Overview: The WriteShop curriculum is written to give the homeschool mom the nuts and bolts she needs to feel confident about teaching high school writing. I think it’s great!
Does the idea of high school writing scare you? Are you afraid you won’t know how to help your teen learn to write well?
It’s not like there is any pressure, or anything. I mean, who cares about the writing portion of the ACT or SAT, which the college(s) your kid is applying to might require? Not to mention the fact that college profs do kind of expect a kid to know how to create a paragraph that expresses coherent thought and can be understood by the reader. Plus actually be able to string those paragraphs together into something that makes sense and might even be somewhat artistic. No worries!! Piece of cake, right?? (*sarcasm alert*)
I’ve already shared my own struggles with dealing with writing in our own homeschool in this post: Homeschool High School Writing: Tips and Curriculum Reviews. As the title suggests, I eventually found some curriculum that helped us at the time, and while I still felt somewhat at sea, my kids were capable of handling freshman comp. So that’s something!
But just a few months ago I got to open and really examine a curriculum that I hadn’t been aware of before. And WOW, do I wish I had known about it when my older kids were in high school! (Disclosure: I received this curriculum for free for evaluation purposes. But all opinions are my own.)
WriteShop curriculum for high school writing
It’s called WriteShop. WriteShop has writing curriculum for all levels, but it’s the middle/high school level(s), WriteShop I & II, that I am just blown away by.
I’m usually one to say that if it was good enough for the older kids it’s good enough for the youngers (mostly a money-saving tactic, lol) — but this is one case where I might change my mind. The youngest (the only one left in my homeschool at this point) will be using Write Shop for her English credit next year.
I love lotsa things about it, not the least of which is how step-by-step it is. It teaches the nuts and bolts of writing in an interesting way, each lesson building upon the last. There are lotsa resources for the student AND the teacher.
In fact, the most special-est thing from my perspective — which I think many of you will agree with — is that everything is spelled out very clearly for the homeschool mom to administer. The teacher’s guide is one of the best I’ve seen, with everything you need to assign the work and keep up with the grading — including guidance on how to grade your kid’s work. THAT is amazing and worth the price of admission right there, imho!
Show-and-tell with the WriteShop curriculum
I actually did two Facebook videos about WriteShop I & II in my homeschool high school FB group. I uploaded them to YouTube so everyone can see them, and I’ve embedded both of them below. This way you can see for yourself exactly what comes with the curriculum and how it is put together to be so EASY to use — and yet is also a thorough, effective means to teach your teen to write.
The first video is me showing you what comes with it and giving an overview.
But I also wax eloquent about my favorite thing in the Teacher’s Manual. :-)
Main points from Part 1:
- WriteShop I & II are recommended for grades 7-10. It is also recommend that you spend one year on each one, although it is possible to go through them both in one year.
- It is designed for parents who need lots of help to teach writing. Raise your hands!
- It comes with a loose-leaf student workbook (you provide 3-ring binder) and spiral-bound teacher’s manual.
- There are lotsa resources in the student manual to help the student, such as a glossary of writing terms, glossary of sentence variations, a list of common problems with mechanics, etc.
- Every lesson follows this sequence: 1) brainstorm, 2) rough draft (what they call a “sloppy copy”), 3) revised copy, 4) feedback from parent, 5) final copy.
- It takes two weeks to do each lesson.
- Each lesson focuses on one aspect of writing. As the student progresses through the curriculum, they learn the nuts and bolts of writing.
- The Teacher’s Manual is the bomb — and you need to watch the video to see what I love about it! LOL
The second is where I show in greater detail some of the features that make the WriteShop curriculum unique and very doable.
It is worth watching this second video, too, because the extras are another thing that make WriteShop so worth choosing for your high school writing curriculum.
Main points from Part 2:
- The curriculum includes a booklet with selections from literature to use for dictation and copy work, and the time to do this is built into the lesson plans.
- WriteShop teaches the art of essay writing in WriteShop II, including timed essays to prepare for the SAT and ACT.
- The appendixes in the Teacher’s Manual are full of LOTSA resources for helping the homeschool mom — I list them all in the video. I focus on Appendix B, which gives supplemental activities that you can build into the curriculum to help firm up the concepts for your teen. How to expand each lesson, how to use the curriculum with unit studies, etc. Watch the video for specific examples!
After watching the videos, you will be very aware of how enthused I am about this curriculum. It looks to me like a perfect way to start high school on the “write” foot. (OK, that was SO bad — but I refuse to apologize, lol!)
UPDATE: I did some podcast episodes with Misti Lacy, the Curriculum Consultant for WriteShop. She has lotsa great wisdom about writing in general and WriteShop in particular! You can listen here:
Episode 51: How to Make Writing More Fun for Your Homeschooled Teen
Episode 52: How to Prepare for College Writing
Episode 53: High School Writing: Mom’s Involvement
You can visit the WriteShop website here: WRITESHOP WEBSITE.
I encourage you to consider the WriteShop curriculum no matter what age your child is. If the other levels are put together as well as the high school ones, you won’t be disappointed! Tell them Annie sent you! :-)