If you share my dilemma in trying to find things that will interest a school-phobic kindergartener who would rather ride his bike all day, I have a really awesome program for your consideration.
Or, if your little scholar is more like my first two students who couldn’t wait to “do school”, then they will be super-excited about this as well.
I know, Write Shop doesn’t sound like it would be a very exciting adventure for a schoolphobe. But what’s inside, well, it might just be the ticket to a whole new perspective.
Write Shop Primary was designed for grades K-3. It consists of three levels A, B, and C.
For review we received the print version of Write Shop Primary Book A recommended for students in kindergarten or first grade, and the coordinating Activity Set Worksheet Pack.
The print version of Write Shop Primary Book A retails for $26.95 plus shipping, or can be purchased as a PDF ebook for $24.95. The Activity Set Worksheet Pack in print form can be purchased from the website for $4.95.
Write Shop Primary at Gunn Ranch Academy
Levi has really enjoyed this program. It has taken the pressure off of him to read and write, and just allowed him to be creative.
I’ll begin by saying this program is so well organized that my 11 year old is actually working through the lessons on days I’m working at the vet clinic. They are both always really excited to share with me what they did so we can discuss it together. No instruction or direction from me is at all necessary for her to implement the lessons with him. I love to hear and see what they did, and sometimes they just really get creative going above and beyond the basic lesson. Taylor has always had a way to get Levi excited about learning, projects, and activities. She has been making him little books, worksheets, and projects from the time he was super little and called it “Baby School”. This is really an awesome extension of all that she started a few years ago for them both.
Taylor has already asked if we can buy the other two books in the series so they can continue. This really just speaks volumes for this program in my opinion!
The first lesson’s theme is animals. In activity set 1:7, the “publishing the project” activity is making the writing project from activity 1:4 (which was to draw your favorite animal onto a large piece of construction paper and write a sentence about it) into a kite with streamers. Levi had colored a black widow onto a large piece of paper, but then asked if we could get a piece of poster board to make a big kite to fly on our flagpole. He ended up drawing several of his favorite animals from his previous brainstorming list, then writing a sentence that extended around the outside of the picture as a frame. So here is Levi’s very first “published project” (and what better way to publish a project than run it up a flagpole?!?!), complete with streamers we made from ribbon he picked out:
After completing all 8 activities from Lesson 1, we moved on to Lesson 2: All About Me. The lesson focus here was personal writing, and the theme: I Am Special. The first couple of pages of the lessons always give an outline of objectives and materials needed for each section so you can easily prepare for the upcoming activities.
When we arrived at Activity Set 2:2 I followed instructions for some advanced prep of the pre-writing activity by creating sentence strips. I cut out cardstock strips and wrote the first part of some sentences on them. Then I made cards with words to finish each sentence in two or three different ways, and left a couple blank for Levi to complete. I combined the brainstorming activity from the next lesson 2:3 with the sentence strip activity by putting a few of his favorite pictures of himself into a Word Document and a title on top reading “I Am Special”. I printed it off, clipped it to the top of his kite, and placed it at the head of our sentence strips. I told Levi, “You are special, so lets explore some of the reasons why!”
He really had a lot of fun putting all of the words together to create different sentences, and them putting them in places that made really funny sentences. He then finished out by stapling all of the sentence strips and words together into one big, long “run-on” sentence! 🙂
Activity Set 2:4 had an advanced prep step for the writing project as well. I cut out five 10-inch circles (I made each of mine from different colored paper.)
On each circle I wrote something different, leaving enough room for a picture:
~My name is _____.
~There are ______people in my family.
~We live at ______. (address)
~My phone number is _______.
I am special because_____.
I used a hole punch to punch two holes on the left to lace a piece of yarn through to hold the book together once the pages were completed. (This was my own addition- the publishing project for this wasn’t until lesson 2:7 when they made a paper plate face to staple on as the cover.)
I was able to leave this in Levi’s binder notebook for he and Taylor to complete the lesson together. They practiced memorizing his address and phone number together.
At the end of the last activity (8) in each lesson is a section called Want to Do More? where you’ll find lots of other activities for writing across the curriculum. In Lesson 2 the child was to pretend to be a certain animal, read a book or magazine or internet article to gain more facts, then do the writing project again describing what it would be like to be that animal. He was to recreate the paper plate project cover by drawing the animal. This went over extremely well in our animal-loving household!!
On to Lesson 3 we went which was Choosing a Topic. The lesson focus was about thinking of ideas to write about, and the theme was My Favorite Things. The first thing we did required my advance prep. I made a portable word bank about seasons using a weather theme out of a manilla file folder. I really love that the advanced prep really can be put together pretty quickly.
In this lesson we began writing more predictable sentences by repeating the same four sentence starters each day of the lesson.
~Good Morning Levi.
~Today is _____.
~The weather is _____.
~Today we will ____.
In this lesson we also made stick puppets and created stories with them, created story idea file boxes with index cards (Levi loved finding and cutting out pictures from magazines and some from the internet for his index cards!), picked out topics to write about from the index cards, and then published his final project by hanging his illustrated story papers on a clothesline. After we had fun hanging them on a small makeshift clothesline in the house, we took them outside and ran them up the flagpole. 🙂
For each lesson we have also had an activity sheet to fill our from our activity sheet packet. You can see the first one in the picture of Levi at the beginning of this post for an example.
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of our first three WriteShop Primary Lessons. This program was truly an answer to prayer. Our kindergarten year has been a pretty rough start up to the last couple of months. But WriteShop has really changed things at our house! We’re moving right along through Lesson 4 learning about the main idea, focusing on selecting a title with the theme Friends. By the time we get to Lesson 10, I’m gonna have a budding writer on my hands!
Come to think of it, by the time we get through WriteShop Primary Books A, B, and C, Levi might be on the New York Times Best Seller list!! (And we’re gonna need a new cabinet to store all of his fabulous creations!!) 🙂
Best of all, it’s really easy and fun to implement and doesn’t take a ton of planning because it’s all laid out for you in short, well organized lessons. It’s so easy, your 11 year old can teach it! 🙂
Next best thing, the price is totally affordable. WriteShop has products all the way through High School level too. Check ’em out!
Visit our Crew Blog to read about my Crew Mates’ Write Shop adventures!
*Disclaimer~ I received these books in exchange for an honest review as a Crew Mate on the TOS Homeschool Crew. No other compensation was received and opinions are my own.