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Our Favorite Homeschool Writing Curriculum

There was a time period many years ago where both of our girls hated writing. All the joy, fun, and creativity had been sucked out of that subject thanks to me and the belief that writing could only be done one way (thank.you.very.much), and there was no wiggle room allowed.

(I was desperately wrong, in case you were wondering).

Many of us get caught up in the ‘right way’ to teach something (or maybe that’s just me), and in the process we often forget that learning should be fun and something our kids desire to do. When the creativity literally shriveled up in our girls, it was a moment when I realized we needed to stop and bring the life back into a subject that was dry, dry, dry – and make it fun!

Enter WriteShop…

We picked up a set of holiday StoryBuilder cards from WriteShop before one Christmas break and suddenly, based on three little prompts, the writing floodgates opened and stories began to pour out of our girls. Notebooks were filled (and kept going and going) in just a short timeframe. The love for writing returned.

Ironically, we already had one level of WriteShop on our shelf, but I had put it aside for something else (hello, shiny). We pulled that book back off the shelf, ordered additional levels, and haven’t looked back since! WriteShop has become the writing program of choice for our children, and one that I wholeheartedly recommend to other families.

A Solid Writing Base

writeshop-features-1and2-b

This year, Laurianna (11th grade) has been taking dual credit English classes at our community college that require a lot of detailed writing assignments. I’ll admit that at first I was nervous – would she be able to handle the requirements? 

In her sixth and seventh grade years, she completed both WriteShop I and WriteShop II and went on to work through three years of a high school literature program in which I based the writing rubrics off our time with WriteShop – and you all, she has been SO prepared! The foundation those two years gave her were truly the core of her writing.

Not only did the WriteShop I and II programs prepare her, they prepared me as a teacher to truly instruct her in the writing process (from essays to research papers), evaluate her work, and offer constructive feedback. As I mentioned before, the grading rubrics were highly instrumental in our high school literature program as well and helped in various co-op classes when needing to provide instruction and guidance to those students.

Really truly, the one thing that I keep repeating to my high school lit classes – being able to write a strong paper is one of the most important things in education. Choosing words carefully, writing a persuasive argument, proper spelling – writing is a part of almost every facet of our lives!

A few words written poorly can make all the difference, and I want our kids to have a strong writing background, which I know they will thanks to WriteShop.

I’ll also admit that the teacher’s guides in the WriteShop 1 and WriteShop 2 levels have greatly spoiled me. The grading rubrics and instructions are very clear – such a huge help to a busy homeschool mom, and the step-by-step program is easy to follow for both students and teachers.

Something for EVERY Grade Level

While I’ve shared much of our love for the WriteShop I & II programs, they truly have a writing program or tool for every grade level, and it’s never too late to jump in and start. Our younger children are also using their programs (Junior and now WriteShop I), and we have worked through all the levels of their programs in recent years. We really love it that much!

From grades K through high school, there is truly something for each of the children in your home to use. 

 

FREE Writing Prompts

WriteShop

Don’t miss their FREE writing prompts either! These are a fantastic way to get a peek into the WriteShop programs – and get hooked as our family did! From elementary through high school, there are mini-lessons, story prompts, word prompts, and programs to encourage and help even the most reluctant writers! Here are a few reviews that’s I’ve written in the past:

Writing doesn’t have to be another chore you add to your homeschool day. It can be fun and productive – and inspire your family to creative writing for years to come.

17th Birthday Sale from WriteShop (and a FREE gift)

WriteShop

Next week I’ll be sharing an in-depth look at the WriteShop program we are using with Zachary, BUT I didn’t want any of you to miss a special sale WriteShop is holding in honor of their 17th birthday! 

Their programs have been a favorite in our family for many years, and we cannot recommend them highly enough. Save 17% off (and receive a FREE gift) when you buy any digital set or bundle during the month of January 2018. Simply look for the orange SALE circles below items, which indicates products that are reduced.

Plus when you buy any set (digital or print) you may choose any one Writing Extra for free by using code 17years at checkout.

They have some other surprises coming, so be sure to stay tuned! 

 

Offer expires January 31, 2018.

Daily Writing Prompts

WriteShop

In the meantime, sign up for their daily writing prompts for grades 7-12 (these are so much fun!) – and did I mention FREE?

