This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.

Friday, July 11, 2014

WriteShop Junior, Book E ~ a TOS review

WriteShop Review
Some days it can feel like pulling teeth to get my girl, Mikayla, to write. While I wouldn’t say she struggles with it, she just does not enjoy the process. A few years ago we had the opportunity to review a writing program from WriteShop and at the time of the review it did not work for us. I took a step back and readjusted my outlook and we had great success going through Write Shop Junior D. So when the opportunity to sign up to review the newest level,  WriteShop Junior: Book E Set, I immediately signed up. Let me tell you a little more about it.
WriteShop produces homeschool writing curriculum for children in Kindergarten through 12th grade. WriteShop Junior  is a unit style program that provides creative writing instruction through step-by-step lessons in a fun and non-threatening way for 3rd – 6th graders. With lots of hands-on activities, WriteShop engages your child through the use of writing prompts, games, and fun worksheets.
WriteShop Review
Eight weeks ago we received the digital {PDF} copies of:
WriteShop Review
~ Includes daily lesson plans, writing samples, guided writing scripts, step-by-step teaching instructions,supply lists for each lesson, engaging learning games and exercises.
WriteShop Review
~ An essential part of the program this Activity Pack is essentially two workbooks in one! It contains both the Student Worksheets for the reproducible activity pages along with journal prompts, self-editing checklists, and brainstorming worksheets. The Level 2 Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack contains all the pages needed to make 10 Fold-N-Go Grammar guides that teach and review key grammar and writing skills. Each student using the program will need their own set of Fold-N-Go Grammar Guides.
WriteShop Review
Time-Saver Pack {$6.50, optional}:
~ This is completely optional but perfect for parents and teachers who enjoy a little shortcut now and then. The Time-Saver Pack in hard copy form is a ready-made set of sturdy props for the activities in the program. In the digitial form, just print out on your own colored papers.
WriteShop Review
Junior Writer's Notebook 1 {$3.50, optional}:
~ Created to inspire budding writers  with worksheets based on actual exercises used by published authors in the writing process. This is a completely optional, bonus tool and not required for success in the Book E program.
WriteShop Junior: Book E is geared towards students in 4th and 5th grade, however, it is perfectly suited for reluctant 6th and 7th graders with little to none writing instruction. It covers ten forms of creative writing divided up into ten complete lessons. Every lesson is broken down into smaller bite-sized Activity Sets as to not overwhelm the student writer. All  lessons contain 8 Activity Sets with the material presented in the same familiar format each week.
Topics covered in Book E’s lessons include:
Lesson 1: Writing a Fable
Lesson 2: Writing with Humor
Lesson 3: Writing an Adventure
Lesson 4: Writing Science Fiction
Lesson 5: Writing a Mystery
Lesson 6: Concrete Poetry
Lesson 7: Writing a Personal Narrative
Lesson 8: Descriptive Narrative
Lesson 9: Writing a Book Report
Lesson 10: Writing a Nonfiction Report
Skills Taught in Book E
  • Writing in different fiction genres
  • Writing nonfiction and book reports
  • Answering journal prompts
  • Planning and organizing each writing project
  • Choosing strong words and synonyms
  • Developing voice and emotion
  • Writing sentences of different lengths
  • Learning to write using 5 paragraphs
  • Creatively publishing final drafts
  • Using references
  • Using a variety of self-editing tools
Three different options to plan your writing schedule are included in the Teachers Guide, including a plan for scheduling two or more children. Depending on the scheduling plan you choose to follow, each lesson can take anywhere from two to three weeks to complete. The three week plan is the standard plan that most families choose to follow and will allow your student to complete the entire Book E level in 30 weeks. With this plan students work only three days out of a week.
I used this program specifically with Mikayla, my rising 6th grader. I would say that she is a reluctant writer, but if she put her mind to it she can write very well. To get us started in the program, I printed off the instructions and the first lesson and put the pages into a three ring binder. We dove into the Book E program right before baby Micah was born and completed week 1/3 in Lesson 1 on Writing a Fable. We quickly jumped back into our lessons two weeks later once I had recovered. We did have to do a quick 5 minute review but other than that we just picked up where we left off.
Now that summer is in full swing, Mikayla has morning practice 5 days a week for 5-7 hours depending on the day. Some days she is just plain exhausted so I adjusted her schedule and we worked on the lessons on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays.
WriteShop Junior: Book E Set  is an incredibly thorough writing program. However, it is not a program you can just open up and teach. There is a tremendous amount of prep work involved for the teacher. With that said, the Teacher’s manual does have extensive and detailed instructions that offer step-by-step instructions for set up and implementation. Don't let “teacher prep” scare you away from this program. Simply use it as a tool an adjust the program to fit your families needs.
Mikayla  and I have enjoyed this writing program and working through it so much that we will be continuing to use it as her writing program when she officially starts 6th grade in August. I am so pleased with WriteShop as a whole that I have also purchased the WriteShop Primary: Book B Set for Montana, my rising 2nd grader. Be sure to check out the Book E sample lesson form Write Shop Junior and well as the placement helps for any of your students in grades 1-6. See what my Crewmates had to say about the Junior, Book E  set and sets A-D that were reviewed by clicking the banner below.
Click to read Crew Reviews
Company ~ WriteShop
Price ~  ranging from $3.50 - $35.50 in Digital PDF form
Ages ~ Ideal for 4th & 5th graders or reluctant 6th & 7th graders
WriteShop Review
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