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TravelingChris

Online writing program needed

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I am looking for an online writing program, preferably one we could start very soon. I know I don't want a program with any part of it being free writing. I want a structured format with preferably non-fiction, maybe science or technology type topics. For the start, I don't want literature because this is not my lit loving child. Any ideas? I know I used some program years ago with my oldest who was a reluctant writer but that was 7 years ago or so and many computers ago.

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I highly recommend Home2teach writing courses.

 

My eldest, Taz used Home2Teach during the end of 10th & all of 11th grade, and a portion of 12th grade. The classes made. a. big. difference.

 

I checked the schedule, and all the classes for 4th quarter are full. You can see next year's schedule here.

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We've been very happy with Write at Home writing classes. They have a new workshop session starting next week which includes essay writing and research writing workshops. Each student has a writing coach and the student does not have to sit in an on-line class at a specific time. I know some kids like this, but my son detests the idea of an on-line classroom. We've been blessed with some great writing coaches (they're writers, not just teachers) and his writing has improved.

 

Yolanda

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I'm not sure if I'll be of any help, but I'll share our experience.

 

My kids have both taken three classes with Home2Teach. They were both placed in the Fundamentals1 class, then the Fundamentals2 class, then the Narrative Writing class (all taken last school year). Had we continued with H2T, they would have been (or will be, if we sign up again) in the Report Writing class.

 

Both kids are currently in the Write@Home's annual composition course (dd in the 7th grade comp, and ds in the 9th grade comp).

 

I specified the classes my dc have taken/are taking, because it is possible the other classes at the above companies can, and probably do differ somewhat.

 

Here are my thoughts/opinions:

 

The H2T classes were a lot of work. There was something 'due' every day, and you have to meet 'live' for a weekly class. From what I gather, all the classes are set up this way, as each class is supposed to encompass a Language Arts requirement. We found the vocab and other assignments to be 'busy work', as my kids were already doing things on their own. Could we have 'blown those parts off'? Maybe. But, I figured I paid for the class, so we should do it. If I enroll the kids in the Report Writing class, I may pick and chose which portions of the class to have them complete. That said, however, the writing help they received was great. My dd has a natural talent for writing and needed guidance due to her younger age, and my ds is a *very reluctant writer and needed guidance from someone other than "mom". The three classes they took were great in providing them both what they needed.

 

The Write@Home classes.... well, they are 'light' in the writing part. I looked at the kids' syllabus and realized (after our drop/refund period had passed) that much of what they were doing was the same as what H2T had them do.... paragraph writing, narrative writing, expository writing, etc. I found it repetitive and slow.... they will only compose a total of 12 original works for the entire year.... not enough for me. These assignments are relatively short, so the depth isn't there. For instance, my 9th grader has not had to write any 'reports' and, in fact, just turned in his first essay on Thursday. :glare: I will say, however, that with Write@Home, each assignment is returned two times for editing, so the student *does get lots of practice in editing/rewriting.

 

That said, I do want to mention that while I'm disappointed with Write@Home, it is because the depth/expectations/assignments are rather light (and repetitive based on our previous H2T classes).... especially for my 9th grader. In fact, my 7th grader had a report that required a bit of research (but no documentation) and my 9th grader has not. By the time I saw the pattern of assignments, our drop period had ended, as I said above.

 

If I knew at registration what I knew now, I would have stuck with H2T Report writing. While I found 'busy work' that we did not need, the writing and critiques were exactly what we needed. Also, you get a bigger 'bang for your buck' with H2T IMO.

 

This is just our experience with those particular classes, so YMMV.

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My 6th and 8th grader are in home2teach classes. We've been very satisfied. I've noticed that we have been placed with the same teacher when we've changed courses, making the continuity very helpful. My 8th grader chose to take the report writing class again and the second time the teacher (same one) challenged her far more (more references required, longer paper, etc.) I do believe the vocabulary is "busy work," but it constitutes such a small portion of the class that we don't mind - and the teacher makes it fun with having a "stump the teacher" class where the kids try to find words the teacher may not know. Just adds to the community feeling of it. We've also made some e-mail friends through it, as there are kids from all over the US in classes.

 

Blessings,

Julie

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Like Heather in AL, we found Write@Home to be light. We just did the Essay 1 course. They use Lively Art of Writing, but don't assign the questions and assignments at the bottom of the chapters. It taught my son about the essay, and the feedback was good.

If I had to do it over again, I'd do Home to Teach and put him in it all four years.

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