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4 Stars Out Of 5
A good albeit expensive program for writing
September 18, 2016
We have just finished Volume 1 in this series, and I came to CBD to order Vol 2. First, the positives: Our children (ages 12 & 14) and are very strong readers and writers, yet with minor tweaking, this writing program has been beneficial.
Each unit begins with an excerpt of classical literature and moves onto various activities that build up a writing portfolio slowly. I like this additional exposure to living books. My daughter enjoyed many of the excerpts so much that she has sought out the full versions to read.
I also like how many of the lessons build upon each other. For example, in Unit 5, the student uses the character developed in Unit 3 along with the dialogue developed in Unit 4 to comprise a short story.
I did adapt each unit to our preferred pace, which is faster than this curriculum moves, often combining two or more of the "days" or lessons (which were supposed to be one per day) into a more sensible schedule for us. I skipped the unit on "Writing a Fable." (IMO, not a skill my children need to hone.) I also pulled spelling words from each excerpt, and we studied quite a few of the British or historical adaptions of various words, which was kind of fun.
Regardless of putting additional work back into the program to make up for our faster paced schedule, we still blew through Volume 1 in about two months. And I see that Volume 2 only contains 8 units and costs even more than Volume 1 does.
Which brings me to my issue... wow, the cost! Volume 1 is very slim, about the thickness of a light magazine. I can't imagine Volume 2 is any thicker. I really feel that the author stretched this out to make this curriculum two volumes, which is totally unnecessary and must cost more to produce, which means a higher cost to consumers. The only reason I can see that she would do this is a financial boon for herself. I would have much rather paid for both volumes in a single binding and certainly paid less.
I'm gritting my teeth and purchasing Volume 2, and after we work through that, I'm going to have to scramble and spend even more money to finish out our school year. That's not making this homeschooling mama happy. The curriculum is good, but in my humble opinion, I'm not sure it is worth the high price.
I love Writing with the Best...since it takes such small bites of the huge writing process each day...the student doesn't know that he is accomplishing so much and that he has eaten an elephant one day at a time! As a home-educator, I am so encouraged by Writing with the Best!
My degree is in English and my focus was writing. When my sons turned out to be less than great writers, I went in search for something to help them. I started Write with the Best as part of our Heart of Dakota program (Creation to Christ). I was very skeptical at first, especially when my son had trouble underlining all the descriptive adjectives, etc. However, I am very glad I stayed with this program in spite of that because, now, my son (11 - 6th grade) is writing beautiful descriptive paragraphs with ease! I would recommend that anyone with a struggling writer give this program a try!
If you want to expand your children's creative writing, as well as teach them grammar lessons within their own writing, this is a great text. I am amazed at the amount of information inside! Alternate literature passages for each lesson are listed in the back, so you can work on each segment as many times as you want.