Homeschool writing curriculum choices can run the gamut from creative writing to essay writing. Students can learn a five-paragraph essay format in the hopes of preparing for college. Or they can take creative writing courses where they put their narrative writing skills to work. So what kind of writing course should your student take? Is there a form or method of writing that will benefit them in the long run? And will it be difficult for you to teach high school writing if you’re not a writer?
My high schoolers and I were excited to take a look at a great curriculum that answers these questions. It’s an easy-to-use homeschool writing curriculum that will prepare your student for writing for life with practical skills. (Keep reading for a discount and giveaway!)
Disclosure: I received curricula and compensation for this post. All opinions are always my own.
Common Sense Press offers a high school writing curriculum that will help your kids learn the practical writing skills they’ll need throughout life. This curriculum- Wordsmith Craftsman– is part of their Wordsmith writing series. And it’s an easy-to-use course that your student can use independently to learn writing skills…even if you don’t consider yourself a strong writer.
Why Your Homeschool Writing Curriculum Should Teach Practical Writing Skills
As a mom of two homeschool graduates and a former traditional school teacher, I can affirm that practical writing skills are critical to a child’s future success. Whether you have a student headed to college or one who is starting a career right out of high school, these skills are important.
Students Need to Know How to Use Practical Writing Skills to Organize Their Lives and Days
Yes, we can all use digital tools for planning and organizing now. But should we? Sometimes it helps to be able to write goals and plans out on paper.
Wordsmith Craftsman begins with the basics. In the opening lessons, students are taught how to make lists and how to plan their days. Assignments guide them in setting up a notebook that will help them plan out everyday routines as well as set goals for the future.
Students Need Writing Skills to Get Into College…or Apply for a Job
Sometimes we think about college applications but assume that kids who don’t go to a four-year college won’t need the skill of applying to a college. But applying for a job requires similar skills. Students need to know how to organize their thoughts. And they need to know how to craft a formal letter that introduces themselves.
In the Wordsmith Craftsman curriculum students are taught how to write a business letter. They’re taught how to sound respectful and clear in their writing. They’re specifically taught about what a letter requesting employment needs to include and the style it should be written in.
Students Need to Know How to Take Notes and Paraphrase
These are also skills we sometimes assume are limited to students in college. And students in college certainly need to know this. (I’m constantly surprised when college kids don’t understand that they need to take notes!) But students entering the workforce need to know this as well. They may not be required to write out notes or paraphrase. But they may need to read training materials for a job. And practicing these skills in writing can help them to mentally take notes and summarize information when they’re learning a new skill or getting instructions from an employer.
In the Wordsmith Craftsman curriculum students will learn how to take notes and how to organize that information and paraphrase. They’re taught how to pick out relevant information and how to get the general idea of a long passage of writing. And they are taught that creating a summary can be a good tool to hone comprehension of the material they’ve read.
Students Need to be Able to Communicate Ideas in Writing
Whether or not students end up writing for a grade in a college class, they need to know how to express themselves in writing. Could they explain in an essay why they wanted to attend a certain college or obtain a certain job? Could they write a statement in an online space backing up a belief or opinion? Do they know how to evaluate and edit what they’ve written?
Wordsmith Craftsman teaches students how to start with gathering information, organizing that information, and then writing effectively. The curriculum teaches students about using language effectively. It covers different types of essays. And students learn how to evaluate and edit their writing.
How This Homeschool Writing Curriculum Teaches Practical Writing Skills
The Wordsmith series from Common Sense Press is a writing series that teaches students writing skills from basic to complex. The series includes books for three levels that cover 4th-12th grade. Common Sense Press is often known for its Learning Language Arts Through Literature series. And this writing series is a perfect accompaniment to that literature series. The series begins with the basics of grammar review and then moves to sentence writing, paragraph writing, and essay writing.
Wordsmith Craftsman is intended for 9th-12th graders. The first part of the course covers practical writing. Part two reviews grammar skills and composition skills. And part three covers formal essay writing. Students can begin using the curriculum in 9th grade. Or you can adapt the material to fit into one to three years. The front of the book has a suggested schedule for these different options.
This course is self-paced. It is designed for students to read through the sections and then complete the assignments independently. In the first section when students are learning to make notes and to-do lists the curriculum teaches them how to break up and plan assignments. There are some shorter exercises and then longer assignments as well. Most of the assignments are writing assignments with no right or wrong answers. But there are some exercises in the second section that need to be checked. The Appendix includes answers to these.
Why Wordsmith Craftsman is the Homeschool Writing Curriculum You Need
So why do you need Wordsmith Craftsman in your homeschool? There are a few features I really liked, and I think you’ll love as well.
- This course is self-paced. Homeschooling is all about flexibility. There are a number of different ways that you can pace this course depending on the needs of your student.
- Students can complete the course independently. Are you homeschooling other kids? Cleaning the house? Cooking food? Taking care of little ones? Working from home? If you are doing any or all of the above, at least your high schooler can work on this course independently.
- This course covers the writing basics that kids will need to know for life as well as for college. Not all kids will go to college. Some high school writing courses focus only on preparing high schoolers for college. Wordsmith Craftsman can help your student with that as well. But students who aren’t headed to college can also learn important skills that will help them in day-to-day writing.
- This writing course isn’t extremely intensive, and it can fit in with your other language arts curricula. The course is specially designed to use in conjunction with Common Sense Press’ literature course. Sometimes I’ve tried a writing curriculum that’s so intensive that it’s hard to use in addition to a literature course that also might have writing. Wordsmith Craftsman avoids that.
Ready to check out Wordsmith Craftsman? You can use code Summer2021 for 15% off through July 31, 2021. You can also enter the giveaway below to win a choice of a literature or science curriculum from Common Sense Press. (See those courses here!)