Teaching your children how to write can feel like a daunting task. I have definitely been there.
How do you encourage creativity while teaching necessary formats and specific skills to improve writing?
Thankfully, last year, my son and I discovered a great solution: WriteShop!
This post contains affiliate links. This post is sponsored by WriteShop because I reached out to them about working together again this year after a successful year with their products this year. Read my full disclosure.
Overview of WriteShop I
My son begins seventh grade this year and I know it’s time for him to learn how to write clearly and confidently. He needs to continue to have experience with a variety of writing formats while practicing specific writing skills that improve his writing.
Last year we had such success with WriteShop Jr. that I knew we would begin our search this year with WriteShop products. He built a fabulous writing foundation last year using WriteShop Jr. and I think he is ready to begin WriteShop I.
WriteShop I is recommended for students in grades 6-10. Parents can preview the entire scope and sequence on the WriteShop website. You can also use the placement test to determine the right level for your child.
There are so many reasons I am excited to use WriteShop I this year with my 7th grader:
1. clear directions for the teacher (me!)
2. skill builders with each assignment.
3. room for flexible planning
4. plenty of helpful resources
5. writing support for my student
I am excited to get started this year with such a fantastic homeschool writing program for teens.
Clear Directions for the Teacher
I can not say enough about the importance of clear instructions when I am teaching a subject like writing. I’d rather have too much instruction than not enough. The WriteShop 1 guide includes more support than I might need at this point on my homeschooling journey, but I appreciate having so much help at my fingertips.
I have no problem making changes or adjusting things to meet the needs of my child, but it is much easier to make changes when someone has provided a solid start. WriteShop provides enough guidance that you can use it exactly as described or you can begin to change things a bit to find your own groove.
One thing you won’t have to do is spend hours researching writing ideas, formats, or skills online to supplement the curriculum!
If you feel unsure about the process of writing, the teacher’s guide has you covered. You’ll find information such as The Ingredients for a Tasty Paragraph, a glossary of writing terms, examples of sentence variations, and so much more.
The teacher’s guide is designed to equip you to be the writing teacher your teen needs.
Writing Skill Builders with WriteShop 1
The skill builders are my favorite part of WriteShop I. Every lesson includes a specific skill builder focus to equip your child with the writing skills they need.
Skill builders include paired adjectives, topic sentences, appositives, personification, and more! These are the writing skills that teens love because it helps their writing sparkle and shine!
Admittedly, it can feel awkward for your child to “force” these skills into a piece of writing, but the practice is so helpful even though it feels strange at first. These aren’t the sort of techniques and skills that kids develop naturally, so direct instruction and a little bit of forced practice help kids add these skills to their toolbox. Eventually, they will be available to them as a technique with the right time arises.
Flexible Planning Options
I am definitely someone who likes a plan, but I need options so I can find the best solution for our homeschool year. WriteShop I offers very clear plans with a variety of options for every homeschool family.
The first option I have is whether to complete WriteShop I in 1 or 2 years. I decided that it would be best for my middle school child to complete level 1 over the course of 2 years. Writing isn’t his favorite activity so I think a slower pace will help keep him interested. Producing fewer projects will allow us to dig in and focus on higher-quality writing without feeling rushed.
WriteShop I also provides the option of a two-week lesson plan for each writing project or an accelerated one-week plan. A two-week plan will allow you to complete all of WriteShop I in a year. If you are trying to complete WriteShop I and II in a year with an older student, then you can follow the one-week plan.
Since our goal is to complete WriteShop I over 2 years, we will stretch out the two-week lesson plan to suit our pacing.
Helpful Teacher Resources
The WriteShop I teacher’s guide is filled with helpful resources to assist me as I teach my child to write. You’ll find sections full of information about the editing process, a list of positive responses, common problems with writing mechanics, and even student work samples.
I don’t know about you, but it is hard for me to remember what student writing should look like. Having samples in the back helps me with my expectations. The best part is that the samples show the entire editing process so you are able to see the first draft, how it was edited (yes the teacher edits are on there!), and then the final copy.
I am thrilled to have a writing program that is serious about supporting the teacher with plenty of resources.
Student Writing Support
WriteShop I contains plenty of built-in support for the student. From writing skill builders to final copy checklists to helpful word lists, your student will have all of the support they need to improve their writing.
The final copy checklists are not only helpful for students to know what is expected, but they are great practice for college. My oldest had to check off a list of requirements for MLA format for all of her English papers so having requirements for mechanics and format is a solid, helpful tool.
I am a big fan of the word lists included in the student workbook. The WriteShop I word lists contains words for a variety of situations such as adverbs (“-ly” words), characteristics, emotions, colors, personification, words for “said,” and so much more!
As a writer myself, I know what it is like to be searching for a word and coming up completely blank. Having lists of words can help with writer’s block while building vocabulary for the future.
It’s a Clear Choice
Having a writing program that supports me as the teacher is vital to the success of our homeschool year. I am so excited that the WriteShop I curriculum provides all of the tools I need to plan and implement a great year of writing for my son.
In addition, the WriteShop I curriculum gives him the support he needs to feel confident as he learns to improve his writing ability.
If you haven’t looked at WriteShop Level I for your middle or high school child, then I encourage you to check it out:
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Hear More About Our Experience With WriteShop:
We can’t wait for another year with WriteShop!
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