Thursday, March 14, 2013

Essentials in Writing - Review

Essential in Writing logo photo EssentialsinWritinglogo_zps7affe1cf.jpg

Jam and I were given the opportunity to review the program Essentials in Writing.

We have been working on Grade 6 written for ages 11-12.
Essentials in Writing Grade 6 photo EIW6thgrade_zps82b04d21.jpg
Essentials in writing is a complete language arts curriculum with an emphasis on composition. It is available for grades 1-12. Each grade is $40.00 and comes with DVD with video lessons and a PDF printable workbook. There is also an optional printed workbook available for $20.00.

From the website for Sixth Grade Essentials in Writing
In Sixth Grade, your child will learn:  detailed sentence structure, additional grammar, additional capitalization/punctuation rules, proper use of a friendly letter, using the writing process to compose narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive writing (including formal paragraphs), and five paragraph essays, compare and contrast writing, effective writing skills, multi-paragraph composition, the process to complete a research project, other forms of written communication, and other topics.

I love writing and grammar however it is not the easiest thing to teach especially to children. Since we started homeschooling it is one of the areas we have not spent a huge amount of time on. My kids have done spelling, narration, dictation and copy-work, however we have not followed a specific curriculum. So I was very excited for this review. Jam not so much, I explained to him about the program - he would be required to watch a video lesson and complete the relevant worksheet and he said that he would give it a try.

Jam has enjoyed using this curriculum. After his first lesson he said "Do we only have this for the review time?" I replied "No, you can finish the course after the review is complete." Jam replied "Awesome! This is cool." So there you go straight from the mouth of a 12 year old - This grammar and writing curriculum is 'Cool'.

We started the curriculum with lesson 1 which is a video lesson given by the author Matthew Stephens and no worksheet. Jam enjoyed it so much he carried on and watched the video for lesson 2 straight away and completed the worksheet too. Some videos have more than one day of assignments for example for lesson 2 Jam watched the video and completed worksheet 2A. The next day his assignment was to complete 2B etc...
Jam loved the grammar and liked the fact that he could have his lesson when it was convenient for him. He didn't have to wait for Mom to explain anything to him. The video lessons were a HUGE plus for him and he gave them a big thumbs up. He sailed through a load of the grammar lessons before I switched him to the second half of the material. Lessons 1 -32 cover the grammar part of the program and Lesson 33 starts the writing process. It has been nice to see Jam discover the different steps of writing. The writing lessons cover the art of pre-writing, drafting, revising , and editing and publishing. He has gone from just writing something quickly and saying it was finished to taking time with his work and producing something he could be proud of.
Jam was/is a borderline reluctant writer he had to feel motivated or successful this program gave him that without being to overpowering. The lessons are well structured and he knew exactly what was expected of him.

We haven't finished the program and since we skipped a lot of lessons jumping forward to lesson 33 for the sake of giving a review of the whole program. So we are definitely going to be back tracking and finishing the first set of lessons before returning to finishing the writing process.

I think Jam and I agree that this program is a keeper. He loves it and I love that he does.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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