WriteShop Primary FAQ

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?

You don’t want to bore older children with kindergarten-level work when later books will revisit concepts 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 their 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. Activities called “Smaller Steps” and “Flying Higher” let you easily tailor each lesson to children working at different levels. When 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 in 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?

WriteShop Primary is wonderfully adaptable 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,” so you simply write down their words as you talk about ideas. As their skills develop, you can share the pencil, letting them write the words they know.

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 may appeal to older children with special needs. Book C teaches many common elements of writing, such as planning a story, writing with description, writing a book summary, and creating short reports.

However, 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. But if she has loads of ideas—yet has trouble staying on track—she may need the guidance and structure a writing program can bring.

>> Do I really need a writing curriculum?

Children who love to write may lack the organizational skills that keep their writing focused. WriteShop Primary introduces different graphic organizers to help them plan out their stories. They also learn to plan a beginning, middle, and end and think of problems and solutions. Your children’s skills will steadily improve because they’ll have fun learning new tools for better writing.

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

Each book has 10 lessons. The Intro offers three scheduling plans. The most popular option allows 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 when doing Primary 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, such as daily lesson plans and detailed instructions for each activity, pre-writing games, brainstorming, writing lessons, publishing ideas, editing tips, and recommended picture books, and more). Also, 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?

There’s no grammar instruction in the Primary books, though children learn and practice simple punctuation. With spelling, WriteShop Primary uses a more natural approach, so you won’t find prescribed lists of words. Instead, through a variety of games and activities, children practice spelling 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 Mason models?

Charlotte Mason enthusiasts will love the relaxed approach, picture books, journaling, narration, and activities that allow children to explore the world around them. 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 young children to do their own writing.