Friday, April 17, 2009

Review: Write Shop Primary (Book A)

Obviously I enjoy writing. Not only do I maintain this here blog, but I'm also an avid list-maker and journal keeper. In fact, just the act of writing anything is enough to induce a state of tranquility within me. It doesn’t matter what it is, just give me a pen or a keyboard and I’m set. (Yeah. I’m weird like that.)

As the years rolled along, I was pleased to note how that facet of my personality successfully bonded itself to my girls' DNA structure. They both love to write and learn new words. My son, however? Well, allow me to share the results of his Alien Child Hospital File:

Personality Implantation Subject #2
Aspect: Maternal Literary Inclination
Child: Male

Although Ethan has made strides in this area, writing is clearly not his forte`. However, hope is not completely lost. In addition to the fabulous Story Builder Cards previously reviewed (which Ethan really got a kick out of), WriteShop generously sent me a copy of their newest digital product for review.

Ladies and gentlemen; may I present WriteShop Primary!

Written by Nancy I. Sanders, WriteShop Primary is a three-book series (books B and C coming soon) designed to teach writing basics to K-3rd grade students. For the purpose of this review, I received Book A which is geared toward K-2nd graders.

WriteShop Primary Book A contains 10 lessons and a suggested 1-3 week schedule, based upon your child’s ability and grade level. (Ethan and Abby are at a 2nd grade level respectively, so I chose the 1 week lesson plan.)

Each lesson has a specific focus (such as Selecting a Title or Order of Events), and theme like Animals, Favorite Things, Colors and Trains. Students are gently walked through the following Activity Steps:
  • Guided Writing Practice
  • Pre-Writing Activities
  • Brainstorming
  • The Writing Project
  • Editing and Revising
  • Activity Set Worksheet
  • Publishing the Project
  • Evaluation
  • Want to Do More?—Final Project Idea
In the beginning, parents have the option of having their child complete the lessons orally (Charlotte Mason/narration method), which complements the program’s easy-going style. Students are encouraged to work at their own pace and simply enjoy the writing process for what it is; an expression of creativity. Additional activities labeled, “Flying Higher” are provided for those children who want or require more of a challenge.

(For a better understanding, you can view a free sample lesson by clicking here.)

WriteShop Primary Book A Teacher’s Guide and necessary Activity Set Worksheet Pack are available in both E-book and print format. Print versions are $26.95 (Teacher’s Guide) and $4.95 (Activity Set), and E-book versions are $24.25/$4.50. You’ll also save the $5 shipping cost when ordering digitally, and enjoy immediate download and less clutter. (Impatient neat-freaks like me are feelin’ the love!)

I really enjoyed using this program. Although a few aspects were a tad babyish for my 9 and 10 year olds, they did enjoy how simply the writing process was broken down. My son didn’t start twitching his right eye, nor break out in a case of hives. And my daughter, Abby got a kick out of plowing through the “Flying Higher” activities.

I’m thoroughly impressed with both the quality and effectiveness of WriteShop’s products. Not only is "Primary" great for students, but it's also wonderful for busy homeschooling moms. The daily planning is done for you, from the lesson plan itself to the list of necessary materials at the start of each lesson. All you have to is simply follow along. (Woohoo!) It doesn’t get any better than this!

I highly recommend WriteShop Primary (and any of their other products) to every homeschooling mom. Whether you have an avid writer in your midst, or an extremely reluctant one, this program fits the bill to a "T".

To view their complete product line, please visit

Our family is pleased to award WriteShop Primary two thumbs way up! :o)

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