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Essentials in Writing Review

Homeschooling six children can be a challenge at times (a wonderful challenge) especially in areas of writing and literature. I was so grateful to get the chance to review a writing program that uses DVDs for each lesson. It's like having a teacher come to our home and help teach my kids.
Essentials in Writing Review by Homeschooling6
For the past six weeks Brent has been using Essentials in Writing 8! It's been a huge blessing.

I received the complete package which includes 4 DVDs, the Student Textbook in physical and pdf format. I love that I have the option to print the Student Textbook because I have two more children who will use this. 

The Essentials in Writing Level 8 program includes 64 lessons. Some lesson will take more than a day to complete and the lessons are set up as Lesson 6A and 6B. 

The Student Textbook includes all the worksheets and has an answer key in the back of the book. Your child can write directly in the textbook. No separate workbook is needed.
The textbook has the worksheets, graphic organizers, summary organizers, and checklist. It also includes a suggested schedule to follow and a suggested approach which is helpful in explaining how to go about using the program. 

I appreciated that I don't have to read a whole book to understand how to use the program. It's all explained on one page. Super helpful when you are teaching four different grade levels. So I love that about the program.

Mathew Stephens does a wonderful job of teaching writing. He explains the writing process in a way that isn't overwhelming for the student. He walks the student through the steps giving them examples or models the type of writing that he expects the student to do. 

The Graphic Organizers help the child organize their ideas and the checklist remind or make sure that the student meet all the requirements of the assignments.
For example with the Five-Paragraph Essay there is a checklist for:
  • Opening Paragraph/Introduction
  • Body-(see checklist at bottom)
  • Closing Paragraph/Conclusion
  • Overall
  • Mechanics
  • Body Paragraphs Checklist: Body Paragraph 1, 2, and 3
With the titles you are given more details like "Did you introduce your topic" is one of them found under the Opening Paragraph.

To help make things a bit easier for mom (or dad) to grade a Scoring Guide is included.
You will score your child's work with:

  • Organization/Content
  • Opening, Thesis, Statement, and Conclusion
  • Sentence Structure Word Choice
  • Mechanics
For each part of the five paragraph essay, you'd give a score of 4 being the highest and 1 the lowest. At the bottom of the Scoring Guide page you will tally it all up for their final score.

The DVD lessons take about 6-15 minutes depending on what is being taught. Before watching the DVD lesson your child should read the lesson in his textbook then watch the lesson via DVD, and finally complete the pages that correspond with the lesson.

Essentials in Writing Level 8 has a supplemental grammar lessons. If your children need a brush-up on grammar then they should watch the "Intense Grammar" lessons first and/or review them as needed. There are no written grammar assignments.

My thoughts: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this program. My daughter Annette has used the 7th and 10th grade levels which were included in her curriculum program. I just ordered the 6th and 9th grade levels for Ethan and Caleb and will order the 4th level in May for Lance.

Brent and Caleb both love that they can watch the lessons because it helps them understand writing (their words). We have tried many programs and both the kids and I really like Essentials in Writing because it's like having a teacher in our home. If needed I can watch the lesson to see what the kiddos learned (they are not long) to help them or just get a better idea so when I correct/score their work.
I was blessed to talk with and meet the gentleman who is teaching my children how to write. It was a pleasure meeting Mathew Stephens.

If you are looking for an awesome writing course that teaches your child how to correctly structure a sentence to persuasive essay writing, please visit the Essentials in Writing website to read more about it.

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