The WriteShop program is designed to help parents feel more confident about teaching composition skills to their junior high and high schoolers. However, there are always those parents who believe they will never feel secure enough or equipped enough to teach their kids to write.
When we began teaching our first WriteShop class, we had no idea that the homeschooled students who joined us every week represented the tip of the iceberg—children whose parents feel inadequate or unable to teach the subject themselves. In fact, ranking right up there with chemistry, algebra, and geometry, writing seems to among the most feared subjects to teach at home.
Sometimes it is beneficial to gather a small group of students together for cooperative learning. Though we did not feel particularly equipped to teach a writing class, we were certainly motivated—our sons were approaching seventh grade and their writing skills sorely needed attention. We figured that if we taught them together, three or four other families might want to come along for the ride. To our surprise, after sending out feelers, fourteen students gathered in Kim’s family room for our first class!
Yes, we felt a little nervous, but we were confident that our basic understanding of English—grammar, punctuation, spelling—coupled with our ability to write a decent paragraph, would enable us to stay at least one step ahead of our students!
Since then, the response has been staggering. Every year our waiting list for WriteShop classes grows longer. In one year, two local home school groups offered their own WriteShop classes. The next year, even more Southern California classes began meeting. Now, WriteShop classes are forming all around the country in states like Montana, Texas, North Carolina, Nevada, Florida, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.
The need is great. As user-friendly as WriteShop is, some parents still do not feel secure enough to teach their kids to write. Some were never taught fundamental composition skills; others know how to write themselves but don’t know how to teach writing to their children.
A growing need exists in the homeschooling community for outside classes that can assist parents who want to continue home educating their children past the elementary years. As young people approach junior high and high school, they begin tackling subjects in which their parents feel weak. Outside classes, either privately taught or formed through co-ops, provide an answer for many of these families. WriteShop can help you meet this need.
Homeschoolers are not the only ones who desire to teach writing effectively. The WriteShop program also lends itself to use in private Christian schools. Teachers who use this handbook have found helpful tips for using the WriteShop curriculum in their classroom settings as well.
From Handbook for Teaching in a Group Setting by Kim Kautzer and Debbie Oldar
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