Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Write Foundation: Essay Writing

Since I do a LOT of writing many people often ask me what I use to teach writing to my children. Ironically, writing is not something I deliberately teach as a separate subject when they are young. Over the years I address grammar, vocabulary, reading, logic and other skills that will build a good writer, but deliberately I save writing instruction for the high school years.

One of the most important forms of writing for college bound students is the essay. I have never devoted an entire semester or year to learning to write an essay, but if I wanted to The Write Foundation has my back. Written by Rebecca Celsor, The Write Foundation's Essay Writing Instructions consists of 30 lessons (enough for a whole school year) divided into two books with 15 lessons each. I received Lessons 1-15 to use in my home for free in exchange for this review.

The 200+ page curriculum arrived spiral bound, black text on white paper. COMPLETE step by step instructions, scheduling recommendations and even ideas for assigning grades offer the novice writing teacher wonderful guidelines for handling instruction. Although this curriculum lacks visual appeal its content is very comprehensive. Incorporating more than basic skills, Essay Writing may tend to be too thorough for some families.

The Write Foundation Essay Writing could easily lend itself to a Co-op class or private school instruction. The Write Foundation Essay Writing curriculum is recommended for ages 14-17 and retails on the company website for $100.00 for the two volume 30 lesson set with separate student worksheets and resource CD or $65 for a one volume set. If student worksheets and resource CD's are not on your shopping list the instruction manual alone sells for $75 for lessons 1-30 or $40.00 for Lessons 1-15. This flexibility in pricing is a plus in my opinion as one size does not always fit all homeschooling families.

True to most great homeschool curriculum, The Write Foundation products were birthed out of need by a homeschool Mom looking to fill a gap. Rebecca Celsor homeschooled her own children through high school and then began to teach Creative Writing for a co-op. Frustrated by a lack of options for teaching her writing class, Celsor designed her own lesson plans which she now shares in the form of The Write Foundation curriculum. The curriculum is divided into three levels beginning with Level 1: Sentence to Paragraph Writing for ages 11-13, Level 2: Paragraph Writing for ages 12-15 and concluding with Level 3: Essay Writing for ages 14-17.

Homeschool families that embrace structured curriculum will love Essay Writing. Assignments and instructional goals are clearly written and organized for the teacher. Essay Writing Lessons 1-15 cover the topics of sentence structure, paragraph organization, essay organization, poetry, and outlines. Critical thinking MindBenders are integrated into the curriculum as well as an option for developing strong logical thinking; an often over looked element of essay writing.

From our sampling of this program I easily identified its merits, but it was more than I actually needed. Perhaps I have been blessed with competent natural writers for our home, but to spend an entire school year with essay writing at this depth would be a waste of precious time for us. However, the fact Essay Writing has been kid tested and homeschool Mom approved should be reason enough to check it out when curriculum shopping. For sample lessons of each level of the curriculum, syllabii designed for writing classes, or to purchase visit the company website at


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