Author – Rebecca Celsor
Cost – $65.00 plus tax and shipping
Suggested Ages – 14-17
I’ve been an English instructor/professor/adjunct with several institutions over the last eight years. Having taught remedial writing to those who enter college underprepared and senior level courses at universities, I cannot stress how important writing is for your students!
A firm writing foundation will help your student in all areas of life. Not only is it important for those on the college-bound path, but also for those entering the work sector. As I have often challenged my own boys, show me a career that doesn’t include some level of writing! An extension of that, show me a successful career with upward mobility that doesn't require the employee to be a strong communicator! To this date, we haven’t come up with one.
Choosing your writing curriculum carefully is important as well. I find it challenging to teach my boys writing because my expectations often exceed their abilities. I have to tone down my college background to fairly assess where they are at. Luckily, we belong to a wonderful co-op where my boys have taken writing from strong teachers who allow me to work with them in the background while they lay out the expectations. As my boys get closer to their collegiate years, my experience will be able to take a front seat.
That all being said, I was interested in The Write Foundation as provided to me by TOS because it incorporates strategies for teaching individuals or groups. After careful evaluation, here is what I believe to be the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum.
- Includes a good deal of grammar practice – I see students lacking in this area.
- Teaches the writing process – so many students do not include the brainstorming and outlining steps when writing. This is critical!
- Includes poetry each lesson – poetry is a fun way for students to learn writing and express themselves.
- Works with different styles of essay writing – students will encounter many different styles once they hit college.
- Goes beyond the five-paragraph essay – five paragraph is very rudimentary. Students must achieve beyond this level before entering college.
- Includes good worksheets for students and teacher materials to use that coincide with the lesson.
- Instructions were difficult to understand. It took several attempts to try to understand the approach for teaching a child.
- Course is setup for individuals or for a group – this crossover can create confusion when providing instruction. (Would suggest two separate manuals.)
- Grammatical errors throughout the curriculum
- Teacher materials for use with groups are setup for making overhead slides – should be PowerPoint slides. (Individuals can just look at the computer screen or printout.)
- Mind Benders are used for each lesson. While I love incorporating critical thinking into our day, I’m not sure it belongs as part of the writing curriculum. However, it certainly can’t hurt and helps students gain a critical mind.
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*** This curriculum was provided to me free of charge through The Old Schoolhouse for review purposes.