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Schoolhouse Review: Writing with Sharon Watson

My husband and I both agree that writing well is one of our top priority with preparing our children for their future career.  I have spent many hours researching writing programs in the past ten years. I can honestly say that Writing with Sharon Watson is a keeper.  Not many writing programs get a five star rating here at Homeschooling6.
My 9th grade son Josh was very blessed to use The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School.
For this review I received The Power in Your Hands student workbook ($39.98) and the Teacher’s Guide ($14.98).
I had my Teacher Guide spiral bound.
The Power of Your Hands
Writing with Sharon Watson~The Power in Your Hands is perfect for a beginner or experienced writer. Through the course of the year your child will complete 22 essays and reports. 
Josh just took off with this program he was able to complete assignments on his own. Of course as a parent I do go over his work. We have a meeting time and this is when I will look at his writing and go over anything he doesn’t understand.
What I absolutely love about this program (yes we both loved it!) is the Teacher’s Guide gives examples of an A+ all the way down to what a F paper looks like.
Teacher Guide
The first 65 pages of the Teacher Guide includes an overview of the program, samples of real students writing, grading, what to expect from the student and so much more. It may sound like a lot but it is not overwhelming at all. As a busy mom of 6 I really appreciated this part of the Guide. Having Mrs. Watson show me what an A, B, C, D, or F paper looks like is very helpful.
Page 66 is where the lessons start and the Teacher Guide will keep mom informed as to what the student’s assignment for that day is.
The self guided student text includes 23 chapters with over 100 daily lessons. The lessons give step-by-step instructions. My son can become overwhelmed easily, so I was thankful with how Mrs. Watson breaks down the assignments. The instructions are very clear. Josh knew where each daily lesson began and ended. This may sound petty but for my son, these small things are very important.
Student book
In the back of the student workbook is a Tool Box section. Here is a sample list of what is in the “Tool Box” section:
  • Be Your Own Editor~this has the student reread his paper, check punctuation, grammar, and so forth.
  • Evaluation forms
  • Don’t list for persuasion~Do list for persuasion~Logical persuasion list.
  • How to write a How-to, Biography Slants, Compare and Contrast-three methods and much more.
This writing program does not teach grammar which works out great for us. In writing programs that we have tried in the past always took forever before the actual writing was taught. This frustrated Josh. Writing with Sharon Watson~The Power in Your Hands, has Joshua learning how to write with the first lesson. The writing process is not drawn out like many we have tried the before.
How we used it: I thought I’d be more involved but like I mentioned Joshua was able to do a lot on his own. He worked through the program about four days a week. I would meet with him sometime during the day or every other day.
At the time of this review he is writing a persuasive essay and is doing very well. It’s challenging. His persuasive essay has to have 300 words but it’s good for him. He has spent hours researching and writing. Thank the Lord he likes a good challenge.
He is currently still writing his persuasive essay. He is having trouble with the 300 word count. But again, this is so good for him. He is researching and really taking this writing assignment seriously. 
My final thoughts: Joshua would like to continue using this program. To me that says a lot. He mentioned that it’s hard but he likes it.
What I liked:
  • Pages are clean and uncluttered.
  • Writing samples with thought provoking questions for example: Do you agree with this writer? Explain., What is the tone of the essay?, Stand on the other side of the issue for a moment. List two reasons why someone might believe that the city street should be build in the middle of Porcupine Park.
  • Preliminary checklist are included to keep Joshua on track.
  • The student is encouraged to own their own writing by using the “Be Your Own Editor” section in the back of the book.
  • The program is from a Christian worldview.
I really appreciate all the hard work that went into this program. The step-by-step instructions for the students and the detailed teacher guide for mom. Writing with Sharon Watson~The Power in Your Hands is a huge blessing and I’m very happy to have been one of the reviewers for this program.
Joshua 9th Grade

Quote from Joshua: “Writing with Sharon Watson is great because it has taught me how to write a knowledgeable essay within the first couple of weeks.”

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  1. Another writing program to tempt me with. :) I am glad Joshua is liking it and that it is working for him.

  2. Thank you for your review, Linda! I ordered it and the middle school program (Jump In) today. I've not found a writing curriculum that I love yet, so hoping this is it!

  3. Michelle, I hope you like it too. We love it and Joshua is doing well with it. He really does like it.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I love yours. Your little Boaz is so adorable. You are doing a great job!!!

  4. I want you to know that I am running this in the print issue of TOS coming out in the new year. Thanks for a great review!


  5. Thank you Kate, I'm super excited and hubby is so proud =)

    I'm looking forward to another year on the Crew. Can't wait!!!



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