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Online writing class suggestions please


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I'm double posting this request.

 

I am looking for a writing class for dd, who is going into 8th grade. We've been using IEW and she's become a decent writer. But I realize outside input will benefit her greatly at this stage.

 

I checked into Potter School. Can anyone give a review of their English 1 or 2 class. How much time did it take you child every week to get the work done. How much time did you have to spend supervising the work.

 

Memoria Press has a new middle school writing class and that looks interesting.

 

Anyone else use other online writing classes?

 

Thanks!

Anna

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I have an 8th grade girl also. She did an IEW-based co-op class last year. Learned a lot, but the course "personality" isn't a good fit. The other offerings at this co-op are not at convenient times. So I am also looking online. There's a lot available and some of it is local. So check with co-op writing teachers in your area for online writing classes or tutoring.

 

I have used a couple of Bravewriter classes. They were short term and mixed things up a bit. I liked them, she gained from them. That's worth investigating. At the last MACHE conference I went to, there was a man who just does 1-1 online tutoring, for any level, any age. No contact for you, but that's one model you could probably find. I ran across a site that had tutors who would either review your students writing or even teach your choice of curriculum on line. I hope someone here can fill that in.

 

Here's 2 links to courses offered online from our area:

www.jumpstartfuture.com

www.writingfoundations.com , this is IEW based and may be a really good fit for you. Mrs. Brekke has daughters about that age as well.

 

I'll be watching this thread for more suggestions.

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You can watch/listen to a class of English 1 and English 2. I found that very helpful. We are doing Advanced Comp next year but it is the first time we have used The Potter's School.

 

Veritas Press Scholars Academy has composition classes.

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two years now. DD did English 2 and Narnia and son took English 2 this past year. They are both continung and love TPS.

 

English 2 is really meaty and develops one's abilities to write well. There are some rules they have that we have questioned, but over time have seen the long term value in their decisions.

 

English 2 takes 2-4 hours most weeks, with a few heavier weeks mixed in. The in depth second semester poetry course is a wonderful learning expereince. My dd did not like it while she was in it as her teacher was not the best fit, but admits easily it is the best course she has taken for improving her writing. She took it in ninth and will be a junior this fall. My son loved his teacher and saw the benefits weekly in the class, he will be a freshman this fall.

 

My dd is taking advanced comp this year (this class gets the best reviews for SAt writing/improving score) however it can be tough to get in if you have not had a previous class thru TPS as the test to get in is thorough for both grammar and writing. My ds is taking English 3 this fall.

 

Some of the placement tests are available online and can be a good teaching tool if you do not sue TPS.

 

HTH,

Kathy

Edited by rockala
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I have a rising 8th grader and recently researched many of the online writing classes. I narrowed it down to a few and then decided on Laurel Tree Tutorials.

 

The pay by the month classes appealed to me because if it didn't work for my DS, we weren't out a lot of $. Laurel Tree does have a partial refund policy, but based on the reviews I've read I doubt that I'll need to use it.

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two years now. DD did English 2 and Narnia and son took English 2 this past year. They are both continung and love TPS.

 

English 2 is really meaty and develops one's abilities to write well. There are some rules they have that we have questioned, but over time have seen the long term value in their decisions.

 

English 2 takes 2-4 hours most weeks, with a few heavier weeks mixed in. The in depth second semester poetry course is a wonderful learning expereince. My dd did not like it while she was in it as her teacher was not the best fit, but admits easily it is the best course she has taken for improving her writing. She took it in ninth and will be a junior this fall. My son loved his teacher and saw the benefits weekly in the class, he will be a freshman this fall.

 

My dd is taking advanced comp this year (this class gets the best reviews for SAt writing/improving score) however it can be tough to get in if you have not had a previous class thru TPS as the test to get in is thorough for both grammar and writing. My ds is taking English 3 this fall.

 

Some of the placement tests are available online and can be a good teaching tool if you do not sue TPS.

 

HTH,

Kathy

 

Kathy,

My son is taking PSchool Eng. 2 this Fall for 9th grade.

What are you going to name the class on your kid's transcript?

I wish they would-re name the class as it is listed as: "JH English 2."

I was thinking about calling it English I (but that sounds boring).

 

and to the OP...

TPS is a great school. It forced my son to really dig deep in writing.

At first it may seem "strict" but he did learn a ton in English 1 and he is continuing onto English 2 this year.

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Kathy,

My son is taking PSchool Eng. 2 this Fall for 9th grade.

What are you going to name the class on your kid's transcript?

I wish they would-re name the class as it is listed as: "JH English 2."

I was thinking about calling it English I (but that sounds boring).

 

 

Potter's School actually renamed their English classes a few years ago -- English 1, 2, and 3 used to be called English 7, 8, and 9 ... but many kids, like one of my sons, were taking an English class "below" their grade level and it was confusing as well as potentially demoralizing. The Potter's teachers emphasize that a student should take whichever class fits his or her ability, not whichever corresponds to the grade the student is in. So ... when my 9th-grade son took "English 8," renamed by TPS "English 2," I just called it English 9 on his transcript, as it was, in fact, his English course for 9th grade. HTH!

