We’re about 8 weeks in, folks, and we’re surviving high school so far. Cheers!! Really, it’s easier than you think. Homeschooling high school (so far) is just like homeschooling elementary–but bigger. Writing is a hot topic for high school kids because what do colleges want you to be really good at? Writing. WriteShop II is our choice of writing curriculum this year and we are really enjoying it so far. I wanted to share with you a WriteShop review to give you a picture of what writing is looking like for us this year.
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How We’re Using WriteShop
My high schooler completed WriteShop I a couple of years ago, as a 6th grader. We’ve since been using other resources for writing in the meantime. This year though, I was looking for something very clearly laid out that would cover a lot of ground. My son does best with checklists and concrete direction. I knew WriteShop would be great for this.
We are using WriteShop II currently. The teacher’s manual lays out out several ways to complete the course. That has been extremely helpful with planning our weekly lessons. There are plans for completing either WriteShop I or II in one semester, one year or two years. We are using the one year plan.
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WriteShop I & II are designed for grades 6-10 and up. This suggestion is very accurate–I wouldn’t use this curriculum with my younger kids.
Each lesson covers a different topic of writing, such as:
- persuasive writing
- descriptive writing
- first and third person narration
- organizing an essay
Since we are using the schedule to complete the course in one year, each lesson is taking us about two school weeks. We work on writing about three times a week with this schedule. I let my son know his assignment at the beginning of the week and he will work on it on his own. We work together on some parts of the lesson as needed.
Each lesson includes lessons such as:
- skill builders–activities to help your child get well-acquainted with the type of writing they’re learning about
- pre-writing activities
- brainstorming, editing, and revising
- a checklist is included for each lesson which is really helpful for my teen
What We’re Loving about WriteShop
- The teacher’s manual of WriteShop I & II are all in one book. No need to purchase two. For the price of one book, you have a manual for 2+ years. That’s pretty great!
- There are several ways you can complete this course–like I outlined above. This is great because it gives us an attainable goal for each day and week.
- My son is really beginning understanding the reasoning behind writing–descriptive writing, persuasive, etc. And WriteShop is giving him opportunities to exercise each of these styles of writing. He’s a kid that needs to know the why behind things. This is perfect for that.
- When I first opened my teacher’s manual, I was a little overwhelmed. There’s a LOT of information. But, like many other areas–reading will get you very far. I simply got a cup of coffee, snuggled in with a blanket, and cracked open the book. After just a few minutes, I started becoming more comfortable with WriteShop. The concept of “open-and-go” and writing does not exist. There’s just too many aspects of writing to have it that cut and dry. It takes a little reading to get going, but it’s better in the long run. There’s a lot to cover, but that’s the world of writing!
- Speaking of the teacher’s manual, this book is really amazing. You definitely need it to teach the course. The extensive appendix gives you sample writing, ideas, and so much more. The appendix is my favorite part of the book.
- I love writing, but I’m not overly confident in teaching writing–especially at the high school level. Although there’s never a magic formula for anything, I feel like this is a great formulaic way to approach writing. It’s easy to follow as the teacher, and as the student.
If you have a middle or high schooler, I would love to know what you’re using for writing! WriteShop has been a great way to do high school writing for our first year of homeschooling high school!