Here’s something almost everyone can agree on: writing is one of the most intimidating, scary, overwhelming subjects to teach. Either you struggle with your own inadequacy of never having been taught to write, or you’re a natural writer who has no clue how to teach your children.
And the grading. Ugh. Writing seems so subjective, doesn’t it? How do you evaluate a composition without making random stabs in the dark?
Then there’s your kid! Many of us have tweens or teens who live in terror of the blank page. Even if they always seem to have a lot to talk about, it just never manages to translate to their writing.
It’s as if they’re crossing a bridge between Brain and Paper—but along the way, half their ideas tumble off the bridge and into the canyon below (along with everything you ever taught them about spelling and grammar).
RELATED: How Being a Scribe Is the Answer When Your Child Hates to Write
Our twofold goal at WriteShop is to equip parents to teach with confidence and encourage students that writing doesn’t have to be scary or hard. Though we carry materials for a variety of ages, today let’s zero in on our flagship program, WriteShop I.
Who Can Use WriteShop I?
The beauty of this flexible program is its ability to encourage success in a wide range of students, whether they’re struggling 7th graders or articulate, motivated sophomores.
Each student improves according to his or her own aptitude, depending on factors such as age, vocabulary, maturity, and life experience. Students are not measured against one another; rather, their work is evaluated based on each lesson’s expectations.
✏️ WriteShop I works for homeschool teens of mixed ages or grades.
A 10th grader with a mature writing style and broad command of language may easily earn an A on a writing assignment. But an 8th grader with a limited vocabulary and little writing experience can also pull off an A on the exact same composition.
Why? Because working at their own level, both students can follow the directions and meet the lesson’s expectations!
Sure, one paper may be stronger—more interesting, descriptive, or stylistically mature. But it doesn’t make the other paper bad.
Both types of student will grow in their writing abilities. Both will learn to brainstorm effectively, organize their writing, self-edit and revise, and submit to parent feedback.
Through this process, the 10th grader will hone her style, learn to write more concisely, and develop a stronger vocabulary. The 8th grader will begin to write longer, more concrete sentences, and discover some new sentence variations that make the writing sound fuller, richer, and more alive.
RELATED: What Is the Best Homeschool Writing Curriculum for High School?
✏️ WriteShop I is easy for you to teach.
For parents, we’ve made WriteShop user-friendly. If you start with the Basic Set, it includes a wonderfully resourceful Teacher’s Manual as well as a student workbook.
Featuring daily lesson plans and schedules for both WriteShop I and II, the Teacher’s Manual includes answer keys, student samples, and supplemental writing activities, as well as dozens of essay topics for WriteShop assignments.
In addition, WriteShop makes editing and grading more measurable and quantifiable. Where it always seemed like guesswork before, now you can truly offer objective input—regardless of your own lack of confidence or experience.
But don’t take our word for it! See how moms like you use WriteShop in their homeschool to help their teens become successful writers.
Exceptional Middle School Writing Curriculum — Erin, Nourishing My Scholar
WriteShop: The Only High School Writing Curriculum You’ll Ever Need — Emily, The Table Life
WriteShop Review: Best Homeschool Writing Curriculum — Jennifer, The Organized Homeschooler
Suggested Placement for WriteShop I
5th grade or below: Wait a year or more before beginning WriteShop I. Your 4th-6th grader will love the hands-on, engaging experience WriteShop Junior offers.
6th grade: When you have a motivated 6th grader with good basic writing skills, WriteShop I could be a good choice. But if your preteen child is a reluctant writer, opt for WriteShop Junior Book F instead.
7th-10th grade: These are the ideal years to start WriteShop I. Regardless of past writing experience or skill level, almost every learner in this age range excels in the program.
11th-12th grade: Although WriteShop I can certainly benefit older homeschool teens, consider starting them directly in WriteShop II. Or, use WriteShop I during the first semester and WriteShop II during the second.
I hope this sheds a little more light for those of you who are deliberating about a writing program. There’s a lot to think about, and I know it always helps to go into a new situation with as much information as possible.