For me, writing is exploration; and most of the time, I’m surprised where the journey takes me. Jack Dann
Writing is a chore for my 9-year-old. She would much rather draw, sing, narrate…anything but write. It’s not that she isn’t creative; she just doesn’t like the act of writing. As a homeschooling mother I worry the most about writing. I have been praying about what to use for writing. When I found out we were going to review Write Shop, I jumped for joy… OK. I didn’t jump literally…
After receiving this program and using it…WOW! I am so blessed to be able to use this with my child!
Product Reviewed: Write Shop Junior D, PDF Version
The PDF package included:
- Teacher’s Guide e-Book
The teacher’s book includes instructions for planning daily lessons, writing samples, step-by-step instructions for teaching as well as additional games and exercises.
- Student Activity e-BookThe student activity book is actually 2-packs-in-1. It includes the activity worksheets AND the Level 1 Fold-n-GoTM Grammar Pack.
Student Worksheet Pack: Activity pages your child will need to complete portions of each lesson. These worksheets introduce your child to writing skills such as brainstorming and self-editing. The Worksheet Pack contains:
- Pre-writing activities
- Skill Builders
- Journal prompt pages
- Brainstorming worksheets/graphic organizers
- Reading log forms
- Self-editing checklists
- Evaluation Charts
Level 1 Fold-N-Go™ Grammar Pack: Fun reference tools with simple exercises that introduce or review grammar rules and essential writing skills. Printed on brightly colored paper, pages are assembled inside a file folder to form 10 large flipbooks, one for each lesson in Book D.
- Punctuation Marks
- Time-Saver Pack e-Book
This pack is optional for the parent/teacher who want pre-made props and activities featured throughout Book D.
When I received the PDF files I was a little overwhelmed. I did not realize how teacher-intensive this program could be. The PDF e-Book file is a single PDF file separated into sub-files (1 per lesson). This allowed me to print lessons as needed.
I also printed and created all 10 grammar folders before starting. Personally, I don’t recommend doing this. My daughter does not like them…it’s hard not to take it personally after all the work I did.
The introduction section is a wealth of information. I called it “my writing brain”. It includes the following items that I found helpful:
- Sample schedule plans. I am a newer homeschooler and still have not mastered the art of creating a workable schedule. The standard plan for a family is a 3-week schedule. This allows a family to finish 1 lesson every 3 weeks with 2 days off every week. I LOVE this feature! Can I just say THANK YOU! As a busy mom, this made using the program EASY!
- Writing Center Ideas. The idea of creating a writing center in my home never occurred to me. We have since created a writing area that includes writing implements, paper, dictionary and thesaurus. This has been instrumental in getting my children to write on their own.
- List of Supplies Needed. It’s incredibly frustrating to start a lesson only to discover I don’t have the necessary items. Having a centralized list helped to make sure writing occurred without a last-minute run to the store. This includes an overall list and a lesson-specific list. A+ on this one!
- Thorough Instructions. What more can I say about this? After reading the introduction I felt confident enough to start the program with my daughter.
We were able to work on Lesson 1 for this review. Unfortunately our 3-weeks extended into about 4 weeks because I spent one week out of town for a family emergency. Fortunately, we are going to continue with this program for the rest of the year.
The focus in Lesson 1 was writing a letter with correct punctuation. I started the lesson with both girls (9 & 11) but my 11-year-old quickly opted out. She is my eager writer and spending time with simple activities was not her thing.
It was a blessing in disguise. Being able to work one-on-one with my 9-year-old was rewarding. I was able to keep her engaged, push her when she needed…give her a reprieve when she needed…tailor the program to fit her needs.
Some samples from our work.
My daughter enjoyed creating the robot. I was happy to see her translate this simple hands-on project into real writing later on.
One evening my daughter ran into my room.
“MOM, look…I have my birthday invitation done!” “Really…it’s May. Your Birthday is in AUGUST! “
But to be honest…I was thrilled. Yes, it’s a simple invitation. But she wrote something. On her own. With no nagging from mom. And she was beyond proud of herself. I call that successful.
And do you want to know the BEST thing? She still complains about writing…but I find her writing all over the place now. In her room. In the car. In her journal. She just finished writing a play with her sister. The spark has been ignited…
Bear and I recommend this product for the 3-5th grade reluctant writer. Bear says “Boys will like the dinosaurs and robots.”
We may not have followed the instructions step-by-step as written. However, that is the amazing thing about this program; it can be tailored to fit the learner.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE one to spend the money and get the PRINT version. Using the PDF version was a little overwhelming for me.
About Write Shop
- In Our Write Minds, Blog: http://www.writeshop.com/blog/
- Website: http://www.writeshop.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriteShop
- Meet Kim! http://www.writeshop.com/blog/about-kim/
- Using WriteShop on an iPad by Amanda Pelser
Write Shop Products Available
- Write Shop Primary (Grades K-3)
- Write Shop Junior (Grades 4-6)
- Write Shop (Grades 6-12)
You can purchase WriteShop Junior products from their website.
- Teacher’s Guide – $39.95. Must buy the Activity Pack.
- Activity Pack – $39.95. (1 PER CHILD)
- Time Saver Pack (optional) – $13.95
- Teacher’s Guide – $34.95. Must buy the Activity Pack.
- Activity Pack – $29.95. (1 PER CHILD)
- Time Saver Pack (optional) – $13.95
Just for You: 15% off any WriteShop Primary and Junior products in the WriteShop store (including e-books) using coupon code CREW15 at checkout. Offer valid through June 15, 2012.
Read what my fellow Crew Members are saying about this curriculum!
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.