FREE Gratitude Journal Mini Lesson

Just in time for Thanksgiving, WriteShop has a full month of writing activities for children grades K-8 to encourage gratitude. The free mini lesson includes 13 colorful printable journaling pages including: 

  1. My Gratitude Journal
  2. It’s Good to Be Thankful
  3. 15 Things
  4. 15 More Things
  5. This Week I’m Thankful For
  6. The Best Thing About Today (for older children)
  7. The Best Thing About Today (for younger children)
  8. Today I am grateful for…
  9. Gratitude Is an Attitude
  10. Thankful for the Little Things
  11. I’m Thankful for You! (letter-writing template for older children)
  12. I’m Thankful for You! (letter-writing template for younger children)
  13. Journal Jar Strips

The Gratitude Journal is a special gift for subscribers of the WriteShop site (and you’ll receive other great tips and freebies along the way!). Our family loves the WriteShop reading programs, and this freebie is a great way to see if their lessons are a good fit for your family as well. 

Spin a Story StoryBuilders – Free Printable

WriteShop

WriteShop is a writing program our family has been using for years and currently they have a FUN freebie for their subscribers: Spin a Story StoryBuilders

I’ll tell you something I love about their StoryBuilders: we used a freebie like this many years ago (after nearly killing our girls’ joy for writing with another program) and it is what kick-started our girls back into creative writing and ENJOYING the writing process. One of them even wrote her own short book based on the StoryBuilder prompts. 

It was something simple, but made a HUGE change for our girls, and for that I am so very thankful. 

WriteShop

This freebie includes 4 printable story prompt spinners in both full color and grayscale options (8 spinners total) plus directions.

  • Exciting Adventures Spinner
  • Animal Adventures Spinner
  • Fantasy & Fairy Tales Spinner
  • Historical Adventures Spinner

Children will spin to choose CHARACTER, SETTING, and a SITUATION. Once the three elements are chosen, it’s up to them to create the whole story!

Spinners may be used by students of various ages. Though they are designed for grades 3-8, younger children and even teens can enjoy them too. This freebie is a special gift for subscribers of the WriteShop site (and you’ll get other great tips and freebies along the way!). 

*NEW* WriteShop Junior Level F (Preorder Special)

WriteShop Junior Book F | Value Pack (Pre-order)

Our family has been using and loving WriteShop for years. One of the things we have been waiting for is Level F of their Junior program (for grades 5/6). And it’s finally available for pre-order!! 

WriteShop Junior Book F

WriteShop Junior is a creative writing program that appeals to many learning styles. As with all WriteShop products, Book F helps you guide students through the steps of the writing process. To keep the experience fun, each lesson includes games and activities that teach and review important writing and self-editing skills.

BOOK F VALUE PACK INCLUDES:

  • Book F Teacher’s Guide
  • Activity Pack F
  • Time-Saver Pack F
  • Junior Writer’s Notebook 2 (digital only)

To celebrate the release of the program, they have a few special deals for those pre-ordering by August 15th. 

WriteShop Junior Book F | Value Pack Pre-order Details

Story Detective Printable – Identifying Parts of a Story

Story Detective printables for learning the parts of a story

 

This year we are using WriteShop Primary C as a part of Kaleb’s 3rd grade curriculum. Right now we are learning about the parts of a story: the who, what, where, when, why, and story details.

Because I didn’t want to take 20 minutes to cut out and create the suggested magnifying glasses (heaven forbid I should pull out the construction paper and scissors – every one of them would be a different shape and that would bother me), I spent an hour creating the Story Detective printables instead. (In my defense, there are more than magnifying glasses in the pack.)

Story Detective Printables

Story detective worksheets at a glance

Inside the Story Detective printable set you will find:

  • Story Part magnifying glasses: who, what, where, when, why/how, and story details
  • Story detective worksheet: use this to go along with stories your child creates or reads
  • Take-along cards: quick notecards to hang up or use as a reference
  • Story sheets: write and illustrate your own story

Download button

Draw and Journal Pages

Draw and Journal Pages

If you like the story sheets that are in the pack you can find additional Draw and Journal pages here.

Essay Outline For Older Children

Hamburger essay outline for literature

If you have older children that are at the essay stage of writing, download a free copy of the Hamburger Essay Outline to help organize the writing process.