Become An Essay Rockstar! ~ Fortuigence #Review
Chris, my 14-year-old high school freshman, hasn’t done quite as much essay writing as I would like, so when an opportunity came along for him to try out an online writing course from Fortuigence, I jumped at the chance. He’s been working through the Essay Rock Star Textual Analysis Writing Course. It’s part of a four-course series billed as “5 Steps for Your Teenager to Master Non-Fiction Writing That Directly Impacts Their High School Grades, College Acceptance, and Career So They Can Excel in Life”.
A textual analysis essay is one that middle school, high school, and college students are often expected to write. Textual analysis is a review of someone else’s work; book, movie, and product reviews are all examples of textual analysis. In this course, students are taught to use their critical thinking skills to share their thoughts in an organized, coherent form. Students are instructed in the art of objective observation, and how to provide clear examples that support their observations. By the end of the class, students should be able to efficiently compose carefully considered arguments.
It is not a requirement that the components of Fortuigence’s homeschool writing program be completed sequentially; each can be purchased and completed individually, if desired. Textual Analysis is the third essay type that is worked on during the complete series, but Chris encountered no difficulty due to working out of order.
The Essay Rock Star writing program is entirely online, and students have their own log in. It’s created to be independently used by the student, and the navigation is straightforward – students simple progress through the curricula in chronological order, working on and submitting assignments when necessary.
Assignments may be typed directly in the browser window, but given our notoriously touchy home internet that’s been known to lose work, I requested that Chris do his typing in another word processor (that he normally uses), and then copy and paste into the submission window. This has worked out excellently for him; the extra step isn’t too much of a hassle, and he appreciates the security of knowing that he won’t have to redo something if the internet glitches.
Essay Rock Star, In Chris’ Words:
It’s supposed to teach me how to write essays on things. It goes through and does it step by step. First, it tells me how to identify the purpose and description of a text. Then, it goes through and shows me how to actually make a essay on something by giving me multiple choices of topic to write on.
I chose the “chocolate diet”, which is a review on how chocolate affects your diet, because if you eat it frequently and not in large portions, it can be good for you rather than being bad for you. Next, it shows me the different kinds of essays you can write, like thematic, textual analysis and part-by-part textual analysis. I still don’t fully understand the different between those, but I think I kind of get a difference or two.
Inside each lesson, it has a video talking about the lesson, then text to read below it. Between the video and the text, it has a little audio button to click that just reads the text.
At the end of every lesson, it gives me an assignment that I need to finish and submit, which is written text that I have to do. I type it in [word processor] so i can save it and it’s easy to get to, and then I copy and paste it over. It’s extremely easy to figure out where to go and what I need to do next, just each lesson in order. It’s fairly simple to submit assignments. Assignments can be typed right in the screen, and even saved for later, and then when you’re ready, you can send it to the teacher. I didn’t really use that part, because i have [word processor]. It’s a nice feature, though.
At the end of every lesson, the teacher would send me an email to let me know whether I’d passed on the assignment or if I needed any more work. She’s passed me on all of them so far. She hasn’t really given me any corrections to make and I haven’t needed to change anything, so it seems like it’s going fairly well. It usually takes around 24 hours to get a lesson back after I send it, but this lesson seems to be taking a little longer.
When you finish an assignment and she passed you, a red checkmark appears next to the lesson you just did. If you’ve recently submitted the work, but it hasn’t been checked yet, the checkmark is silver.
What Did I Think About Essay Rockstar?
It’s great to be hands-off on some courses, and it’s interesting, to the writer in me, to see how others respond to my kids’ writing. It’s always a good idea to have others review your work, and that applies to work your kids produce, too – we tend to get blind to their faults, and a “second opinion” does no harm.
Two of my other children have also done online writing class not taught by me, and I’ve decided that it’s experience that I’d like each of my children to have. Learning and understanding the concept of “constructive criticism”, especially by someone *not mom*, is a positive.
Each of the four Essay Rock Star units is priced individually at $57, or the extended Essay Rock Star course, which includes all four essay types, is $197. Though it’s not in our budget to continue right at this moment, I think it’s something we’ll likely consider for the future.
Connect with Fortuigence and Essay Rockstar on social media!
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+LilyIatridis and https://plus.google.com/+Fortuigence1/posts