Level 1: Sentence to Paragraph Writing (ages 11-13)
Level 2: Paragraph Writing (ages 12-15)
Level 3: Essay Writing (ages 14-17)
While my boys are of the appropriate age for Essay Writing, I chose Paragraph Writing, because writing is one of those topics that hasn’t had much attention in our homeschool. Of course, it’s hard when you have a child who despises writing in any way, shape, or form. Fortunately, the Write Foundation doesn’t throw your kids into things like creative writing, compare and contrast, etc. right off the bat. Their focus is primarily on first building a solid foundation of writing skills, which is precisely what we needed.
From The Write Foundation website:
Many writing curricula focus on the different types of writing, such as creative writing, story writing, poetry writing, persuasive writing, argumentative writing, informative writing, descriptive writing, book writing, fiction writing, novel writing, but the basic foundation of writing is assumed. The Write Foundation begins with the writing process, how a student formulates a topic, then a thesis, then supporting points, and by incremental teaching drills in the basics. In most grammatical subjects, we have found that failure is almost totally because the basics have not been learned.
The Write Foundation writing curriculum is a result of 8 years of successfully teaching homeschooled students in a one-day-per-week co-op setting. It has been adapted for a homeschool and used by numerous homeschooling parents to give their own children the tools of how to quickly organize and write an essay with excellence.
One of my favorite things about this curriculum is that my kids didn’t have to come up with their own ideas for what to write about. That can be an enormous hindrance in the writing process when a child is trying to remember all they need to know in order to write, which leaves little to no room to consider what topic they might wish to write about. In the beginning, this program use existing paragraphs and your child has to pull important information from which to generate an outline and then write a new paragraph based upon the outline. They’re not expected to perfectly replicate the original paragraph, but demonstrate the ability to create a good paragraph from block outline notes.
From there, a variety of lessons are presented which systematically increase the student’s writing skills, such as using quality adjectives to some fun poetry forms. When I normally mention the word poetry, I have one son who’s ready to head for the hills. But the poetry presented in the Paragraph Writing curriculum is much less intimidating than many programs. I hope to move from tolerable to enjoyable one of these days.
The student’s paragraphs and poetry are to be typed, which is a bonus for anyone who struggles with putting pencil (or pen) to paper. Every week’s lesson follows a similar format, adding new skills while including previous skills, so the students become familiar with what to expect. Each child has a well-organized binder, complete with checklists and guidelines, making it easy to access necessary information for assignments. This organization also makes it helpful for the parent to review and grade the completed work. They also provide a standard grading system, so you’re not on your own in figuring out grades.
Each Write Foundation level has 30 lessons. There are a few different options for how to purchase this product. You can purchase a complete package which includes the Teacher's Guide, the Student Worksheets, and an Additional Resources CD for all 30 lessons for $100*. Or you can purchase the same items for just 15 lessons for $65*.
You can also purchase just the Teacher's Guide (Instruction Manual) for all 30 lessons for $70* or 15 lessons for $45*. The worksheet sets (200 pages, 3-hole punched) run $25** for all 30 lessons or $15 for 15 lessons. The Additional Resources CD is optional and can be purchased for $15*.
They provide a recommended daily schedule for five or ten days per lesson. The 15-lesson program can taught over a semester or a year, depending upon which schedule works best for you and your child(ren). You can go here to take a look at sample lessons.
Mind Benders® are also incorporated into each lesson, though they are optional. They are deductive, logic puzzles which helps the students learn to organize their thoughts in a sequential and systematic way. If you want to include Mind Benders® you can purchase them from The Critical Thinking Co.™
If you decide to purchase any of The Write Foundation curricula, be aware that you will need to allow for plenty of time to review the product and prepare. It took me a little bit to follow the instructions because there’s a fair amount of page flipping within the teacher’s guide and the student worksheets until it began to come together for me. Once I had done a couple of lessons down, it made more sense.
* prices exclude S&H and tax
You can also go here to check out other reviews of The Write Foundation.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I was provided a free copy of Paragraph Writing Lessons 1-15, Teacher's Guide and Student Worksheets to review. The opinions stated here are my own.