Wednesday, November 10, 2010
TOS Homeschool Crew Review: The Write Foundation
I reviewed the Write Foundation Level 2 Paragraph Writing. I received a teacher instruction book containing the first 15 lessons, a packet of student worksheets and the additional resources which come on a CD to review.
The course calls for Mindbenders which you will have to purchase separately. I used something we already had instead.
This is a course intended for children ages 12- 15 although I think it would work well for older and possibly younger advanced students.
This one took me about two weeks to get up the confidence to implement. The teacher's manual didn't explain very well how to teach this course and made it seem more complicated than it really was. Once I jumped in it was easier to understand how this program worked. I didn't make my son do every worksheet the way they were supposed to be done. He didn't like the worksheet format and felt that there was too much repetition.
To use the program I had to look at the teacher's manual every day and then explain and assign a couple of worksheets. You are supposed to do a lesson a week although you may opt to stretch it out to two weeks. We stretched the lessons out, taking about five weeks to finish two lessons. The student can do some of the work on his own but you may have to offer additional explanations for a few things each lesson. This program seems to be set up more as a classroom or coop class so you may have to tweak things to fit your teaching style.
Many types of paragraphs are covered over thirty lessons, such as, Basic, How-to, Comparison, Contrast, Descriptive, Process, Informative, Intro, Conclusion and Support. The course ends with lessons on 5 paragraph essays.
The teachers book is a spiral bound book with a clear plastic cover. The price seems a bit high for what you end up getting. It has the look and feel of something that was printed on a home computer and taken to a copy shop to be spiral bound. The worksheets were hole punched which I appreciated as there were many of them. I received the supplemental resources as an email file.
Things I like:
-The program goes through step by step the process of writing a paragraph.
-Variety of writing assignments
-Not too hard to set up and use
Things I didn't like-
-Worksheets- I felt there were too many and some were just to have the student copy something from one list to another. I had a hard time getting my son to do more than two pages a day so the lessons took too long to finish.
-Not something the student can do on his own- I prefer something that my student can use independently.
-Too much structure- I like to be able to use things in different ways with each student. It was hard to figure out a way to tweak this one enough to work for my seventh grader. I did let him do some of the worksheets orally as we both felt there was too much writing on some of the worksheets.
-Time consuming- The teacher prep and teaching took longer than I would like.
I think most of our problems were that this was just a bad fit for teacher and student.
My son said "It taught me how to outline. It was very tedious and annoying." I did ask him to give me one positive thing about the program.
You can find out more about this curriculum at The Write Foundation.
We used the Paragraph Writing Curriculum(sample pages available at previous link) Package 2 Lessons 1-15 $65.00 +tax and shipping which includes
*Spiral Instruction Manual Lessons 1-15
*Student Worksheets Lessons 1-15
*Paragraph Additional Resources CD
I do not recommend this product. Some of the other reviewers did like it so before you make a decision maybe you should see what they said. You can read more at TOS Homeschool Crew blog. I received a complementary copy of this curriculum to review and I have given my honest opinion.