WriteShop Primary FAQ

WriteShop Primary

What makes WriteShop Primary unique?

WriteShop Primary is able to teach even the youngest child how to plan and write (or dictate) a simple story. Because the hands-on games and activities appeal to the way young children learn best, they’re able to grasp and apply simple writing concepts while having lots of fun along the way!

Should we always start with Book A?

It’s important not to bore an older child by making her do kindergarten-level work to learn a concept that later books will revisit in a more age-appropriate way. This Placement Guide will help, but if you’re debating between two levels, base your decision on your student’s ability to think and reason, rather than her ability to write independently.

What if I’m teaching more than one child?

You may be able to teach them together using either Book B or Book C, depending on their ages. Activities called “Smaller Steps” and “Flying Higher” allow you to quickly and easily tailor each lesson to children who are working at different levels. If your young ones are too far apart in age or ability to work at the same level, WriteShop Primary makes it possible to teach two or more children using different books. For example, you might have:

  • a kindergartener in Book A and a second grader in Book B
  • a first grader in Book B and a third grader in Book C

Each Teacher’s Guide includes a scheduling plan for teaching two different levels in a way that neither you nor your children will feel overwhelmed.

What if my child isn’t reading or writing yet?

The beauty of WriteShop Primary is its adaptability to meet children where they are. Reading and writing skills aren’t necessary, even for Books B and C. Every level gives you the option of acting as your child’s “scribe,” writing down the words for him as you talk about ideas orally. As his skills develop, you can share the pencil, letting him write the words he knows.

Will WriteShop Primary work for my reluctant 4th or 5th grader?

Though WriteShop Primary Books A and B are rarely age-appropriate for 4th and 5th graders, the gentle approach of Book C can appeal both to reluctant older writers and children who learn with difficulty. Book C teaches many common elements of writing, such as planning a story, writing with description, writing a book summary, and creating short reports. Students of any age can apply the techniques and watch their writing improve!

On the other hand, because Book C is intended for younger children, older students may be put off by the more childish artwork. So unless they struggle with a learning difficulty, we encourage using WriteShop Junior Book D for 4th or 5th graders.

My child loves to write stories on her own. Does she need a writing program?

Not necessarily. However, if she has loads of ideas but has trouble staying on track, she may need the guidance and structure a writing program can bring.

Children who love to write often lack the organizational skills that keep their writing focused. WriteShop Primary introduces different kinds of graphic organizers to help them plan out their stories and articles. They also learn to use story ingredients; plan a beginning, middle, and end; and think of problems and solutions. Your child’s skills will steadily improve as she has fun learning new techniques for better writing.

How long does it take to complete one level of WriteShop Primary?

Each book has 10 lessons. The Intro includes three scheduling plans, with the most popular option allowing three weeks per lesson. Following this plan—and working every other day—most families finish one book in a school year. Expect to spend 15-30 minutes per day on writing activities.

Can I teach without a Teacher’s Guide?

Both the Teacher’s Guide and Activity Set Worksheet Pack are necessary components of WriteShop Primary. The Teacher’s Guide contains everything you need to teach the lessons, including daily lesson plans and detailed instructions for each activity (pre-writing games, brainstorming, writing lessons, publishing ideas, editing tips, recommended picture books, and much more). The reproducible Activity Set Worksheet Pack rounds out the program with activity pages that support the skills taught in each of the 10 lessons.

Does WriteShop Primary teach grammar and spelling?

The program does not teach grammar, though simple punctuation is introduced and practiced. WriteShop Primary uses a more natural approach to teaching spelling, so you won’t find prescribed lists of words. Instead, through a variety of games and activities, children work on learning to spell the words they most frequently misspell in their writing. Only Books B and C incorporate spelling instruction.

Is WriteShop Primary compatible with classical or Charlotte Maon models?

Charlotte Mason enthusiasts will enjoy the relaxed approach, picture books, journaling, narration, and activities that allow the child to explore the world around him. And while WriteShop Primary doesn’t fit the Classical model in the traditional sense, parents will appreciate the orderly guided lessons, direct teaching involvement, the way writing is always modeled first, and the lack of pressure on the young child to do his own writing.