Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Writing Tales Classical Style - Review

Writing Tales offers lessons in Composition and Language Arts in the Classical Style.  In this curriculum you will find literature, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, copywork, and writing.  The author, Amy Olsen, is a veteran homeschooler of 3 children.  She began developing Writing Tales after teaching a co-op.  Through that she discovered her love for writing curriculum!
Here is a picture of Amy with her daughter at a convention is Pennsylvania.  Besides being a talented writer, Amy has a unique insight as a homeschool mother which played a valuable role in creating this user friendly curriculum.

Writing Tales comes in two levels.  Each level provides a Student Workbook (spiral bound) and Teacher's Manual.  They can be purchased separately if desired.  Both levels can be used for a single student or in a co-op.  The Teacher Manual's provide step by step instruction for either situation.  Each level provides 30 lessons.  Each lesson takes about one week to complete.  A fable is introduced every two lessons.  The student will eventually re-create the fable using their own words and creativity.  Along the way, he/she learns grammar, writing, spelling and vocabulary.  The end product is a beautiful collection of your child's writing.

Level One is for students in 3rd-4th grade.  The Workbook is $19.95 and the Teacher's Guide is $24.95.  Click HERE to see the Scope & Sequence and HERE to see a sample lesson.
Level Two is for students in 4th-5th grade.  The Workbook is $24.95 and the Teacher's Guide is $32.95.  Click HERE to see the Scope & Sequence and HERE to see a sample lesson.

Writing Tales is offering 20% off and FREE shipping from May 2nd to May 9th.  So, don't wait to order your Student Workbook and Teacher's Guide.  That's a generous offer!

Level One does not need to be completed before using Level Two.  My son is finishing up 5th grade and, although we were provided with both Level One and Level Two for this review, we started with Level Two very easily.  Although the Teacher's Guide is able to be purchased separately, it is quite necessary to achieve the full benefit of the curriculum.  It provides step by step instruction, answer keys, discussion questions, additional writing exercises, games to enhance the lessons, and more!  It is truly valuable and worth the investment.

Here is my favorite part!  I get to share about our experience with Writing Tales.  First, I have to tell you that I was very excited to be selected to review Writing Tales.  The Classical style has been interesting me more lately.  We have begun to incorporate more of this style into our lessons this school year.  I was hoping that Writing Tales would fit well with my family so we could begin to include it into our collection of curriculum.  Read on to see what happened....
  • The initial impression when I opened the box from Writing Tales was Wow!  The books were solidly made.  I loved that the Student Workbook was spiral bound.  That makes for ease of use and photo copying.
  • As I thumbed through the Teacher's Manual I was immediately happy and excited to see that everything was spelled out for me.  Amy isn't kidding when she says step by step instruction.  I was also happy to see that there were separate sections for one on one teaching  and for co-op teaching.  
  • I was pleased to see that the lessons were short and sweet.  At first glance it seemed they would only take about 10-20 minutes each and as we worked through the lessons, we found that to be accurate.
  • Both my son and I were glad that the lessons had variety.  Although the lessons centered around the fable we were working on, each day's work was a little different - writing, spelling, vocabulary, etc.  It kept it interesting.
  • Matthew has always struggled with writing.  He just doesn't like it.  I, on the other hand, love writing and it comes naturally to me.  So, this is the most difficult area in which for me to teach him.  Since using Writing Tales, I have definitely seen an improvement in his writing and especially in his attitude towards writing.  That's priceless.
  • I wish the Teacher's Manual was also spiral bound.  I found the binding to be extremely tight.  I had to hold it open or put something heavy on either side of the book when it was open or it would quickly slam shut.  I appreciate the tight binding so that pages wouldn't fall out, but it was a bit too tight.
  • I prefer a more in-depth instruction in grammar.  I felt the lessons provided minimal grammar instruction.  So, we will continue to use Writing Tales as a supplement or complement to our current Language Arts curriculum.
So, I think you know the verdict.  We loved Writing Tales!  We will continue to use Level Two until completion and we HOPE and PRAY that Amy will write a Level Three soon so we can just keep moving forward.  It's been a blessing and a valuable contribution to our lessons.  Thank you Writing Tales for allowing us to use and review your awesome curriculum!

Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

1 comment:

  1. We loved Writing Tales, too! Great review - I agree with all of your likes and dislikes :-)