Finding a writing program

As I said in my last post, yesterday and today were the homeschool convention and vendor fair. I decided on science yesterday. Today I concentrated on looking for a writing program.

I use Christian Light Education for reading and language arts. I am very happy with this curriculum. However, they do not specifically teach writing within the curriculum. While there are some writing lessons in them, they recommend a separate writing program if you want more specific writing instruction. Richard is not a writer and was not getting enough practice with just the CLE; so I took their advice and went searching for a writing program to supplement it.

This was harder than I expected. While many companies had writing instruction, most were included as part of a larger language arts program. I found a large book of story starters, but that wasn’t quite what I had in mind either. I went to a booth from Institute for Excellence in Writing. The first man I talked to there wasn’t very helpful or really understanding my need. I guess he asked another worker because later he found me. He had a thin spiral bound book in hand. I glanced through it and followed him back to the booth where he had me talk to a woman.

She explained they did have a writing component that could be used as a stand alone writing program. It has several levels. Most of the levels are junior high and high school. Not what I need. I’m starting to loose hope again. Then she pulls out a new level aimed at grades 3-5. It’s a year long course but not grade specific. Perfect, tell me more!

She explained it is a companion program to their main language arts program.  It’s pretty basic to  encourage competency and confidence in writing, which he needs. The work is done in a workbook, but isn’t the typical fill in the blank. It’s more of a guided framework,the type of things that would be on an overhead in a classroom. I think I’ll have him copy it into a notebook so he is less dependent upon a workbook.

There are 24 lessons in 7 units for this program. I figure we will do writing once or twice a week. Christian Light’s reading program starting in fourth grade isn’t daily to allow more time for other subjects. I thought this would be great time for doing writing. He’s had a lot of grammar and sentence structure. Now it’s time to learn how to put it together into more formal writing.

The lessons are short. They get more detailed in the higher levels. This level just introduces and gets them familiar with writing structure and style. While the lessons are basic, they aren’t dry. The readings that are used as prompts are the kinds of things that would appeal to my son’s age. I had him look through it. He replied, “looks good”, then wandered back to the science table.

I asked my cooperating teacher to recommend a writing program and she said this company was good. She even gave me the purchase order form. It was $30. I filled it out right there and took the workbook home. Writing solved.

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