Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Essentials In Writing Review

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If you are looking a quality writing curriculum to incorporate into your homeschool,  Essentials in Writing
is a perfect fit! I have had the opportunity to review their First Grade program and have been extremely impressed with the quality, content and high interest level that my son has for this program. 

 For $40 you receive a DVD with video lessons and printable PDF worksheets. 

If you prefer not to print out the worksheets, you can order a workbook for $20 more. 

This program is available for First Grade through Twelfth Grade
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Although this isn't labeled specifically as a "Christian Curriculum," I found it refreshing that these lessons were filled with biblical principles and concepts. I am constantly looking at different materials and curriculum ideas and sometimes I have to sift through certain things. I find myself  searching for the good and omitting the bad. We set some pretty high standards in our reading and video watching in our home so sometimes when different things like, magic or lying, appear in our homeschool material I think, I might as well just send my kids to public school! What I'm saying is, if I'm going to homeschool, I want to do it right. And I want quality curriculum that meet my needs and live up to our family's standards. 

One day, my son who reviewed this program was having some issues with his little brother. When his dad left the house that morning, he told him to write three things that day that he liked about his brother before he came home that night. My son kept putting it off and we went on with our day. Then, we began our Essentials in Writing lesson. First, he watched a short video that went along with the lesson that day, (about five minutes long, roughly). Then, we get to the coinciding worksheet. At the bottom of the worksheet it says to write several sentences about a sibling. And be nice! I think God was seriously trying to tell my son something that day! 

The amount of work required in a day's lesson is right on target. First, the student watches a short video on the provided DVD taped in a classroom setting teaching the principles of the lesson.

Then, the student receives a worksheet to reinforce and practice what was learned. My son loves the video. The lessons are quite short so some days he would want to watch several at a time. One day I said, okay, we are going to learn about predicates. Apparently, he watched that lesson already and told me what it was even before we began. I was impressed. 

What I enjoyed about the program was you could split up some of the lessons over several days if you needed to. For example, the parts of the letter. I was so excited to teach my son this because of it's practicality. There were several worksheets provided for the one lesson so we just broke it up over a few days. Then, once he had a basic understanding, he wrote his first, "proper" letter with all five parts of the letter and sent it off to someone who needed some cheering up! 

I also liked how many of the writing assignments make the writing personal and allow for creativity. It made my son think outside the box. He was also able to write down things such as his favorite pet, best friend's name and things that he enjoys doing. Writing can be such a tedious task for many students and these worksheets weren't dreaded by any means but were fun and engaging for my son! I will continue to use this with him over the next few months and look forward to seeing his progress!

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