WriteShop Junior Homeschool Writing Curriculum Review

This post is part of a series written in partnership with WriteShop.  All opinions are my own.

When I made plans for the current school year, I knew that I wanted to be more strategic and clear about our writing goals.  Since the beginning of our homeschool journey, I made sure the girls would write in their journals daily, and I made it a point to include a few structured writing assignments. This worked well for us, but this year I wanted to be more intentional with their writing assignments which is the reason I chose to give WriteShop Junior Book E a try.

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What is WriteShop Junior Book E?

WriteShop Junior is a full writing curriculum geared towards learners in grades 3-6. WriteShop Junior currently has two levels, D and E, but level F is coming in September 2017. We are using these components of WriteShop Junior Level E in our homeschool:  Since both of my daughters are using the writing curriculum, I ordered an additional student activity pack and Fold-N-Go Grammar pack. WriteShop does give permission for copies to be made for single family use, if necessary.

WriteShop Junior Level E has ten lessons that focus on different genres of writing including fables, mysteries, and book reports. The program doesn't include a full grammar program although it does include grammar teaching resources in the Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack. The grammar pack focuses on one grammar topic for each of the ten lessons.  The grammar lessons include punctuation, self-editing, adverbs, and references.

How do we use WriteShop Junior Book E?

WriteShop Junior Book E includes two suggested schedules for completing the program.  There's a two week plan and a three week plan.  Since we started the program in the spring, I am not focused on completing the entire book before this school year ends; therefore, we are focusing on one lesson each month,  completing the lessons in order.

Homeschool writing program WriteShop Book E

The first lesson was writing about fables.  For us, this was a great first lesson because my girls had recently studied fables in reading.  Since I see the benefit of studying the genre first, we will continue to learn about or review the genre before starting each new lesson.  WriteShop includes some book suggestions for lessons two through five.

Since we are on a four week schedule, our lessons are spaced out a bit which allows my daughters to think about their writing for a little while longer.  We follow each step of the lesson as suggested in the teacher's guide.  Lessons are divided into eight parts.  The first activity introduces the Fold-N-Go Grammar lesson and the reading log.  WriteShop incorporates a reading log to help encourage reading.  My girls write down the books that they've read on the reading log template of their choice. The second activity set focuses on pre-writing activities which are activities that we do together. The activity sets also include brainstorming and reviewing the main concept of the lesson. By activity set five, my girls are writing their story.  After editing and revising, my girls publish their final copy by typing it. This is something we started doing this year, and it makes writing exciting for them. They enjoy saving their work to their USB drive and printing it out

Our thoughts about WriteShop Junior Writing Curriculum ...

We really like WriteShop Junior Book E. We've used several writing programs in the past, and WriteShop Junior Book E seems to fit our homeschool the best.  I like that it includes room for creativity for my daughters while providing opportunities for me to model writing.  As a homeschool mom, I question how I should assist my daughters with their writing assignments, but WriteShop encourages parents to guide and direct. This is exactly the type of encouragement I need since I otherwise might be totally be hands off. This homeschool writing curriculum includes plenty teacher-student interaction and time for independent writing.

My nine year old daughter shared that she would like to continue using the writing program because it captures her attention, and she was able to make her own editing kit with highlighters, stickers, and colored pencils.

My twelve year old daughter appreciates that she is able to create her own stories. She likes that she is able to self-edit her work using the correction marks guide that is included in the curriculum. She also said that she is becoming a better writer with WriteShop.

My oldest daughter working on her fable assignment with WriteShop Book E

My oldest daughter working on her fable assignment with WriteShop Book E

Overall, we really like WriteShop and look forward to completing Book E.  I am glad that it is written in a way that doesn't make me feel bad about not completing the program in one school year, and it is also written in a way that makes it possible for us to continue using it in the fall because it allows for flexibility for each individual family.

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