Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Write with WORLD

I decided I wanted to homeschool before I ever had kids.  One of the main reasons was because I wanted to teach my children how to think and how to successfully communicate their thoughts and ideas with others.  Part of successful communication is writing, but teaching (and learning) this skill is hard!  Enter Write with WORLD, a two year writing curriculum for middle school students from the publishers of God's World News and WORLD Magazine.  The introduction begins with this:
 "What would happen if nationally recognized journalists and writers, award-winning college professors, and the resources of God's World News and WORLD Magazine joined forces?  We asked this question and then posed an even more compelling one:  What would happen if a young student learning to write had access to these journalists, writers, and professors?  This curriculum is our answer. 
Write with WORLD aims to produce young writers who love writing, can write effectively, and intelligently share ideas, beliefs and their worldview."
I was sent year one of Write with WORLD to review.  It consists of 4 units, with 4 lessons in each unit (view the Table of Contents here).  Each lesson is broken down into 5 capsules.  This means that two weeks can be spent on each lesson in a typical school year, and you'll still have a little bit of wiggle room.  There is a Student Textbook and a Parent/Teacher Textbook, and they can only be purchased as a set.  Each year is $95 individually, or $165 if both years are purchased together.  There are plans for a website (access is included with your purchase) where students will have the opportunity to publish their writing, along wtih additional writing subjects to supplement those in the text.

The Student Textbook is written to the student and is non-consumable, and students will keep a Writer's Journal throughout the course.  The lessons are interesting and easy to understand (view a sample lesson here), and the writing assignments are broken down into non-intimidating chunks.  Basic grammar is covered, because knowing grammar is essential to being an effective writer.  This program encourages the student to find their own voice and style for their writing.

There are sections titled "World Wisdom" throughout the text.  In these sections, writers, editors, and photojournalists share how they use the concepts presented in the lessons in their work.  I think these are extremely motivating and encouraging, because they help the student realize that what they are learning can be applied to life outside of school.

The Parent/Teacher Textbook is an exact copy of the Student Textbook with helps added.  There are detailed introductions to each unit and lesson, and there are notes in the margin to help the parent help the student effectively, including tips on grading and tips on helping your student overcome the mental blocks that often accompany writing.

Overall, I'm impressed with Write with WORLD.  My only complaint (and it's silly, I know) is the size of the Parent/Teacher Textbook.  It's 9" x 12" (perfect bound on the short side), and I find it awkward to use and store.  If you have a student in middle school, whether they love writing or are reluctant, I would recommend you take a look at Write with WORLD.

If you are interested in an electronic version (for use on a computer or a tablet like the iPad or Kindle Fire), please leave a comment.  They are trying to figure out if there is sufficient interest in an electronic version.

For more reviews of Write with WORLD, go here.



Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.   

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