 

~Laura

 

P.S. My younger son is currently signed up for Advanced Comp through TPS, but I may withdraw him if he is accepted at the CC for multivariable calculus. The suggestions for more-flexible writing courses in this thread may come in very handy if we do this! Thanks!

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CC--thanks for pointing me to Laurel Tree. That is looking good.

I wrote for the syllabus. Have you received one?

Specifically, does it have any guidelines as to how much time to expect to put in?

This is top priority this year, but I need to be careful not to overload with other classes.

 

Thanks!

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What about Write at Home: http://www.writeathome.com

 

They have all sorts of programs to fit your needs and ages of your children.

 

:iagree: We've also had good experiences with Write at Home. The writing has not been very intense, so it leaves me room to assign some writing at home as well, but it is very consistent. The student gets an assignment and feedback every week on schedule.

 

My son also took a writing class with Veritas Press. He had ONE writing assignment critiqued in an entire semester! We dropped it and lost $500.

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CC--thanks for pointing me to Laurel Tree. That is looking good.

I wrote for the syllabus. Have you received one?

Specifically, does it have any guidelines as to how much time to expect to put in?

My older dd took the HS Comp class and my younger dd took the MS Comp class this past year. Rebekah Randolph gives excellent instructions, clear guidelines for each writing assignment, and prompt and meaningful feedback. Time per week varied depending on the assignment, but I would say that once the year really got going, both dds spent a minimum of three hours and a maximum of six hours per week.
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CC--thanks for pointing me to Laurel Tree. That is looking good.

I wrote for the syllabus. Have you received one?

Specifically, does it have any guidelines as to how much time to expect to put in?

This is top priority this year, but I need to be careful not to overload with other classes.

 

Thanks!

 

I have the syllabus but you can't really tell the time involved for each assignment. Someone else had indicated about an hour per day.

 

VBCaroline - Thanks for the info. 3 to 6 hours seems manageable.

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It was a very good fit for him. In total there were 6 complete essays of varied length assigned (persuasive, comparison, personal, short story, research, and summary) with short skill assignments in between. The peer and teacher feedback was valuable. It wasn't particularly demanding, but that left time for other writing assignments from history and science ala WTM. The teacher was responsible and responsive.

 

She provides a syllabus with grammar assignments from Painless Grammar, but you can use another text if you chose to (as we did).

 

Check out Laurel Tree Tutorials. I have only ever seen positive reviews, mostly for the high school composition class, though I seem to have a vague memory of one positive intro comp class.

 

I've heard mixed reviews about Potter's School English. I've only seen positive reviews of Advanced Comp.

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I would like to recommend Bandusia Tutorials http://www.bandusiatutorials.com/expositorywriting.html . Expository Writing (the art of writing papers) is offered and is perfect for the average eighth grader. Three of my children have taken it, and are now able to write papers better than most college students. Elena Valle, the tutor, expects a lot from her students, and is able to gently guide them to producing excellent papers. Five papers of various kinds are written over the course of the school year. Each paper will take four weeks, and each weekly draft receives detailed comments from Elena. I do warn you that the class takes a lot of time, and that the parent should be involved, but is well worth it. My oldest sons have scored in the 99th percentile of the SAT Verbal test with very little formal English experience other than what they got from Elena.

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We had a great year with The Potter's School and will continue in the fall! Dd took English 2 for 8th grade, and ds took Writer's Workshop for 6th. We were very impressed with their writing instruction and the process they teach, especially the comments and feedback given by the teachers and the process of editing and revising each paper. In addition, we were pleased with the literature & grammar components of English 2. (Writer's Workshop is only writing.)

 

Dd had taken another online writing class previously, so I would highly recommend that you choose a class with personalized teacher feedback included. Also, I feel strongly that the students need to revise and improve their papers (partly based on the teacher's comments) and not just check off & turn in assignments.

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I am glad that you are considering Bandusia. As I said, the class is quite rigorous, but well worth it. I suppose a language oriented child could average an hour a day. My children are not, and probably spent about twice that amount of time. While they complained about how long the work took, they were shocked to see how different their writing was from friends' writing in the local high school AP English course. I do recommend parent involvement -- and YOU will learn as much as your child!

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  • 2 years later...

How much time did it take you children every week with bandalusia? Can you elaborate on parent involvement? I am planning on staying involved in dd's classes so I'd like to know what is expected of me.

 

Thanks!

Bandalusia looks like there are some limitations for what she's offering this coming year... due to a birth.

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Oh wow!  I asked this question quite a while back.  Here's an update for those who are interested.  DD did take the class with Elena Valle at Bandusia.  DD was in 8th grade then.  The following year, a friend taught an AP Language and Composition class so DD did that.  She did well in the AP exam.  This year, she went back to Bandusia for American Literature.  

 

We both have been very pleased with Ms. Valle.  She's a wonderful teacher and is very willing to help.  Her class times are also chock full of information and discussions.  As someone stated, she is expecting her second child any day now so she will not be offering any classes next school year.

 

But... my other DD took in Intro to Lit class this year with Captive Thoughts Tutorials.  The class meets weekly.  I am also very pleased with Mrs. Skiles.  She also offers high school level English classes.

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