You know that old saying, you don’t know what you have til you’ve lost it? Well, there’s a corollary. You don’t know what you’re missing til you find it… or in my case, til the package arrives in the mailbox.
Middle school years are gawky, in-between ones for some subjects. In public schools, class materials treat these years as extensions of grade school, or as watered-down high school courses, and students tend to fall into a holding pattern until their freshman year.
As homeschoolers, we fight against falling into that trap, and often push our middlers on ahead into high school subjects.
Language arts is one of those awkward areas. They’ve already practiced handwriting, learned to read, and spell and paraphrase. They’ve worn their name off their library card; now, what do we do?
And for those in-between years of growing pains, what we really need are the best tools yet, for they must:
- be new and different
- not be babyish
- not be overwhelmingly difficult
- be interesting enough to hold their attention
- and above all, be something worth investing their time in – not just a rehash of elementary skills.
And into this gap comes Write with World.
Write With World is a innovative new writing curriculum designed to imbue a new generation of writers with the tools necessary for effective communication in our media-centric world.
Created by a partnership of educators and journalists, Write With World doesn’t just teach the bare bones of writing. Instead, it successfully delivers a greater truth – that writing is not merely a mundane chore to fill a page, make a grade, answer a question – writing has purpose, meaning, force. It has made men wealthy and it has destroyed lives.
Words are power. As writers, we must learn to wield that power to the best of our ability.
Write with World comes from the publishers of God’s World News and World Magazine. As such, it does have a Christian focus. It’s also devoted to teaching how to interpret what is seen and heard, because only by understanding slant and bias can we choose to use or withhold it in our own writing.
Write with World is a refreshing change from traditional writing programs. Students are encouraged to write for their audience, for the written word, like speech, has little meaning without someone to communicate to.
A sample lesson (Unit 1: Lesson 1) of Write with World is available for your viewing; it’s representative of the style of the rest of the book. (Unit 1 is the only one that I’ve found with full color images; later units have just the black and orange text.)
The review copies that I received were the pre-release version of the first year of a two-year program; the final versions of the Write with World books won’t ship until summer 2012. I was sent two books: a (9″ x 9″) student text and a (9″ high x 12″ wide) parent/ teacher text. Both are perfectbound, aka paperback softcover, and approximately 200 pages in length. (Non-standard book sizes irritate me; the kids liked the student book, finding it comfortable to use.)
A supplementary website for users of the curriculum will be available September 2012. The publishers informed us that it will provide an online publishing opportunity for students and additional writing subjects to refresh and enhance the textbook material.
Pricing for the final version (pre-orders begin in April) will be $95 per year, or $165 for both years, when purchased at the same time. (The purchase includes access to the website mentioned above.)
Write with World was created for grades 6-9; it could easily be used as a high school text. Multiple grade levels within this range would work well together. My 4th grader did join in with some of the activities, but I found myself answering many more questions for her, and I believe she would get far more out of this curriculum in a couple of years.
Creation of a high school curriculum is under consideration; if one is developed, a tentative release date would be for the 2013-14 school year.
At this time, there are not digital editions available, but the publisher did include a note to us reviewers that he would like to know what we – and our blog followers – would think of having an electronic version instead of printed books.
My answer is pretty simple. I think everyone around here knows that, no matter how much I love holding a real book in my hands, there’s just no way to get past the money-saving, space-saving, time-saving, resource-saving, ultra-portable benefits of ebooks. And when so many of us homeschoolers are low-income because we’re choosing raising our kids over material things… lower cost is always a good thing.
So… this is the page to order Write with World. And on the left hand side, there’s a “Your Feedback” link? Do me a favor. If you agree with me and you’d like to see them publish digital editions, tell them so. And leave me a message here, too, and I’ll pass it on to the email I’ve been given. (I don’t think it’s a public email, so I’m not sharing it here.)
To see what other crew members had to say, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog post, Write With World.
**Disclaimer – I received this product for free as a member of the 2011-12 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew so that I could provide you with an honest review of it by our family.**