World Writing Program

Write with World is a two-year middle school writing curriculum from the publishers of World Magazine. The curriculum comes with student and teacher books, as well as access to an online website that provides additional support, writing prompts, a teacher forum and opportunities for students to have their work published.

This curriculum covers far more than just writing. It encourages your child to read critically, evaluate advertisments and other media, and analyze samples of writing.

My 8th grade son is a pretty decent writer, the problem is getting him MOTIVATED to write. I will say, I did NOT have this problem with Write with World. My son actually enjoyed this program a lot. The units are organized into 5 capsules, so you can do one each day. The lessons are not too lengthy, which was good for us. Your child will need a notebook to complete the work.

I found the teachers guide to be thorough and helpful. It had additional suggestions to help with each lessons, and even ideas for how to prompt your student along if they are having trouble. The first unit began with an analysis of advertisements, which is a good topic to discuss at this age. Vocabulary and grammar lessons are also included within the capsules, and I like that they are presented in the context of writing.

I was impressed with the range of topics included in Write with World, from simple sentence structure to autobiography and writing narratives. This program is designed to use low-stakes evaluation, in order to take the pressure off of students as they write. Students keep a portfolio of their work, and as they go through the program, they can see their own progress as writers.

As I said, my son really enjoyed this writing program, which makes it valuable in itself!! I have noticed that as my kids get older, writing programs (like everything else) become more and more expensive. The cost of Write with World is $95.00 for each year, or $165.00 if you want to buy both years 1 and 2. This is costly, and is definitely something I would have to budget for. However, I truly appreciate the critical thinking included in this program, because I think that is such an important skill kids need to learn as they get older. I also liked the support provided by the teachers addition and the website. I would definitely recommend Write with World! You can find out more about this program here:

http://www.learnwithworld.com/writewithworld/

To find out what other members of the TOS Crew had to say about this program, click here:

http://homeschoolcrew.com/784899/

*Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this program for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Truthquest History

Truthquest History is a literature-based history study created by homeschool mom Michelle Miller. It is a biblically-based program that focuses on revealing God and His truth through the study of history. There are multiple guides for a parent to choose from, and the good thing is, the guides can be used with students of multiple ages (which is always a bonus in our house…to me it just seems easier keeping us focused on the same topic for history, as my boys use resources aimed at their grade level).

For this review, I used the Beginnings guide, which covers Creation, the Old Testament, Ancients and Egypt. These guides are recommended for grades 5-12, and my boys are in 5th and 8th grades. However, within the guide there are recommendations for books that you can use with students in the K-3 range!

I have experience with other lit-based history programs, and most of them are very…structured. Depending on your personality and how you homeschool, this can be good or bad. For me, I seem to do a lot of “tweaking” with the prepared schedules in most programs. We are eclectic homeschoolers, but we tend to lean in a Charlotte Mason direction, and I like to have the freedom to go at our own pace.

For that reason, I really like that the Truthquest guides are not set up in a gridded, daily format. Each lesson has an introduction you can read with your student (or have them read alone if you want), followed by suggestions for books and chapters to read (again, aloud or individual reading for each child). Since the lessons are biblically based, you will always have sections of scripture to read as well. The best thing about Truthquest to me, was the fact that I could pick and choose which books to read to my kids (the majority of the books were readily available at the library), or I could even choose my own books and read those instead! Also listed in the guide are various audio and visual resources, as well as suggested activities students can do.

Included in the guide are various “Thinkwrites”. These are writing prompts designed to get students thinking about the material. Thinkwrites were a great opportunity for discussion in our house!! My youngest still struggles with writing, so the three of us always read the thinkwrites together and talked about them first, which gave him a chance to get his ideas in order before he started writing. Again, there are no rigid directions for the thinkwrites, parents are free to use them as they choose. With younger students, you could simply discuss them if you wanted to. I asked my boys to write a paragraph (for the 5th grader), and 2-3 paragraphs (for the 8th grader) and we stored these in our history notebooks.

Speaking of notebooks, there are some additional resources you can use if you like lapbooking/notebooking etc. I did not use any of these items personally, but we do enjoy these types of activities in our house, so I would seriously consider ordering them if I had the money. You can check these out at the Truthquest website.

Truthquest was truly a hit at our house. At first, it does sort of look like merely a guide and booklist, but that is so far from the truth. We found this to be a VERY meaty study that really fit our style of homeschooling. I loved the depth and, especially, the flexibility it provided. My boys liked the conversational tone of the author and the short lesson length, which allowed them time to explore topics of interest on their own more deeply. The cost of this Truthquest guide is $29.95 for a hard copy, and $23.95 for a PDF download. I think they are definitely worth the price, and I will be looking into purchasing from them in the future. You can find out more about Truthquest here:

http://truthquesthistory.com/default.php

To find out what other members of the TOS Crew had to say about Truthquest, check out this website:
http://homeschoolcrew.com/784881/

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this guide in exchange for writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.