She’s crafty and hands on, and is forever working on some project. (Little scraps of paper on the floor? 90% chance of Chey)
So when we received the Write Shop Junior book (level D), and I saw how activity based it is, I knew that she was going to *love* all the projects… and that she might just enjoy herself while she was doing the writing, too.
We were send download editions (it’s also available in print), so it was easy for me to print out the black and white pages and get it ready to go. There are three different books. Two are absolutely necessary: the teacher’s guide and the student activity book. The teacher’s guide has 266 pages full of detailed lesson plans complete with materials needed and optional, instructions for setting up a writing center (whether permanent or portable), and all sorts of helpful, realistic advice for a homeschool parent. (Nothing at all like those books that are created for the public school market where 99% of the instructions are not applicable to a homeschool, one or two students working solo situation!) Also available is an optional “time-saver pack”, and in my opinion, it’s worth the extra price unless you (or your child) really enjoy making all the little extras like spinners and playing cards for games.
There are multiple lesson plan options detailed in the teacher’s guide. One spreads each of the ten lessons over three weeks, filling out an entire 30–week school year. Additional options are given for 20–week schedules in case you need a shorter plan, and it would be easy to adapt the given lesson plan to fit your own needs.
What each lesson in Write Shop Junior includes
Activity Set 1:
Fold-N-Go Grammer – a grammar flip book that is made each week to be used as reference material
Reading Log – track and measure progress of books that are read both together and independently
Activity Set 2:
Pre-Writing Activity – verbal or hands-on activities that introduce new writing concepts
Model and Teach (for 30 minutes at most) – using examples to show that lesson’s new writing skills
Activity Set 3:
Review and Skill Builder – worksheets, games, and other activities that provide an opportunity to practice writing skills
Journal Writing Practice – journal prompts are given for freewriting practice; these should not be edited or corrected
Activity Set 4:
Brainstorming – suggestions for generating and organizing ideas prior to writing
Activity Set 5:
Writing Project – creation of a story, poem, article or short report using the newly learned skills
Activity Set 6:
Editing and Revising – allows them to gain skill and confidence in editing and rewriting
Activity Set 7:
Publishing the Writing Project – by publishing the project in a crafty way, it allows them to take pride in sharing the work with others
Activity Set 8:
Evaluating the Work – evaluate their work and track their progress from lesson to lesson (this is one of the few areas where the material does sound a little public-school-ish)
Want to Do More? (optional) – suggestions for incorporating writing into other content areas
Our thoughts About Write Shop Junior
Write Shop Junior was surprisingly easy to implement, and I appreciated that in the introduction of the teacher’s guide, a great deal of consideration was given to describing the focus of each of the particular steps in the lessons. It made it much easier for me to adapt the curriculum to our needs when I understood what the intentions of the author’s were, and could correlate those intentions with my own.
It almost doesn’t need said – but anything even slightly crafty is a winner in Chey’s book. It’s almost enough to make her forget that she’s learning at the same time… and isn’t that the point of homeschooling? (Or at least one of them?) That we want learning to be a constant life experience, and something that’s *fun*, not just something that’s pushed on them at school and they try to forget just as soon as they escape out the door?
Write Shop Junior Book D Materials
Write Shop Junior Book D Teacher’s Guide - $39.95 print, $34.95 ebook – REQUIRED – 266 black and white pages
Write Shop Junior Book D Activity Pack - $39.95 print, $29.95 ebook – REQUIRED – includes the student worksheet pack and the Fold-N-Go grammar pack
Write Shop Junior Book D Time-Saver Pack - $13.95 print or ebook – OPTIONAL – Make your own game spinners, cards and props following the directions in the teacher’s guide, or purchase this time-saving ready-to-use (or print) pack.
Writing Curricula For Every Age
Other Homeschool Crew families received Write Shop materials for Primary levels A, B, and C, covering grade levels K through 3rd. Write Shop also offers its namesake junior/senior high school writing program, writing shop, though it’s currently only available in print. (I’d love to see it in a more budget-friendly ebook!) And if your family is in need of fun themed writing prompts, make sure to check out the Storybuilders ebooks for plenty of inspirational material.
Write Shop Junior Levels E and F (for 8–11 and 9–12 year olds, respectively) are mentioned in the placement guide in book D, but they’re not available yet.
To see what other Crew members had to say, check out the links on the TOS Homeschool Crew blog post, Write Shop.
**Disclaimer – As part of the The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I received the download version of Write Shop Junior Book D Teacher’s Guide, Activity Pack, and Time-Saver Pack for free so that I could provide you with an honest review of it by our family.**