With baby number seven arriving any day, and a single income, I try to be careful with my education dollars. When I came across “The Writing Course,” I got very excited. It took me some time to save up for it, but I’m so glad I did. Today, I’d like to tell you what I love about “The Writing Course,” so that you can decide if it would be a good fit for your family, too.
Why teach writing?
First, why should we bother to teach our children how to write at all? The ability to communicate is so important. When we have an idea or insight or question, we need to be able to communicate it effectively. In times past, the ability to speak well was very important. The people we conversed with were down the street or on the other end of the phone line. Speech is still very important. I’m glad I have a good foundation in speaking ability since I’ve been interviewed on the radio multiple times. 🙂 But writing is becoming more and more important as we connect daily with people on the other side of the world. I have not met any of you in person, but I am able to communicate with you daily via the internet. I cannot use body language or tone in my communication. I only have the words I choose and the order I place them in. I must be able to present my thoughts and ideas in such a way that you “get it.” I want my children to be able to communicate effectively through the written word as well.
My husband and I enjoy debating which is mightier, the pen or the sword. You can guess which side I take. 😉 Just as Doug begins to get the upper hand arguing for the sword, I remind him that troops are often rallied to fight by reading written propaganda. I win, lol! The simple point is that the ability to write effectively is essential.
How to teach writing
This is a subjective question, but I will definitely be drawn to a method of teaching that seems to match how I learned. I write instinctively, meaning I tend to write how I speak. If it sounds like how I would say it, then I figure it is probably a good way to write it. I have a good grasp of grammar, but not because I spent hours diagramming sentences and studying rules. I didn’t even know infinitives existed until tenth grade lol. I was simply raised in a home where everyone spoke well, and I translated it to my writing.
“The Writing Course” uses a similar approach. While there are lessons spent covering elements such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation, the emphasis is on learning to write by instinct. For example, the students are taught to read their writing out loud. If it sounds right, then it probably is right. My daughter, Naomi, has completed about half the course at this point. Comparing her writing pre writing course to what she is producing now, all I can say is – Wow! The other very important element in this course is helping children overcome their fear of writing. I won’t tell you how this is accomplished – wink! Naomi will never be a writer like her mother, simply because she doesn’t find joy in it like I do. That’s okay! But she now can take a piece of paper and write about something confidently without fear. That’s a very good thing.
What are the selling points?
It is reusable. You buy it once and can use it for all your children. It can also be used multiple times by the same student. It consists of 21 lessons that can be worked through once every school year. The experience will be a bit different each time.
It comes with audio. For many of you, the fact that each lesson is presented in an audio format is awesome. For us, it wasn’t very important because we just don’t do well with audio materials. Put six happy, lively children in a house and nobody is listening to anything lol! We were grateful that all the lessons also come in PDF. I printed them out and read them with Naomi for each lesson. She and I both enjoy the interaction as well.
It is simple to implement. I printed a lesson book for me, and a workbook for her. We opened up to lesson 1 and got started. We usually complete a lesson in less than 30 minutes.
There is lots of support. Dr. Fred Lybrand, author of the course, has a very informative email newsletter that he sends out. Many of the emails have been helpful to me as a parent, as well as helpful to my budding writers. He also has a facebook group where he is readily available to help. He’s a great guy that has successfully homeschooled most of his own children. I believe they are down to one student in the home.
This course can be used right alongside your other curriculum. It is a particularly good fit with the Robinson curriculum, which we use. But it would fit in well with many different styles of schooling. Just as a note, the course is recommended for older children. A nine year old that is eager to learn would do fine. My daughter is nearly twelve and is doing well.
Dr. Lybrand recommends copywork for younger aged children, as I do. When they reach 10 or so, I would definitely recommend that you take them through “The Writing Course.” It is an excellent way to get them started with original writing. Then you may want to use our book, “Torah Writing Prompts,” to include Torah in their daily writing assignment.
Here is a video from Dr. Lybrand to tell you a bit more about “The Writing Course.” Do you have any questions about this course before using it with your own children? Feel free to ask! I’ll answer your questions the best I can.
Disclaimer: I received a discounted price for this course with the understanding that I would share it with others. Writing a full review is my choice, and it consists of my own honest opinion from using the course with my own child.