschool family who have used these materials that Mrs. Celsor created and has taught for quite a few years at home with her own children and in their local homeschool co-op setting) who gave me the shipping information with tracking information.  When my sealed nicely cardboard box arrived, my materials were beautiful having received Sentence Level 1 and Essay Level 3 levels complete with additional student worksheet sets! They also arrived in a timely manner from the receipt of that email.

In short order I began looking them over. Now, you have to realize that I am a little challenged where teaching writing is concerned.  While I've learned to write some, I certainly have no idea how to adequately teach it~AND so this blessing having arrived was mine to read and study so I could offer it up to my children.

I began studying and even made a trip to Office Depot to purchase the needed supplies.  Included is a supply list which includes:
Three ring binder (one for each student)
Highlighters (yellow, blue, orange, pink, green,...multiple colors)
Page dividers

Suggested in the curriculum: Mind Benders (Critical Thinking Co) puzzle logic building skills workbooks~I ordered this via our local curriculum store.
Notebook paper
Computer with word processing program (essential to have student type papers for MLA format)
I purchased page protectors and ring tabs to protect our pages. NOT on the list, but useful for us~who wants pages coming out?? LOL!! (I KNOW my kids and me..we definitely use these!)

I was ready to go! I felt really confident...but then as I began reading, a little anxiety hit because I was unable to totally follow the directions that I needed to share with my children and also what I needed to know as I presented the materials.  I began to research further and even went to the website where a sample lesson is available to note that it didn't help me.  I made a call and spoke at length to Mrs. Celsor's daughter this time who walked me through the processes and took notes of my input and observations.  I found this contact very helpful~so it was then that I went forward and began teaching each level.

As I've worked through the materials, on occasion I found myself researching  definitions for items like "participles" and some of the types of poetry so that I could not just have them do the exercises, but because I DIDN'T KNOW or even understand, I had to find this information first in another source.  Another area of difficulty is that this curriculum is really designed for a co-op  setting with a once a week teaching structure where children go home to do daily lessons.  Well, daily lessons works great for us, and in all actuality, we really did do it daily, it's just that I had to really figure out how to meter it out in order to meet our needs.  Maybe it's me, but I had a little trouble, but the lessons themselves are simple and very incremental. There are copies of teacher presentations sheets which are essentially what the student will need to do so you can show them by examples for a few and then let them try to master the concept. I REALLY like the simplistic incremental aspect of these materials! I needed something that would take us by each little step.  There are check sheets for the writing and a "NO LIST" which I love! These check sheets really put some easily identifiable self regulation  into my kid's own hands and will best prepare them for their university careers!

While I had some difficulty within the curriculum, first I KNOW that I can call upon the developer to help me~THIS IN INVALUABLE! AND that it's really thorough in it's sequential presentations of the process of writing.  I intend to continue The Write Foundation with my son who IS the reluctant writer and who will need this kind of curriculum to teach the basics.

Here's some insights from the website:

Many writing curricula focus on the different types of writing, such as creative writing, story writing, poetry writing, persuasive writing, argumentative writing, informative writing, descriptive writing, book writing, fiction writing, novel writing, but the basic foundation of writing is assumed. The Write Foundation begins with the writing process, how a student formulates a topic, then a thesis, then supporting points, and by incremental teaching drills in the basics. In most grammatical subjects, we have found that failure is almost totally because the basics have not been learned
The Write Foundation writing curriculum is a result of 8 years of successfully teaching homeschooled students in a one-day-per-week co-op setting. It has been adapted for a homeschool and used by numerous homeschooling parents to give their own children the tools of how to quickly organize and write an  essay with excellence.
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If you are like me and have kids who need the basics of writing whatever the level in a sequential and incremental way, you will not be disappointed, and the customer care is absolutely GREAT!

Check out what the CREW says...

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I received The Write Foundation's Level 1 Sentence to Paragraph Writing (Lessons 1-15) and Level 3 Essay Writing (Lessons 1-15) as part of the Old Schoolhouse Crew for review purposes.  My opinions are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

3 comments:

Richele said...

Great review! I really loved the step by step process. Teaching writing is very difficult. It's like teaching a talent. But we do not have to be Hemingway to write effectively...that is what I try to remember. lol.

momma24 said...

Great review!

Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

Great review and I appreciated that you mentioned the need to look up some of the terms in another source- something I forgot to mention! Thanks for stopping by! Blessings! :)