We are a full month into our new school year with an 11th grade High School student. Starting out I had no idea we’d homeschool ‘to the end’. One of the topics that we considered teaming up with a school was for Writing. How would we know if our high schooler was writing at a high school level? Would our teaching be the direction he needed to go?
I was pleased to find a company called Fortuigence that would answer our questions and fill our needs with a class named Essay Rock Star Expository Essay Writing Course. Starting a new year I thought it would bring a fresh breath into our focus of teaching him essay writing.
Nate has reviewed quite a bit during this online homeschool writing course.
Each lesson has a video, written instructions, examples, and a short assignment.
Nate started the course learning several clear approaches to writing an expository essay. The brainstorming sessions gave several fun ways to take a single idea and explode it into several steps. Then he wrote an outline based on his brainstorming session. Right now he is turning in a free writing essay based on his outline.
This is part of a 5 step writing process.
- Step 1: Brainstorming – different activities are used for each type of essay assignment,
- Step 2: Organization – main and supporting ideas are chosen and organized into an outline,
- Step 3: Free Writing – here students write their first free written draft with attention focused not on grammar but on explaining their thoughts and ideas,
- Step 4: Revision – students do major structural revision to their essays as well as craft a thesis statement, introduction and conclusion, and
- Step 5: Editing – we review grammar, punctuation, spelling and mechanics issues in detail until a finished product is complete.
If you are in a lull with your writing – if your teen is not encouraged to be engaged in writing – connecting to a professional teacher with personal feedback helps in our house. Nate could work at his own pace and send his homework in on any device. He just logs into the website, clicks on Classroom and there is a very clear easy to understand screen to let him know what lesson he is on.
One thing we enjoyed during the lessons so far is a variety of PDF resources to download. I printed them out and have kept them in a writing notebook. This is not just a ‘do this’ ‘turn that in’ type of a course. She really wants the students to have several resources to help them, examples to follow, and even other online free programs to use for brainstorming.
Starting a new school year, with 3 teen boys, in all different levels – it was a relief to use their writing curriculum and hand over the homeschool writing course to Fortuigence.
This class is listed at $57.00 and is for ages 12-18.
What did we think? We are still not quite finished. However, I do enjoy the site. Many online writing courses make the log in and finding your class the hardest part of the program. ha. This program is simple to log in, and very easy to navigate. The teacher got back to us in a very timely manner with personal responses – we knew she had read his work and thought about it; this is not always true with other programs we have used. For us personally, I think it has shown us that we can move on from the ‘how to write an essay’ to just expecting his narration to come in essay form. We have several courses this year that ask for a report in response to work completed, and now I know that the reports should be easy to generate. It is interesting to note, he is due to take WR121 at the local community college this winter. The college was pleased that he would be taking a refresher writing course prior to taking the class. If your child is ready to take the dual enrollment classes, but you are unsure how he / she will do with the assignments, this class would be most excellent.
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