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Friday, March 15, 2013

Essentials in Writing TOS Review

Essential in Writing logo photo EssentialsinWritinglogo_zps7affe1cf.jpg

I received the
  10'th grade Essay Writing Research Paper DVD's  
 for review.

Price is $40.00 for the DVD set.   
Note:  After purchasing the product, the company will send (via email) a link to access the pdf workbook which is then download to your computerThis will allow you to print the assignment sheets, worksheets, scoring guide, etc. 

They do offer the pre printed workbook as well for $20.00 if desired.  (Both contain the same material.)

Essentials in Writing Grade 10 photo EIW10thgrade_zpse9ce70e0.jpg


What Is It? - 

This is a series of video instruction on the whole writing process.  Matthew Stephens, a former English teacher, is the creator and instructor of these DVD's.  He teaches sentence composition all the way through to the research paper.

There are 4 sections in this course: sentence structure, paragraphs, essays and research papers.  Grammar is integrated into the teaching with some writing activities as well. 

Their website offers a 'scope & sequence' to download and/or view.  They also have a sample lesson & sample worksheet/assignment coming soon! 
The 'personal essay scoring guide', which is included (pdf), shows what the parent / teacher is to look for in order to give a grade. 

To watch a video tutorial of how the scoring guide works, click HERE.

For the student, there are examples of what the assignment should look like after completion.  This gives the student something to look at and follow as well.  There are also checklists for the student so he/she can make sure they have covered all writing points.

My son used this curriculum 4 times per week.  He likes to work independently so this was very convenient for us to use.  He just popped the DVD in every morning, watched the instruction video and then worked on his assignment.  I printed out the worksheets / assignments for him ahead of time (weekly) and placed them in a file folder.  I also placed some writing paper inside so he would have everything he needed in hand while watching the videos.  (It is recommended that the assignment given are completed the same day.This pdf format works great for large families and/or extra students; no need to buy additional workbooks.  ;) 



We didn't just finish the first section and then review the product.  We explored every section of this course.  

The sections include several lessons in sentencing, paragraphs & essays.  We got a feel for the whole video series.  I like the idea of this course being taught by an instructor step by step to help the child grasp the writing process as well. 

What I Thought -

Needless to say, my teenage son (like many) does NOT like writing.  But he actually enjoyed this course more than any other writing program or curriculum we've used in the past.  This course is very easy to use.  His writing is improving and he hasn't complained about the writing assignments!   

Mr. Stephens, the instructor, took my son step by step through the writing process.  I liked that he gave several examples in each of his lessons so the student wasn't just writing anything without care or concern just to finish the assignment.    

This is really the first experience we've had with an instructor / DVD.  I usually teach him myself, and for some subjects, he is self taught.  I wasn't sure if I'd like the video concept, but it worked really well for us.

This video series gave my son the confidence he needed to write.  With college essays coming up within the next few years, I feel this will really help him write not only good papers, but excellent ones!  The best thing is, my other son can use this.  I won't have to buy an addition workbook or anything.  This is a great program for all students.  Being good writers will help them no matter what career path they choose.  This also is a wonderful investment for any family with multiple children.


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