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Monday, August 27, 2012

Time4Writing Middle School Mechanics TOS Crew Review 2012

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  As we start High School with Alyx this Fall, I was still worried about his lack of writing skills, and no matter how hard I try he just isn't where I would hope he would be at this point. I know some of it is due to his disabilities but I want him to be successful no matter what. I will keep on trying until he "gets it".  I was given the opportunity to review Time4Writing.com and online 8 week writing course that is taught by an online teacher and is one on one, something that the Alyx thrives on. We used the Middle School Mechanics course to strengthen the skills he already has and build upon them. I did not want to overwhelm him and start him at a higher level. He seems to do better when you go a little under his ability so he feels he has mastered something and then move on from there.

      Middle School Mechanics touches on all of the stepping stones of a good foundation to be a great writer. Each week's lessons focus on a different element of writing. This is a great pace for Alyx as it is not throwing a ton of things at him all at once, he was not so overwhelmed as he was with other programs we have tried in the past. He got paired with his teacher and he was so pleased that he could email her and communicate any questions or issues at any given time. Logging in and setting up the course was super simple and getting started was just as easy. Alyx liked being in the driver's seat of this course. He chose when he wanted to work on his writing assignments and he simply submitted them through the interface on the computer for Time 4 Writing and then eagerly waited for feedback from his teacher.

   Alyx does so well with positive reinforcement so I was worried that the teacher would be too critical of his work and he would feel defeated, but this was not the case at all. His assignments were graded within the day usually and were not overly critical and he was always able to go back and fix his errors and resubmit them for feedback. He enjoyed working at his own pace and I feel he really gained some ground in his writing abilities and will start High School with a more confident and positive attitude about writing. He is just over half way through the course and is plugging along quite nicely. I enjoyed getting his mid course review emailed to me and was pleased to see what progress he has made.

   Here is the syllabus for the Middle School Mechanics course, you will see how it flows well and does not move to quickly as to overwhelm the student, taking time to focus on one key point a week.

Unit 1 – The Sentence, The Fragment, and The Run-on

By the end of the first unit, the students will be able to differentiate between complete, fragment and run on sentences and use this knowledge to write their own proper sentences.

Unit 2 – Nouns, Nouns, and More Nouns!

By the end of the second unit, the students will be able to form the plural and possessive forms of nouns.

Week/Unit 3 – Subjects of a Sentence

By the end of the third unit, the students will be able to identify and use the simple and complete subjects of a sentence.

Week/Unit 4 – Predicates of a Sentence

By the end of the fourth unit, the students will be able to identify the simple and complete predicates of a sentence.

Unit 5 – Subject – Verb Agreement in a Sentence

By the end of the fifth unit, the students will be able to make common subjects and verbs agree.

Unit 6 – “Tricky” Subject – Verb Agreement

By the end of the sixth unit, the students will be able to make tricky subjects and verbs agree.

Unit 7 – Capitalization

By the end of the seventh unit, the students will be able to correctly capitalize words both individually and within sentences.

Unit 8 – Sum it ALL UP!

By the end of the eighth unit, the students will be able to demonstrate mastery of writing proper sentences, making subjects and verbs agree, and using correct capitalization rules. The students will also proofread their own writing to check for and correct any errors in these areas.


  There are many different levels for each age group, and Time4Writing is very helpful on making sure you choose the best fit for your student/students. I am glad we started with the beginning foundations and feel confident if we proceed with this program that Alyx will continue to make improvements and be at grade level in no time.

          Time4Writing.com offers many options for grade levels from Elementary to High School, they even offer a placement guide if you are unsure of where to start off.  Each level is an 8 week interactive course that runs $99  There are even free valuable resources offered on their website as well. You don't want to miss out on those so be sure to take a look. There were 45 Schoolhouse Review Crew Members given the opportunity to review Time 4 Writing and each were able to choose the appropriate course for their children, so be sure to click the banner below and see what they had to say about the program they chose to use.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the The Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine


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