I am guilty of all of those things mentioned above. Writing is a struggle for me. Not just teaching it but doing it myself and so I have tended to avoid it in the past. We have tried other curricula but just haven't followed through with it. That doesn't work either!
Enter my latest review with The Crew. I received The Write Foundations Level 2 Paragraph Writing and must admit to leaving it in the packaging for a whole day before looking at it. Honestly, I was intimidated. I didn't want to try another program only to quit part way through. But since this was for a review, I knew that I had to at least read through it and give it a try.
I read and re-read. And I felt stupid. I didn't understand what I was reading. It was like it was a foreign language or something. I was frustrated. And more than a little worried about this review.
I let my oldest dd read through the curriculum to see what she thought and she was just as confused as I was. Not good. Full blown panic was setting in. We worked through the first lesson but felt even more lost than before.
I have had this issue with another curricula before so after some wonderful advice and much praying I decided to start completely over.
It was well worth it. I read through the Overview and Instructions again with all the worksheets spread out around me so I could get a visual as I walked through it. I was still somewhat confused but the fog seemed to be lifting.
Now, what is different about this curricula? Well, it has repetition and lots of it. In this program the student needs to have highlighters available for all work so that the sentences can be highlighted according to the type of sentence it is in the paragraph. Such as the topic sentence is always highlighted pink and so is the conclusion. The supporting sentences are highlighted in different colors for easy recognition. It sounds a little odd and it was frustrating for my daughter to keep doing this but it really works. She started to easily identify sentences and also to remember what went into a paragraph.
There are also forms included in the curriculum that are filled out for each assignment. The process is always the same so the student knows what to expect and how to go about it.. By having them repeat the process each and every time, you reinforce the necessary steps in the writing process. They soon become second nature.
The speech my daughter needed to write was frustrating her because she didn't know what to write. I pulled out the forms from her book and told her to just fill them in. She did and had her speech written in under an hour! The pressure was lifted because she could fill in the outline and work from there but the blank page was just too intimidating.
If you would like to see a sample of what I've been talking about go here and check it out. The homepage of their website gives a great explanation of the program and a bit about the author's purpose in writing the curriculum. Also on the homepage are links to ordering information, recommended ages for the different levels, and the contact information for the company.
The pricing is a little confusing since the curriculum can be used over a two year period and is priced separately as units or as a whole. This page explains the pricing and ordering options available.
Level 2 Paragraph Writing sells for $100 for the entire thirty lessons and includes:
- Spiral-bound Teacher Instruction Manuals with Lesson Plans (about 160 double-sided pages)
- 1 set notebook-ready Worksheets (about 200 pages)
- 1 CD with additional resources
- Grading System
- Grading Record Sheets
- Word Games
- Teacher Presentation Sheets
- Weekly Assignments
- Extensive Reading list
There are also two other levels to The Write Foundations program and they are Level 1 Sentence and Level 3 Essay.
Here is my list of Pros and Cons for this curriculum:
Confusing to read through at first
Takes a long time each day for a while
Frustrating to start working through it
Instructions are somewhat confusing and some places felt unfinished
We could have used more explanation or more of a do this, this, this type of instruction
Very different from what we had been doing
Very different from what we had been doing
Forms are included and put in order of use
Teaches and stresses the basics
Lots of repetition of the basics
Helps take the guesswork out of writing
Could be spread out over two years
We are going to continue on with this curriculum and I look forward to seeing the improvement in my daughters writing over the year. I will probably not use it with my second born. She would get overly frustrated with it and not be able to work through it. I think so anyway. We may just have to try it and see!
The Write Foundation can be found here.
To check out what other Crewmembers are saying about this curriculum head on over to The Crew Blog.
**I was given this copy of The Write Foundation Level 2 in exchange for my honest opinion through The TOS Crew.