WriteShop review and a Contest too!

This past winter the kids and I were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a test family for WriteShop’s Primary Book B. What a fantastic experience that was, we had a great time! I was familiar with their other products and felt that while they looked good it was more of a down the road option for us. You know something to keep in mind when the kids are a bit older. I received an email saying they were looking for test families for their new Primary Books, I thought we would apply and see what happened. A short time later we heard back that we were in the test group. I decided I would give a quick review for those that might be interested.

What I didn’t like; ( let’s take care of the negative first)

Well in all honesty there really wasn’t much I didn’t like. As a test family they wanted us to complete a lesson in a week, which we did. In the book they have a planning schedule where you can work through the lesson in one week or two. As they needed to get their feedback in a timely fashion we did it in the one week but if I was to do the book on my own I would definitely take the two weeks and go a little deeper. This is under what I didn’t like but for those buying the book this would not be a concern as you can go at your own pace, so it isn’t really a legit complaint.

What I did like;

Hmm where to begin. The whole program was great and we had a ton of fun with it. To me if the kids are learning and don’t realize that they are even learning we are on to something. When I would say, “”Okay kids time to start school”” and they would ask if we could start with writing I got excited. Each day we would start with what they called Guided Writing Practice, basically this is a time to model writing techniques with your children. Each lesson has a theme and so the Guided Writing Practice would be of a similar theme. Each week we would read the suggestions and come up with our own as well. Then we would write a short paragraph together. This is only suppose to take about ten minutes and if you are working with only one child that is probably true. However I was working with three children so this would last more like a half an hour- to an hour. I found it hard to say no we need to move on when they were having such a good time.

As you work through the lesson there is a day with a Pre- writing activity that helps to set the stage for what you are working on that week.

Then comes the brainstorming day. I thought the ideas they used to help the kids come up with an idea, pick a setting, a character, look at the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of things, even how to have a problem and solution in their stories was amazing. So many of these ideas I’m not sure if I would have thought to teach them to a young child.

Next, they would begin their Writing Project with no corrections happening at this point because the next day they would have Editing and Revising. I think this was our favorite day in the week. How could correcting ones mistakes be fun? Well just ask the clever people at WriteShop they had the fun idea of having the kids use editing buddies – smart!!!

Here is a picture of our editing buddies Frog and Toad from one of our favorite series Frog and Toad are Friends, and a little Lego Rock Monster guy. (on frogs leg)

Next there was an Activity set Worksheet again an activity that ties into the theme of the week.

Finally, the last day they work on Publishing the Project, I don’t want to go into too much detail here as I want to leave some surprises for those of you who decide to give WriteShop Primary Books a try.

I can’t finish without mentioning a few other things I really liked, as I said, I did this program with 3 of my children Joshua who is 5, Taliah who is 8 and Elijah who is 11. I was able to easily adapt this program to work for all 3 of them. WriteShop has something called Stepping up or Flying Higher which are suggestions on how to help a younger or struggling student and ideas for the child who needs the extra challenge. Great Job Write Shop. Lastly, one of the ideas/ activities is for the kids to use a SuperSpeller this is a file which the child keeps words that they have spelled wrong in. It was so wonderful to see my kids grab their SuperSpellers when they are working on other subjects or writing a letter to a friend and check spelling with their SuperSpellers.

My kids with their Editing Buddies

Really I can’t say enough positive things about this book, as a parent I found the lessons to be clearly laid out. There are lots of examples and sample text for when you are instructing the kids, they have removed all the guesswork for you. I enjoyed this program so much that I thought I would do a giveaway. Primary Book B is not available just yet so I am going to give away a copy of the first book Primary Book A and a set of worksheets to go with it.

So what do you need to do to have a chance at winning this great book, just leave me a comment and I will enter your name. If you would like to enter your name a second time you can make a link from your blog to here and leave another comment telling me. Lastly, you can add my button to your site or become a follower for two more chances to win, again just leave a comment that you added the button to your site. Contest open till Friday April 3rd at midnight EST I will announce the winner on Saturday April 4th. Have fun!!

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