In the fall of 1997, when Kim Kautzer and Debbie Oldar began teaching their first WriteShop class to a small group of homeschoolers, they planned to use one or two established writing programs as their core curriculum. They never intended to write such a program of their own. However, as they began the process of lesson planning, they found that each program, while having its own merits, also contained holes they felt were important to fill. Over that summer of planning and preparing, WriteShop was born.
Teaching a beginning writing class, Kim and Debbie understood the importance of helping students develop a strong writing foundation. Most parents enrolled their children in the class because of their own self-confessed weakness in this area. They, too, had tried various writing courses for their children, sometimes to no avail. While many of these programs encouraged the students to "get their ideas onto paper," they often failed to show the parent how to teach, direct, and evaluate in a simple way.
Saxon Math, among other reasons, has found success in the education community because of its incremental method of instruction. As lesson builds upon lesson, and old material continually cycles through new, concepts become firmly rooted through practice. Kim and Debbie yearned for a writing program that offered a similar format.
What exactly did they seek in a writing curriculum? They wanted a program that: