Tuesday, July 19, 2016

High School Writing Course by Sharon Watson #review

 English. It is perhaps one of the hardest subjects to confidently teach as a homeschooler -second only to Math. Why? I think writing is one of the things that makes students and teachers stumble. They just don't know how to motivate kids, how to incorporate it and how to grade it. Writing with Sharon Watson designed her high school course The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, 2nd Edition  especially for the reluctant student.

What did I receive:

  • The Power in Your Hands Teacher's Guide E-book
  • The Power in Your Hands Student E-book

A little About It & How We Used It:

First thing I did was look over the product. You can actually get a free sample here to check it out yourself.  The teacher's guide is filled with practical information to help really dig into this course. I spent some time reading over how to grade. I really like how the book gave me an idea of what each letter grade looks like. This teacher's guide really holds your hand through the whole course. From the assignments and how to teach students to format  to grading to a break down of each chapter from the students book. It is thorough and I plan to use this information for other subjects. I feel it really helped me with how to proceed with this course and I imagine I will use it in other areas of writing in our homeschool.

For the boys I printed up the first two chapters and added them to a three prong folder. This way they could keep all their work together and they each had their own copy. (As they complete the work I'll switch out chapters - keeping the folder small.) So each of the boys worked through their work. We did not use the 14 minute Power Surges - which are mini writing assignments with prompts. We just didn't have time to use them but I wanted to mention them because I really liked the idea and will use them in the future.

The schedule of this book is a bit tricky - if you do it all - you can really make this course last over a year and possibly to 3 years. This is how we will do it. We did the first two chapters and then in the fall we will pick it up with the idea to complete the following year.  I really like that because it gives me time to really dig in and it is easier on the budget.

Writing with Sharon Watson Review

My Thoughts:

I am often overwhelmed when trying out a new curriculum. Especially when it comes to writing. For me sometimes I struggle with teaching something I already know. Writing comes natural to me but not so much for one of my kids. I like that the teacher's guide really broke it down for me and what to expect and shoot for as far as quality. This curriculum is gentle but felt doable. Both of the kids completed their assignments with no fussing! This is BIG because it was almost summer and they are teenage boys!!  I can see this being a course they would continue to enjoy in the future. Sharon Watson writes the student book in a fun and approachable way that draws them in. She knows the way teens thinks and uses it to motivate them without them even knowing. Little jokes and humor mixed in really sweetens the workload for them.  Overall I'm very impressed with this course and can't wait to dive in again in the fall.

Want to learn more? The Crew reviewed this product and 21 Grading Grids for Popular High School Essays and a Position Paper  . So be sure to click on the banner below to see what the others thought about this Review.

Writing with Sharon Watson Review

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Lisa! I'm impressed that your sons wrote their assignments to close to summer, as well! I like your idea of completing The Power in Your Hands in two years. This is a leisurely pace that makes sense.

    Thank you for your review!


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