Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Writing with Sharon Watson Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews

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       Writing, seems we are always discussing writing, because in our homeschool it seems to be the one subject we all dread. I have a hard time teaching it, even though I am a writer by nature. The kids struggle with it for whatever the various reasons may be. So when offered the opportunity to review any writing curriculum I jump at the chance because what works for one of my kids, does not necessarily work for the other. I was sent curriculum for my boys from Writing with Sharon Watson, the one we chose to review was The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School.

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    Taylor is at the tail end of 8th grade so I thought this would be a way to introduce him to High School writing and let Alyx take a stab at it also. I chose Nonfiction because I want my boys to write their Great Grandma's Biography for her 93rd Birthday coming up this June. I want them to investigate and learn all about her long, but fascinating life. There is a Huge story to tell there let me tell you...  

    We received the student book which retails for $39.95 and teacher's guide which sells for $14.98, the student book, is a self guided tour through writing, this is a great study to help get ready for SAT testing, learn what will be expected of them in both High School and College writing and to learn all aspects of writing, whether your student is like mine, who struggles with writing or is a very fluent writer I think all students would benefit from taking this course. There are over 100 daily lessons and 22 essays and reports with over 400 pages.  I love how the kids can follow along and work with this curriculum independently. We have moved more and more to independent work as the boys are getting older, now do not get me wrong, we still do many things together but it is nice to free up some of my time and teach them to work on their own and this curriculum helps with that process.

  The author of this curriculum is Sharon Watson, Veteran Homeschool Mom, Co-op teacher and literary workshop facilitator  and she has taken the burden of teaching writing to our students off of our back and helped make it effortless and painless for both the student and homeschool Mom. She has written books for one of my favorite companies Apologia. I was so excited when I learned this because I cannot say enough about them and they have such high standards so I was at ease knowing she came from such a reputable background.  Her customer service skills are impeccable, my books arrived wet and damaged due to no fault of her own, it was the result of the shipping couriers negligence, but even on while she was on vacation she attended to the matter very promptly and had a new set shipped to me in no time. Customer service is a huge component for me, when I have an issue with any product and have to interact with the owner or customer service representative it make for a new opinion on their product depending on which way the interaction goes forward. I was impressed by every aspect of Writing with Sharon Watson. Both the curriculum and the customer service were all exceptional.

   My boys worked along at one lesson each day and had no problems keeping up with the pace. They only had occasions questions which were easy for me to answer and help them out by referring to my handy Teacher's Guide that is a valuable tool and resource to accompany the curriculum. You could get away with just the student text if money was an issue but I think if you are able you should definitely purchase both at the same time. My boys will continue with this program through the Summer and into the Fall and I will be sure to share the Biographies they write after they are presented to my Grandma on her birthday. They have been enjoying writing about news events and other non fiction topics. After we have finished this book I am almost certain we will move on with her other book Writing Fiction [in High School. It has been fun this year seeing the boys evolve in their writing skills and to also see them work more independently with the help of programs such as Writing with Sharon Watson. It gives them such a feeling of accomplishment when they can work at their own pace and also finish work without my help.

  Please be sure to check out what the other Crew members had to say about their experience with Writing with Sharon Watson...

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