This past week we started back with our co-op classes. This year, I’m teaching a middle school/early high school creative writing class, using WriteShop for our curriculum.

WriteShop was designed by homeschooling moms who loved to write and wanted their children to love to write, too. When they didn’t find a course to suit their needs, they designed one themselves, creating a two- (or more) year writing plan to encourage even reluctant writers.

The authors recommend WriteShop I for 6th – 9th graders, or perhaps a very precocious 5th grader. While this book can easily be completed in a year, parents may choose to spend two years with the course to ensure their children fully understand it. Every lesson is clearly laid out in the teacher’s manual, including what to cover, what to discuss, and what homework to assign. The student book contains practice sheets and word lists the student will need as they delve into writing their paragraphs.

Besides writing clear, descriptive, “concrete” paragraphs, WriteShop also encourages self-editing; by the time students have finished the course, they should be much more skilled in proofreading and critiquing their own work.

A second-year course, WriteShop II, is also available for those who have completed WriteShop I, or for high school students who already have a lot of writing experience. The same teachers’ manual is used for both courses. Because I’m teaching the class at a co-op, I also purchased the downloadable e-book with instructions on teaching in a group setting.

The only drawback to this program that I can see is that in the Teacher’s Manual, references are made to pages in the appendix or Student’s Manual. I found myself having to flip through the pages in both books to find what I needed, until I finally decided to rearrange the pages and put all that I’ll use for the lesson in one place.

Simple enough for any parent to teach, even those who don’t write a lot, this program not only encourages solid writing skills, but also makes learning those skills a lot of fun!

Homeschooling Reading Curriculum by SmartTutor.com

Story Time – Stories for Kids

Picture By: Pink Sherbet Photography

Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell

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