How to set up & organize WriteShop Primary for a successful year of writing

by | Feb 8, 2021 | Organize a Writing Center, WriteShop Primary

One of the first things new WriteShop Primary moms ask is how to set up and organize the curriculum. Your materials are designed to make lesson planning effortless. In no time you’ll be ready for a low-stress year of homeschool writing.

By following these tips, you’ll create a portable writing center to store and organize your WriteShop Primary curriculum for a year of easy-peasy writing lessons.

Understand the Parts of Your WriteShop Primary Curriculum

WriteShop Primary features three levels: Books A, B, and C. Each level comes with a Teacher’s Guide and Activity Pack, which can be purchased as e-books or hardcopies. Although you can buy the resources separately, purchasing a set means you’ll have everything you need for a successful year of writing!

1. Teacher’s Guide

Your Teacher’s Guide shows you how to introduce the writing process at the simplest level. You’ll appreciate the daily schedules, step-by-step instructions, writing samples, and easy-to-follow scripts. Lessons include hands-on activities, crafts, and picture books that help children see how much fun learning to write can be! 

2. Activity Pack

Because the Teacher’s Guide contains all the instructions for teaching each activity, there is no student workbook. Instead, a slim, reproducible Activity Pack rounds out the program. The Activity Pack includes:

  • 10 worksheets that introduce and support skills taught in the lessons.
  • Illustrated, grade-level lined pages for practicing handwriting, spelling, or other basic writing skills.
  • Evaluation charts for tracking your child’s progress.
Ways to set up & organize your WriteShop Primary materials for easy lesson planning and stress-free writing times.

Organize WriteShop Primary for a Successful Year of Writing

When writing and publishing supplies are always handy, you and your kids will feel motivated and ready for writing time. Using the Teacher’s Manual intro as a guide, explore these practical ways to organize both your WriteShop Primary curriculum and everyday writing supplies. 

1. Print Your Digital WriteShop Primary Materials 

If you purchased digital products instead of hardcopies, decide how to print them.

Activity Pack. On average, there are only about 20 pages or so in the Primary Activity Pack. If you bought the digital version, it’s easy to print all the pages in advance. Don’t hole-punch these pages.

Teacher’s Guide. Depending which level you have, the Teacher’s Guide has between 186-241 pages to print. It can be time-saving and often cost-effective to use an office supply store or a homeschool printing service such as Family Nest Printing or The Homeschool Printing Company.

2. Gather Your Materials and Supplies

Every WriteShop Primary Lesson teaches a new writing skill to your child. Skills are taught through activities that use everyday materials and supplies you probably already have lying around. Each lesson tells you when there’s Advance Prep to be aware of. It’s a great idea to plan ahead of time by gathering the things you need.

Don’t stress over supplies! Start with the basics. You can always add more later. Your Teacher’s Guide includes everyday and lesson-specific material lists that include:

  • Advance Prep supplies: To make prepping easy, a paper cutter and 3-hole paper punch come in handy. A laminator is optional but always useful in any homeschool supply arsenal!
  • Paper: Keep a supply of grade-level lined paper, such as picture + story pages for grades K-1, inexpensive tear-off tablets for grades 2-3, or visual handwriting worksheets for grades 1-3. Some children will also enjoy having their own story journals for beginning writers.
    While not paper, a dry-erase lap board (lined/unlined) also makes a fun writing surface.
  • Writing tools: Young kids can get creative with pencils, colored pencils, crayons, and markers. 
  • Publishing supplies: Everyday supplies make it fun to publish stories! Include things like scissors, glue sticks, file folders, and paper in fun patterns and solid colors. Add in yarn scraps, party streamers, paper plates, and craft supplies you have on hand.
  • Other supplies: Round things off with sticky notes, assorted stickers, small hole punch, paper clips, and index cards.

3. Organize Your WriteShop Primary Materials in Folders

Each WriteShop Primary Activity Pack has 10 lessons. For your convenience, gather and prep 10 manila file folders.

  • Label each of the 10 folder tabs by lesson: Lesson 1, Lesson 2, and so forth.
  • Do any Advance Prep. Lesson plans might have you write words on index cards, make sentence strips, or cut out paper shapes. Stash small pieces in envelopes or baggies so they don’t get lost.
    Fill each folder with that lesson’s worksheet and anything else you’ve cut out or prepared.
  • Store each folder in its own compartment, which can be a hanging file or a pocket folder (more on both later!).

It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare for each 3-week lesson.

4. Create a Writing Center

If you don’t already have a designated space for writing, put together a writing center for storing supplies. Whether portable or permanent, a writing station sets the stage for sparking creativity! You don’t need a lot of room, but it’s so worth it.

OPTION 1: PORTABLE WRITING CENTER

With materials stored in some sort of tote, your child’s writing center is easily pulled out for writing time and cleaned up quickly when finished. Portable writing centers can also travel with you if you homeschool on the go.

What container makes the best portable writing center?

A portable storage container corrals your WriteShop materials, writing tools, and publishing supplies. Try one of these:

  • Portable file box (we like this one)
  • Plastic tub with a lid
  • Canvas file tote with pockets (here’s our favorite)

What should I keep in our portable writing center?

  • Hanging files and file folders to hold paper, Activity Set worksheets, and Advance Prep materials
  • Portable white board and dry-erase markers 
  • Writing supplies organized in pencil boxes or zip-top pouches
  • WriteShop Primary Teacher’s Guide

>> Also see How to Make a Writing Center in a Tote Bag

OPTION 2: PERMANENT WRITING CENTER

What storage works well in a permanent writing center?

If you have a homeschool area, consider a more permanent writing station with a table or desk for writing and publishing. You’ll also need ways to stash paper and writing supplies. Ideas include:

  • Plastic shoe boxes with lids. Keep them nearby on a bookshelf or in a closet.
  • Bucket tool organizer. A cleaning supply caddy is perfect for storing writing tools right on your tabletop.
  • Stacking trays. Store an assortment of plain, ruled, colored, and patterned paper.
  • Pencil cans or jars. Arrange several small containers on the desk to hold writing implements.
  • Over-the-door shoe organizer. It’s not mobile like a tote, but by hanging the pocket shoe organizer on the back of a door, it takes far less space than a bookshelf.

>> For more ideas, see Create a Homeschool Writing Center

How should I organize WriteShop materials in our permanent writing center?

When you have a semi-permanent or permanent writing center, a pocket-style organizer is great way to sort and store your WriteShop Primary worksheets and Advance Prep components. You’ll want at least 10 dividers so you can group everything by lesson. Options include:

The organizing system you set up for your WriteShop Primary curriculum can be used year after year and easily accommodate multiple children. It’s very similar to the way you would prepare your WriteShop Junior materials, so there’s growth potential when your child is ready for the next level.

Make adjustments as needed and keep the overall goal in mind—to provide your child with a successful year of learning how to write. 

>> Also see Organize WriteShop Junior for a Year of Writing

Investing a little time to get organized at the start of your homeschool year goes a long way to reduce stress and inspire success. Instead of scrambling at the last minute, now you can focus on all the fun learning moments in WriteShop Primary!

We’d love to have you join our Facebook community, where you can glean more ideas, tips, and tricks from other WriteShop families.

This post contains affiliate links for products we’re confident your family will love! We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and may earn a small commission for recommendations or links to any products or services from Amazon.com.

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