We’re continuing our Best Homeschool Writing Curriculum series to help you find the best of the best homeschool writing curriculum for your learners. In case you missed them, check out our previous posts including Part I on what to consider when choosing the best homeschool writing curriculum and part II with our best homeschool writing curriculum reviews by learning style. To complete the series we wanted to give you the best writing curriculum based on your child’s ability and needs. Kids all learn at their own pace, and while some may be voracious writers who love to read and write, others are reluctant and have gaps they need filled. That’s why it’s so important to find the best homeschool writing curriculum for your child, which means finding something that fits their unique writing needs and abilities. Remember, the best homeschool writing curriculum will fit your child’s learning style AND address their academic needs.
The Best Homeschool Writing Curriculum For Students Who Need Remediation or Repetition
ACE Language Arts (All Grades)
Let me begin by outlining the ACE format. ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum is a Bible-based (using the King James Bible), mastery program designed specifically for independent learners. It is not a curriculum made for a classroom that parents must adapt to the home – this makes it a great choice for families with several children, or for working moms who need their kids to be more independent.
Each grade level consists of 12 colorful workbooks per year for each subject. Each workbook focuses on specific concepts and provide the repetition and review to ensure that the student masters those concepts. Tests and quizzes are built into each workbook with ample time for students to demonstrate their understanding before they take the final test (which becomes part of the grade for the year).
If you have a child who struggles with basic grammar and mechanics, go with the ACE English course (available for first through 12th grade). Each workbook is colorfully illustrated with characters who explain and demonstrate each new concept. In addition, you will find regular repetition and review to ensure that your student masters the material. But pay attention – you don’t want your kids glossing over the writing assignments. Be sure they are completing them as instructed. I often also supplemented the writing instruction by taking it a step further. If the workbook asks them to copy or correct a specific type of paragraph, I would then have them write their own paragraph in the same pattern explained in the PACE.
If you have a child who is a natural at grammar and just needs basic review, then go with the Literature and Creative Writing (available for second through sixth grades). A bit more expensive because it comes with all of the literature books included, this curriculum does an excellent job of teaching writing both in response to literature and as a lesson in itself. Students evaluate literature for the various literary tools as well as for theme, character, moral, etc.
Bridgeway English I and II (High School)
This remedial English course does not teach literature. It is a skills development course designed for students who need help with grammar, with writing, with usage, and with skills required for the realities of life.
Written in a step-by-step fashion with each skill building on the one prior, it just makes sense. And it shows. Kids are learning and succeeding, developing a confidence in their English abilities, scoring above average on standardized tests, and finding the desire to take another English course. If you need a review of English or a remedial English course, check out Bridgeway English.
The Best Homeschool Writing Curriculum For Accelerated Learners
Critical Thinking Language Smarts (Elementary)
If you are looking for a bright, cheery, upbeat workbook that covers all of the concepts required in either first (Language Smarts B), second (Language Smarts C) or third grade (Language Smarts C), then you will enjoy the Critical Thinking Press Language Smarts series. Great for visual learners who are ready for a challenge, these thick colorful workbooks are filled with activities designed to introduce your child to concepts such as alphabetical order, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, grammar and mechanics as well as various forms of writing.
What gives this program strength and puts it on our best homeschool writing curriculum list is exactly what you would expect from Critical Thinking Press – its attention to building critical thinking skills. Not only are students learning essential language arts skills, they are also engaging in many different thinking exercises designed to develop critical thinking and analysis.
Expect a few challenges along the way as there are skills taught at each level that are usually reserved for the grade level above. But this too is part of what one would expect from a company like Critical Thinking Press.
Kids love the colorful presentation and will do well if you are working with them to be sure they understand the skills taught. This is definitely not a mastery curriculum, so if you are looking for repetition and review, you may want to consider the ACE language arts program. However, if you work through the book with your children and pay attention to those concepts that seem to stump them a bit, you can supplement with the many available online resources to firm up those skills.
Write Source (All Grades)
If you are looking for a colorful, engaging and step-by-step homeschool writing course, then be sure to check out Write Source. These easy-to-use textbooks break down writing instruction into manageable chunks, and teach in a fun and creative way that grabs kids’ attention and keeps them engaged. Homeschool parents will love Write Source’s step-by-step format, which approaches writing as a process that begins with brainstorming and ends with revision, proofreading and editing. This is one of our favorites because it teaches a different form of brainstorming to complement each different form of writing, encouraging creativity and even project-based learning! That’s what makes it one of the best homeschool writing curriculum products on the market.
With Write Source, the textbook does the teaching – walking students through how to choose a good topic, how to brainstorm the topic, how to get started and more. In addition, for each form of writing, students will read and evaluate a rough draft and watch how it transforms into a strong piece of writing. This careful instruction is ideal for the homeschool as it really does a great job of teaching writing and is in-depth. Best of all, when combined with the Write Source Skills Book, Write Source takes writing further by weaving mechanics, usage and grammar into each lesson, challenging students to use the instruction to improve their own writing.
Finding the best homeschool writing curriculum is key if your child is going to be a proficient writer. But, why not take it a step further and help them fall in love with writing by adding your own fun activities, writing experiences, and exposure to as many styles of writing as possible? That’s what’s so great about homeschooling; you are in total control of your child’s writing future and can shape it to be positive and have a lasting impact.
If you need help choosing writing curriculum or finding the best homeschool program for your family, give us a call. We’ve made it our purpose to help homeschooling families succeed and thrive through homeschooling. 800-863-1474