Good resource for writing, but there is mature content.
October 23, 2014
I did read the reviews before purchasing this workbook and was thankful for the warning of mature content. However, I really needed a good resource that would help me guide my 8th grade son through the creative process of writing. We were already working through a video series which was too advanced. This workbook was recommended to me by a mom whose son is a reluctant writer and now looks forward to writing! I like the layout of the workbook and the progression. You can work on the skills and assignments at your own pace and add in the 10 -minute writing plunges from the parent manual as needed. The workbook offers many great written examples for each writing style. I like that there are several expository writing styles, too.
As for the mature content (abortions/homosexual marriages), it is geared towards older students. I would rather it not be in the workbook, but at least it is me discussing this with my child and not someone else or the media. And you don't have to use all of the material in the book. We are just 6 weeks into the workbook and I hope to see his attitude towards writing improve, along with his skill level. It has made our writing time not as dreadful.
I completely agree with 'Groundhog' and her review. I have found the same issues with my fifth grader. Just today she asked me what abortion is (from page 31). WOW...did that catch me off guard! I think it is horribly irresponsible of the authors and publishers to put such topics in writing curriculum. This is not Bible, Science or Civil Studies. This is not Jr. high or High School Curriculum. I am very disappointed because the layout of this curriculum is very simple and my child likes it. She also liked Spectrum Writing a few years back. It was also very clean and simple. I may just go back to combining 'writing' with English in the BJU series. Sorry, Jump In, you stepped over the line! BUT...thank you CBD for the warning - I wish I would have read it more thoroughly before buying. At least you did your part!
When I saw this book online, I was very excited about it. And just to preface, I still feel like the structure of the book as far as teaching the writing process, is very well done.
However, I must, in good conscience, give warning to parents whose children are still on the "innocent" side of childhood. When you reach the chapters that teach about writing opinion and persuasion, this book suddenly inserts topics such as abortion and homosexual marriage. Abortion is actually mentioned multiple times in this book.
If you have a child who doesn't even yet know "where babies come from", this book will quite suddenly take you into territory your child was nowhere near ready for.
As a Christian parent, the subject matter of this book is quite concerning. This is a book that will mention giving Christian testimony, how inventions such as the telephone helped society with the example of a church phone prayer chain, and kids' magazine publications by Focus on the Family on one page, and then abortion on another. There are very "innocent" examples given such as "persuade your reader to believe there should be a skate park in your neighborhood" or "why every student should eat a chocolate bar each day" and yet, the topics of abortion or gay marriage tossed in as well.
Though maybe less shocking, I'll also mention that there is a passage from a book quoted, and it talks about a child being given to another mother who could nurse him. Again, if your child knows nothing of these things, it might not be something you're ready to discuss.
I have not gone through the entire book yet, as it is quite an undertaking, but I have gotten 2/3 of the way through it and had to cross through or re-write several sections for my 6th grader to be able to use it.
I know every child is different in terms of maturity, but I feel that it was irresponsible of the publisher to not make those mature topics known in either their description or their sample pages.
Again, if your child is ready for mature topics and you simply need help with writing style, this is an excellent book to help him/her through the creative process, but if you want your child to remain innocent a bit longer, you may want to skip this book for now, or do as I've done and insert your own preferred subject matter into those sections. Thankfully, the book is printed on heavy enough paper that you can line through those mature sections with a black Sharpie and it won't bleed through to the other side that you do want to use.
So far this has been wonderful. I have a reluctant writer and an eager writer and they both are enjoying it. My one son would try to put off writing until the end, but today asked to do it as one of the first things. We're not far into it, but that is enough already for me to be really happy about it.