Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Write With The Best!

I remember being in college and having one of my guidance counselors explain the importance of good writing skills in life. He described a student who didn't do very well on science tests, but who could write up a science lab report in such a way that the he could earn a good grade in the class despite his poor testing. This counselor also spoke of the many career paths that a person could take that would require excellent communication skills, including written communication, reports, etc. This counselor's advice has never left my mind, and thankfully, I have been gifted with good writing skills. Writing skills that saved my grade many times in college, brought in the perfect job at a time when I had a small child to raise, and helped me win the blessing of reviewing homeschool materials for TOS Homeschool Crew this year!

So you'll believe me when I tell you that writing is ver
y important to me, and I was delighted to receive a writing program to review! Especially when I explain the failure I have been at instilling the love and gift of writing in my children. My 9-year-old really does not like to write! It is like pulling a mouthful of teeth with plastic tweezers to get something decent out of that child, and I am sorry to say that it has affected what I ask of her. (shame on me!) I have gotten so tired of fighting with her about her writing, and I have yet to find the "thing" - you know, the magical thing that suddenly makes it all fall into place - that snaps her out of her hysterics and puts a smile on her face when the words "today, I want you to write about..." are spoken in our home.

Well, let's talk about Write With the Best by Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services (no, not a company that produces medication for learning problems).
"The goal of the program is to produce successful writers who know how to write effectively, who know how to proofread their work efficiently, and who know how to properly analyze great literature." - So say the authors.

And doesn't that sound lovely? What parent wouldn't want that for their children?

After only a few days, I can see not only how well this program is going to work, but also how poorly I have been going at teaching my kids to be good writers! I am elated that in the first lesson, "Writing a Descriptive Paragraph,"
my eldest child understood right away that the excerpt from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was an example of good writing because it describes everything so vividly. Yay! She may not be a great writer yet, but she apparently understands good writing.

Write With the Best is a writing curriculum for grades 3 through 12 that teaches your child to write better by using great works of literature as their guide. And really, if you want to be a good cook, you use a tried-and-true cookbook, right? If you want to learn to play guitar, you wouldn't find a novice to learn from, would you? So, using the great examples of good writing already out there, Write With the Best helps your child (and you!) understand what makes it great, and how to achieve that for your own writing. The biggest nugget of surprise comes from the fact that we can spend only 15-45 minutes per day on this curriculum and achieve our goal!

Because we are so far behind in good writing education, we may be struggling more with attitude than aptitude, so we give Write With the Best a big 2 Thumbs Up
for giving us tools to improve a very important we were not honing with the other products we have tried.
{To see what my fellow TOS Homeschool Crew Members had to say about WWTB, click here.}

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