This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of WriteShop. All opinions are my own.
You know that feeling when you open a new box of curriculum, thumb through the pages of a teacher’s manual, and get that quiver of excitement inside? The feeling that tells you this is going to be a GREAT addition to your homeschool? Yes… THAT is the feeling I had in the pit of my stomach when I received the WriteShop homeschool writing program.
When you purchase WriteShop, you will need the Teacher’s Guide and Activity Pack for each level you buy. Neither the teacher’s guide nor the activity packs are optional if you want to successfully use WriteShop in your homeschool.
Which Level to Buy
The hardest decision I faced when selecting WriteShop for our homeschool was choosing which book to use, but I think I stressed waaaaaay too much. Once I had the curriculum in my hands, I realized how flexible it was for meeting the needs of various ages from one book.
The program is incremental but if you need to jump in, level recommendations are:
- Primary Book A and Worksheet Pack, Book A – Kindergarten through 1st grade
- Primary Book B and Worksheet Pack, Book B – 1st grade through 2nd grade
- Primary Book C and Worksheet Pack, Book C – 3rd grade through 4th grade
- WriteShop Junior Book D and Activity Pack, Book D– 4th grade through 5th grade
- WriteShop Junior Book E and Activity Pack, Book E – 5th grade through 6th grade
- WriteShop Basic Set, I & II – 7th grade and up
Right now, I am using WriteShop Junior Book D for my 2nd grader (advanced) and 5th grader (slightly below average).
Teaching more than one grade level from each book is a HUGE benefit for using WriteShop. Each lesson has variations to make it easier or more difficult to fit multiple ages at once.
You may also need:
- grade-appropriate dictionary (Our favorite children’s dictionary)
- thesaurus (Our favorite children’s thesaurus)
- Time-Saver Pack, Book D
- Time-Saver Pack, Book E
Getting Started with WriteShop
Be aware that the WriteShop curriculum is a very easy curriculum to teach despite a very comprehensive introduction. If you are a “fly by the seat of your pants” parent like me, you might feel overwhelmed when you first start into the intro, but press through those feelings. The detailed instructions completely prepare you for what is needed and help you create a creative writing space that will facilitate learning.
Each lesson begins with help for the parent including:
- Clearly defined objectives
- Advanced prep details the parents needs in order to make the lesson go smoothly
- Checklist of materials needed
- Checklist of supplies
Teaching the Writing Process with WriteShop
Every lesson in WriteShop Junior Book D is based on the writing process.
Model and Teach
Each lesson guides the home educator through introducing the lesson, even providing a basic script to help the parent who might not be completely confident at teaching creative writing.
For each lesson, I recommend you read through the directions prior to sitting down with your student/s. Then, you will be completely prepared with the script during your active teaching time.
Get the free printable Writing Process Word Wall below.
For my kinesthetic learners (a.k.a. very busy bodies but talented minds), they really enjoyed the pre-writing activities since the games are hands-on.
Preparation is simple, but these activities are essential in helping your child master each new concept and gain the confidence to proceed with the lesson. We think of these exercises as a creative writing warm-up.
When it comes time to actually get creative, we sometimes hit a huge roadblock. Ever had your child look at you and say:
I don’t know what to write!
Punctuating his or her frustration with a head thump to the table? Maybe a defensive crossing of the arms? Pushing back from the table with a loud scraping across the floor?
Yeah… I’ve been there many times, but that is one reason I appreciate WriteShop. Instead of demanding your child pull a great idea from between his ears, you guide the child through a brainstorming activity that transitions from a parent model to the eventual “Hey, I have an idea!” without a lot of stress.
Once your student has developed his idea, you can transition into the writing project, where your child will complete a rough draft of the assignment… or what WriteShop calls, “the sloppy copy.”
Each writing project comes with variations to either make the assignment easier or more challenging. Having these variable ideas helps me teach each lesson to children who are close in writing ability even though they are in different grade levels.
Editing and Revising
Using the Fold-N-Go Grammar Guides as well as other tools like a dictionary or thesaurus, you encourage your child to self-edit his writing project.
To help my children understand editing as a necessary process that requires a different set of skills than the writing process, I took WriteShop’s suggestion and created an editor’s hat. By giving them a tool kit and the special hat, it makes editing and revising more fun and (hopefully) encourages them to not want to skip this important part.
Once your child has attempted to self-edit, you make the final corrections. Personally, I kind of enjoy using a red pen. Reminds me of all the red I saw in language arts at high school and college.
But, I like to keep it fun with stickers too. (You can pick up tons of encouraging stickers in the teacher’s corner at Dollar Tree.)
Publishing the Project
With final edits made, your child completes the writing project by making the suggested corrections and transferring the project to a decorative sheet of paper or by making a family activity out of the project.
This process becomes easier over time as your child adjusts to the steps. The encouragement from WriteShop to remain positive throughout each lesson definitely helps too.
Expanding WriteShop for Homeschool
WriteShop is a comprehensive creative writing curriculum for homeschool students, but we easily modify it into a complete language arts educational experience by using the provided reading log. You choose the books your child will read and you can even create spelling tests based on the vocabulary within those books.
For the actual WriteShop lessons, I divide it into three days:
- Model & Teach with a Pre-Writing Activity
- Brainstorming and Writing Project
- Editing and Final Publication
#WriteShopWriting Photo Prompts
You can also build on what your child learns using additional writing prompts.
Are you on Instagram? Follow WriteShop for daily writing prompts!
Show off your creativity with a photo writing prompt. Use nature, toys, kids, whatever. Or, make a collage like a comic book. Follow WriteShop on Instagram and then share your image with the hashtag #writeshopwriting. Be sure to tag @WriteShop in your photo. Their team will be choosing from your photo writing prompts to share in their social media!
Free Writing Process Word Wall
Want my Writing Process Word Wall (pictured above)? Enter your information into this form to have the link emailed to you.
I recommend printing these on cardstock and/or laminating them. You can use them as a matching game, sequencing activity, or display.
Troubleshooting: If an hour passes and there is still no email, please check your spam box. Nothing? You can put your information into the form again without breaking anything. If that still doesn’t work, contact me and we will troubleshoot it together.
More WriteShop Reviews
Win a Complete WriteShop Homeschool Writing Program Level
Giveaway product provided by WriteShop. Winner will be selected and notified by email on April 4, 2015. Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected. If the winner is a US resident, a physical product will be provided. If the winner lives internationally, only a digital product will be provided. Void where prohibited.
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