Monday, June 16, 2014

Writing with Sharon Watson Review


Every teacher has a subject that they shudder at the thought of teaching.  That one subject that you think you just couldn't possibly teach successfully.  Teaching writing can be overwhelming! Even though you are accomplished at something, it's not always easy to communicate that knowledge in a way that your student will become just as accomplished.  

Questions can plague your mind:

How do I grade my student's writing?
What should I cover in a year's time?
What does an "A" paper look like?
How do I break up writing an essay into easy-to-follow lessons for different level writers?

All those questions and more are answered in the writing courses by Sharon Watson. 

"Teaching without fear!  
Students writing without dread!"

Who is Sharon Watson?
"My husband Terry, whom I met in college in Upstate New York, and I homeschooled for 18 years but were forced to quit when we ran out of children. During our children’s school years, I taught literature, composition, and Indiana history to homeschool students, led a homeschool group, and established a group where there was none. Since then, I’ve enjoyed teaching middle school and high school composition, fiction writing, and literature to homeschool students."

The three programs:
Jump In  
Price:  $30 student book; $10 teacher's guide
Grade level:  5th-8th
Price:  $39.98 student book; $14.98 teacher's guide
Grade level:  9th-12th
Price:  $25.05 student book; $9.95 teacher's guide
Grade level:  9th-12th

What we liked about The Power in Your Hands
  • Multi-leveled This writing program is designed to be used with both beginner/reluctant and advanced writers.  The lessons actually give adaptation suggestions for each level.

  • This program can be used for two years of high school writing by combining the daily assignments, essays and the 14-Minute Writing Surges.  (Don't have two years?  Check out the website for suggestions on using this program in a year!) 

  • Easy to follow design!  No guessing about how much constitutes a daily lesson for the student or teacher.  The Power in Your Hands was already divided into 108 lessons that even have a visual prompt to alert students working at their own pace where to stop for the day.  

  • Versatile format that can be used for homeschool, co-ops, and traditional classrooms.

  • Affordable and reusable!  With three children, this is a very important issue for me.  This program can be used with all your students simultaneously or in separate years.  It is totally reusable from year to year!

  • College prep  When students complete the Writing Fiction in High School and The Power in Your Hands they will be more than well prepared for any college writing assignment.

  • The teacher's Grade Toolbox!  I absolutely loved this feature.  The author takes you through the various components to grading writing assignments.  "How to Earn an..."  gives a sample paper with notes for each grade.  The grading rubrics for the various assignments take the guesswork out of giving grades! 

  • Step-by-step writing and proofreading.  Students are taught each skill in small steps leading up to a full essay.  I tried this program with my upcoming 7th and 8th grade students.  They did not feel overwhelmed at the pace or the daily assignments.  

At first, my students weren't so sure they would like non-fiction writing, but this program opened up exciting new skills for them.  They truly cannot wait to dive into the full program! 

I was very pleased with this writing program and fully plan to use it for our high school years.  It calmed my fears about teaching a subject that can be quite subjective.  The Power in Your Hands takes the guesswork out of teaching writing!

To find out more:
Free resources:

To read other reviews, visit Homeschool Mosaics!


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