Thursday, August 2, 2012
Schoolhouse Crew Review ~ Create Better Writers
The first ebook we used was "How to Write a Paragraph". It is the first step in the program and can be used beginning in 3rd grade (around age 8) and should be taught first. It contains one "trick" that gets students writing. This is the foundation of the program. The rest of the system falls into place after this "trick" is learned. They build on this until the process of writing research reports is mastered.
The website (www.CreateBetterWriters.com) has a page where you can see the entire process at a glance. This helps moms and kids on target and makes the process doable instead of overwhelming. You can also find a 53-minute video about the program HERE. (Scroll about halfway down the page to find the video.) The how-to video is a little lengthy, but I loved what I learned from it. It makes teaching writing with Create Better Writers easy. The author, David Dye, is a good teacher, which helps a lot!
Create Better Writers uses a "Pre-Write" process that makes the program easy to implement. No student should feel overwhelmed or stressed about the writing process using this curriculum. It follows a clearly laid out, step-by-step process that gets results. If you teach this program following the simple directions, you won't have much extra prep work. Being able to prepare once versus prepare over and over again is a real bonus for busy homeschool moms. The "paper set up trick" is my favorite aspect of the program. While I can't give away how the program works, I will say that this trick is able to be used for oral presentations, almost any writing assignment, and can be used by writers of all ages. I can honestly tell you that this trick works.
Next the student learns to improve their writing, starting with topic sentences. Then we moved on to "How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay" ebook. First the student master the basic format of the five paragraph essay, and then they learn about introductions. After that they work on smooth transitions, creating a flow from one paragraph to the next, classy conclusions, and so on. Timed essays become a lot less intimidating when using the techniques shared in "How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay". An easy layout of directions makes for ease of use, and that is a big plus for me! It means I don't have to come running to cries of, "Mom, how am I supposed to do this?". Create Better Writers is designed to be used with multiple aged children at once. We were able to accomplish quite a lot in the six weeks we've been using Create Better Writers.
While we haven't finished using the program in it's entirety, I can say that I have been pleased with the process and the results. It was easy to use with my kids - just give them paper and pencil, toss out a few ideas for subject matter, and off they go! I did find a couple of typos, and some parts of the ebooks are a little repetitive and even wordy, overall it's a solid writing program. I don't think we will use it as a stand-alone writing program, but that's my decision for my children. Others may feel differently.
While my family didn't use "The Home School Writing Plan" within the time frame allotted for this review, we fully expect more of the same from it once we start using it.
Overall I found this to be a pretty good program. I love how easy it is to use, and success builds upon success. Just do Day 1, next do Day 2, etc. and you're children will be on their way to better writing!
The website is www.CreateBetterWriters.com.
To read what other reviewers have to say, click HERE.
The price for the ebook "How to Write a Paragraph" is $7.99
The price for the ebook "How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay" is $17.99
The price for the ebook "The Homes School Writing Action Plan" is $15.95
Disclaimer - I received these products free of charge for review purposes. All opinions shared here are my own.
Happy writing everyone!
Day 209 done :)
Jan L. Burt