I have held off on teaching writing, waiting until the boys had a good grasp of the basics of grammar and spelling. Honestly, we are a ways from having a "good" grasp of spelling, but it was time to move forward with writing. Good writing includes so much more than proper sentence structure; it requires good thinking. Without any prior writing lessons, Writing With World helps students quickly grasp the nature of what good writing looks like. It equips students to write intelligently and effectively, able to purposefully present their beliefs and worldview. All of this is done with lessons that inspire a love of writing.
Now, that is what the curriculum description says it teaches, but does it? But does it? My answer is an emphatic yes.
The first lesson begins with a new perspective on reading, using observation and interpretation of two photographs. It teaches students to ask intelligent questions. The books are nonconsumable. Students keep journals for assignments, which include vocabulary help as students are instructed to use a dictionary to look up words in bold print. These are scattered throughout the text and include words such as avid, ambiguous, and extol. They are infrequent enough to keep students from dreading the dictionary, yet still remind them the virtue of knowing what a word means. I've found mine going to the dictionary on his own to look up words that were not required for definitions. This is, quite simply, miraculous.
Also within the miraculous category, is my son's enjoyment of the lessons. The lessons aren't silly or insipid; they are relevant to real life. Students are treated with respect and they are taught respect for truth and integrity in writing. With the style and tone of the curriculum, students in high school could find this helpful, even though it is intended for middle school. In fact, I've been reading through the lessons side-by-side with my 6th grader because I know that I could use the extra help as well.
The book is broken into four units, each with four lessons. Each lesson contains 5 capsules of its own. If you do a lesson per day, this will last you four months, but it could be an intense four months. Parents are encouraged to interact with their child's assignments and not be hyper-critical in the grading process, utilizing conversation instead of red ink.
The Teacher's Guide is an exact replica of the student text, but is larger to fit margin notes pertaining to each lesson. The deeper you get into the lessons, the fewer teacher's notes there are as they become less necessary. There is very little guidance needed from the teacher and there is absolutely zero prep work necessary. With a busy homeschooling family, this is something I greatly appreciate.
The lessons contain reviews of previous concepts, including vocabulary, keeping the material fresh. You can view a sample of the lessons here. Here are the topics covered in the lessons
Lesson 1 Reading Images and Advertisements
Lesson 2 Comparative Reading: Sentences
Lesson 3 Comparative and Critical Reading: Paragraphs
Lesson 4 Developing Critical Readers: Essays
Lesson 1 The Paragraph
Lesson 2 Composing and Linking Sentences
Lesson 3 Creating Focus and Arrangement
Lesson 4 Linking Paragraphs: Transitions and Logic
Lesson 1 Writing Autobiography: Reporting Facts
Lesson 2 Writing Autobiography: Creating Character
Lesson 3 Writing Autobiography: Developing Ideas
Lesson 4 Writing Autobiography: Composition
Lesson 1 Crafting Narratives: Developing a Point of View
Lesson 2 Crafting Narratives: Showing Versus Telling
Lesson 3 Crafting Narratives: Narrative With a Purpose
Lesson 4 Crafting Narratives: Writing a Fictional Narrative
For more great reviews of this product, be sure to visit The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's TOS Crew.
Disclaimer: I received this material in exchange for my honest opinion as a member of the TOS Crew, and received no other form of compensation. For whatever they're worth, the opinions are mine and mine alone, as stated in my disclosure policy.