Okay, I'm going to be honest here. After all, I have always been taught that honesty is always the best policy, so, here goes. I really didn't want to review Essentials in Writing. Over my years of being on the TOS Review Crew, John Allen and I have reviewed a ton of writing curriculum and, frankly, we just weren't up to reviewing another. We were already using a great writing curriculum and really didn't want to take the time out to review the Essentials in Writing Tenth Grade Essay Writing/Research Paper curriculum. However, when we heard that we were going to receive the CD's to review, we decided to bite the bullet and try it out. I'm glad we did. We found a lot to LIKE about this curriculum.
There are so many things to LIKE about the Essentials in Writing curriculum that, instead of putting my usual list of why you should buy the Essentials in Writing Tenth Grade Essay Writing/Research Paper course, I just decided to talk about what is to LIKE about it. I am going to capitalize and bold all of my LIKES so that you can easily find all of the things that there is to LIKE about it and I'm sure you are going to see a lot of LIKES!
Folks will LIKE it because it is very easy to use. Our Essentials in Writing course came as a three disk set. Disks One and Two were teaching DVD's while Disk Three finished the teaching, but also included a letter to the parents and the printable worksheet files. All you need to do is print out the worksheets for the day and, then, have your student watch the video and complete the worksheet. It's as easy as that. If you would rather have the worksheets already printed out, you can purchase them from Essentials in Writing of just $20. What's not to LIKE about that.
Students will LIKE that the worksheets are very easy to understand and there is not a lot of fluff and extra tedious work for them to do. There are two or three pages of easy to follow notes that reexplain what the teacher taught and provide examples. The student can either use these pages to look at while the teacher is teaching, or use them as a review after watching the days lesson. Students will also LIKE the assignments. A couple of choices are given that adds to the flexibility of the program. The parent can choose which assignment their child is to do or you can give the student a little control over his education and allow him to choose. A third choice would be to assign the first assignment and then, if the student needs more help then the second assignment could be given. I LIKE having choices.
In the past, some of the things that we have DISLIKED about lesson videos or audios have been the quality of production and, sometimes, the actual teacher. However, the lesson videos for Essentials in Writing are very well done with a very nice teacher - Matthew Stephens. In a very kind and thorough way, he explains the lesson and draws out needed examples on a wipe erase board. I LIKE good, friendly, well understood teachers.
Another thing that I LIKE is how sequential and well thought out this curriculum is. The curriculum begins with section containing several lessons on how to write a good sentence. It then progresses to another group of lessons on writing proper paragraphs. Next, the student will learn to write different types of essays. Finally, they will learn to produce a well written research paper. I LIKE that nothing is taken for granted. Before a student can write a good essay or research paper he has to know how to write a good paragraph. AND, before a student can write a good paragraph he has to know how to write a good sentence.
I also LIKE the small details that you might at first overlook but are very important. When I say that the program starts out with lessons on how to write a good sentence and paragraph, I'm not talking about just any old sentence or paragraph. The sentences and paragraphs that the child learns to write are sentences and paragraphs that would make up a good essay or research paper. Although learning how to write sentences and paragraphs for works of fiction are important, the Essentials in Writing program has chosen the 10th grade year to focus on writing essays and research papers. Other years in the program focus on writing other things. I really LIKE the programs focus on thoroughly covering one aspect of writing in one year.
Finally, I really LIKE the fact that John Allen is learning things that I didn't learn until college. It wasn't until my college basic English course that I learned how to write a proper research paper using note cards, a bibliography, etc. I don't know if one of my high school Language Arts teachers dropped the ball on that or not, but I never learned how the proper steps of writing a research paper until my college years. I really LIKE the fact that Essentials in Writing Tenth Grade Essay Writing/Research Papers does such a thorough job of teaching those things to a high school student. I think that you will LIKE that as well.
We didn't think anything could top the very popular writing program that we were using, but John Allen said that he LIKES this curriculum just as much as he likes the other curriculum. That really surprised me! For that reason alone I would have to give Essentials in Writing Tenth Grade Essay Writing/Research Paper an A+!
Another A+ (and another LIKE) is the price! The Essentials in Writing Tenth Grade Essay Writing/Research Paper is just $40! For $40 you get the DVDs with lesson-by-lesson video instruction and a CD-ROM with printable worksheets/assignment sheets/answer key in PDF format. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above for more information.
Other members of the TOS Review Crew reviewed other grade levels of the Essentials in Writing series and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Home Educating!