You would think since I am always writing here on this blog that I would be fabulous at teaching my children to write, wouldn't you? Well, teaching writing has never been a subject that I have felt confident to tackle. So when Here to Help Learning offered their course to review, I was so excited!
We were given a subscription to their online membership for this review. Online memberships allow you access to all the writing programs available from Here to Help Learning. We choose Flight 1 Paragraph Writing after taking the placement test to guide us.
There are 3 flights to choose from for paragraph writing and 3 flights to choose from for essay writing. Each flight contains 32 lessons for a full year of instruction. The paragraph writing flights are recommended for grades 1-3 or higher, and the essay flights are recommended for grades 4-6 or higher. Writing types include narrative, descriptive, expository, persuasive, and poetry. You can find out more on the different types here.
This is the scope/sequence for paragraph writing to help you choose which flight is best for your family.
As I mentioned earlier, we started Sarah who is in 7th grade in Paragraph Writing Flight 1 and I'm so glad that we did. Each lesson builds upon the next and I think she would have missed some valuable information had I choose to just place her by grade level instead of skill level. Since she had some experience already with paragraph writing we were able to move through the course faster than the recommended schedule. The recommended schedule says to complete 1 lesson per week which amounts to about 2 days of work per week. You take one day to watch the videos and one day for the writing projects. We would often do 2 lessons per week since Sarah felt comfortable doing so. That's the beauty of the online membership - you can choose the pace and level for your student because they are all available to you.
All lessons are Biblically based and students are reminded over and over to use their God-given gifts, talents, and learned skills to grow in the image of God. Colossians 3:17 is the key verse that students memorize and recite during each lesson.
The video lessons are fun, informative, and it's great to see how lessons are done in a co-op setting. We would often find ourselves laughing out loud at some of the tactics of the Captain Knucklehead aka the basset hound.
Each video lesson included 5 sessions:
- Pre-Flight Checklist - This is when you would make sure you have everything needed for the lesson. This is also found on the worksheets
- Flight Check In - Here you would turn in your work from the previous flying solo lesson, put in your new worksheets, and collect a discovery ticket (see below) for doing so.
- Take Off - This is usually a fun writing warm-up that students complete. They usually have a fun picture included for the students to write about. They also go over the steps of the writing process during this time.
- Full Throttle - This is where the current part of the writing process is modeled for the student/teacher.
- Flying Solo - This is where Captain Knucklehead gives your writing assignment for the week.
The worksheets included scripted lessons for myself as we played games or practiced writing warm-up challenges. Students also had their own check list sheets to keep track of for writing assignments. At the end of the 32 lessons, students will have completed 6 full writing projects.
Here is a fun peak into Sarah's writing notebook:
One of the assignments was to decorate your key verse page. You can also see the discovery tickets that Sarah has earned. Ice cream trip coming soon!
The writing process sheet and a writing warm-up. See that skateboarding dog? All of them have fun pictures like that!
Since Sarah is older, I had her type her final writing project and she always loves to add an illustration.
The online membership is only $6.99 per month! For everything included in this curriculum, we think that is a steal! If you are looking for a unique way to teach writing, check out Here to Help Learning. We would highly recommend them! The Mora's are also a homeschooling family with 20 years experience and 8 children of their own. You can read more about their story and how Here to Help Learning was born here.