Allow me to introduce, The Write Foundation, a homeschooling intensive writing program developed to engage reluctant writers as well as fine tuning the skills of average writers.
What the program is:
The Write Foundation offers three complete writing programs; Level 1: Sentence Writing, Level 2:Paragraph Writing and Level 3: Essay Writing. You’ll find guidelines here that can assist you in determining what level will be the best starting point for your child.
When offered to review the program, I chose Level 2: Paragraph Writing which is geared towards 12 –15 year olds that I am using with all three of my children who are between the ages of 14 – 17.
The complete program contains a spiral bound teacher’s manual, one set of student worksheets and a CD with additional resources that are helpful to understanding and making the most of the course.
Cost for the course begins at $65 plus tax and shipping for lessons 1-15 or $100 plus tax and shipping for the entire 30 lesson course. Individual components of The Write Foundation programs are also available on their website for purchase.
To use the program successfully, each student will need a copy of Mind Benders A1, A2, A3 and A4, a set of worksheets (which can be reproduced within the original purchasers’ family), a 3-ring binder, loose leaf paper, highlighters in six colors, and access to a thesaurus and dictionary.
What I thought of the program:
According to the website, The Write Foundation is designed as a grab-it-and-go curriculum assuming that you, the teacher, can spend one to two hours familiarizing yourself with the program prior to using it with your students. I must disagree on this point. Personally, I did not find the curriculum to be user friendly or clear on the process explaining how to implement it in your home. Between you and me, I found the program very confusing. So much so that I became frustrated and it sat on my shelf until I had more time to review it.
After several weeks of picking it up and running into the same roadblock, I finally decided to jump in and begin using the program for fear that I would run out of time and not be able to offer a fair review. I was amazed what happened next. Armed with the worksheets and highlighters I sat down at the table and decided to work through the first lesson on my own. It finally made sense. I felt like the time I’d spent ‘trying’ to figure it out was a waste. I should have bit the bullet and not focused so much on understanding the program in and out and jumped in sooner, but that is completely contrary to my nature.
A tip or two:
The author of The Write Foundation, Rebecca Celsor, a seasoned homeschool mom, recommends that you read the program Introduction through its entirety before you attempt to begin the program. I wholeheartedly agree.
Before diving into the lesson for the week, I’d suggest that you locate the lesson plans or Paragraph Assignments, as they are called, which are found after the instruction pages for the first lesson. This arrangement didn’t make sense to me. Preferably, the weekly lesson page would be found prior to all the nitty gritty on how to teach the lesson. Discovering the weekly lesson plans, which I’d overlooked on several occasions really simplified the process. I guess you could say I was confused by the arrangement of the pages in the instruction manual.
Part of the confusion with this program is that it is not written exclusively to the homeschool parent, but also to a teacher in a classroom setting. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem but in this instance it took me a little bit to realize that the author was not always “talking” to me. This was easily remedied by adding Post-its to the pages that are relevant to me as the homeschool teacher.
The developers of this program have given plenty of information at their website in order to help you decide if The Write Foundation is right for your child. Read through the introduction and check out the sample lesson plans here before you buy.
What I would LOVE to see:
I was excited to see that there is now a Yahoo group for The Write Foundation. Though it is in the very early stages, I think it could become a great resource for someone that has questions and a great place to share tips, success stories and updates when it comes to implementing and using the program.
I would really like to see this program in action. Possibly a YouTube video explaining a portion of a lesson would be incredibly helpful or even a podcast that walked you through the first lesson step- by-step.
Would I recommend this program?
Though I excelled in writing class in school, I do not feel competent teaching writing to my own children so clear step- by- step directions are very important to me. I do believe this program can and will teach them the nuts and bolts that they will need to become better writers while throwing in some grammar and spelling skills along the way.
As we have taken an unschooling approach to education the past couple years, my children have not taken a formal writing program other than creative writing, writing letters to friends and family and practicing copy work and dictation. I found this program was easy for them to adjust to without causing them to be frustrated (once I understood how to teach it). We will continue to work through the remaining lessons.
We may not have gotten off to the best start with this program, but I do feel The Write Foundation will be a good fit for my family and has clearly filled a need.
I WILL recommend this program, but I do suggest that you allow plenty of time to learn how to teach it to your students.
You can stop by the TOS Crew Blog and see how this program worked for other families.
Just so you know, I received this program free of charge as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange for offering an honest review. If you would like more information about program, or are interested in placing an order, you can find more information at The Write Foundation website.