Student Writing Intensive, Level B

Andrew Pudewa

Occasionally, friends or readers ask my opinion about various writing programs. I never feel qualified to answer, because I have rarely used writing programs in our homeschool. I’ve mainly taught my girls about writing as we write.

Initially, I taught them about things like rough drafts. I wanted them to know that they’re called “rough” for a reason, and that we should let our drafts be messy -- full of cross-outs, scribbles and insertions.

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style

Andrew Pudewa

My daughter, Emily, announced, “The kids’ class [student writing workshop] is much funner than the teacher class.” Scratch that. I am “sure” she said “much more fun.”

She was referring to the student writing workshop for Teaching Writing: Structure and Style available on DVD.

Implemented by Andrew Pudewa, director of The Institute for Excellence in Writing, Teaching Writing: Structure and Style is a two day seminar where he demonstrates to the teacher/parent how to teach writing skills to school-age children through a step-by-step process.

Writing Strands

The Writing Strands program focuses on the structure of writing by teaching the student to organize his thoughts before writing. Many of the ideas the author uses are found in other English programs, such as Voyages in English, but in WS they are presented in a more systematic fashion with each lesson building on preceding lessons. The lessons are written for the child to read and do independently, with the parent checking work occasionally. WS is very straightforward and directs the child to write about specific topics. Individualized Writing Course

Book cover: ' Individualized Writing Course'

We've all heard the whining and complaining that can come with teaching composition. Many children just refuse to make the effort to write, and when they finally do finish an assignment their parents agonize over how to grade the composition. Having heard the writing complaints for years, I am excited to report that there is now a solution in

Stories with a View, Narrative Inspirations, Selected Poetry and Paintings, Story starters for Grades 3-4

Book cover: 'Stories with a View, Narrative Inspirations, Selected Poetry and Paintings, Story starters for Grades 3-4'
Margot Davidson

I must admit a bias. Because I have used the method suggested in Stories with a View for years with my own children, I highly recommend this resource. Why? It works! By observing and interacting with pictures and poetry, young writers are inspired to write interesting fiction.

In fact, Mrs. Davidson makes this method even easier to implement by offering discussion questions and suggested "story starters" to prompt the young writer. For example, with A Restful Tune (a painting about a shepherd boy playing a reed pipe) the questions include:

The Institute for Excellence in Writing

Book cover: 'The Institute for Excellence in Writing'

The Institute for Excellence in Writing, owned by a Catholic convert and home school father, teaches the "structure and style of writing" through live and video workshops. This program is used throughout Canada. As do other programs IEW teaches structure (organizing material for writing) so that the final written piece will be logical, but unlike most programs children are trained to do this by using the writings of good authors. The structure of writing is taught by having children read literature, outline the literature, narrate from their outline, then write their own piece.

Creative Communications

Book cover: 'Creative Communications: Thirty Writing, Speaking, and Drawing Projects for Homeschoolers'
Sandra Garant

"This book is actually a description of how and why I taught my three children to write. I read a few 'teaching chldren how to write' books and had no desire to use the suggested exercises. They seemed meaningless and out of touch with our daily lives. I wanted my children to use writing, drawing, and speaking to handle specific situations successfully. I wanted them to be able to write conversational letters, to take phone messages, and to learn to ask thoughtful questions.

Classical Writing: Aesop

Book cover: 'Classical Writing: Aesop'
Tracy Davis Gustilo
Lene Mahler Jaqua

If you are attracted to the classical method of teaching composition, by analyzing and imitating excellent literature, but have struggled with implementing your own program, then this is the writing series for you. Meticulously thought through and well organized, Classical Writing: Aesop combines structure with flexibility. It can be used with multiple ages in the homeschool and, though designed for beginning writers in grades 1-5, can be adapted for older ages.

Correct Writing

Book cover: 'Correct Writing'
S.J. Kammer et al.

This 525 page hardcover is Book 1 in the once popular Catholic high school series "A Course For Secondary Schools." Fortunately, for those who want to continue educating their children along the lines of Voyages in English series, Lepanto press has reprinted this 1952 gem.

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