Friday, June 20, 2014

Writing with Sharon Watson ~ The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School REVIEW

Homeschool ~ Christian Schools ~ Co-ops

The Power in Your Hands is a high school non-fiction writing course written by Sharon Watson.  It is one of three courses available, including a Middle School course.  You can check out the others by clicking HERE.

So, let's get to some details.  Let's start with the basics first....
  • Grades 9-12
  • 422 Page Student Text is $39.98
  • 212 Page Teacher's Guide is $14.98
  • 8-1/2 x 11 Soft cover
  • for Homeschool, Christian Schools, and Co-ops
  • designed as a two year curriculum, but there are some interesting suggestions on how to use this for a 3 year program

What's inside the student text???
  •  100 daily lessons and complete instructions for 22 essays and reports
  • instruction and practice for persuasive essays, compare/contrast essays, a biography, a literary analysis, a research paper using MLA documentation, description and narrative essays
  • self guided lessons requiring no prerequisites
  • tools for brainstorming, organizing thoughts, creating outlines, citing sources, and proofreading
  • engaging instruction and assignments with bits of humor and life applicable topics
What's inside the Teacher's Guide???
  • all the answers for the daily work....Woohoo!
  • ability to see exactly what your student is working on so you can be monitoring their progress
  • an easy and user friendly grading tool to grade each assignment....Amen!
  • 14 minute power surges designed to provide fun writing prompts for your student
  • tips and guides for helping your student along the way
My Thoughts....

Here's the thing.  I love to write.  It comes easy to me.  However, I can't teach writing to save my life.  That presents a big homeschooling problem for my reluctant writer son who is about to enter 9th grade.  We have been using another program for the past 7 months and it has been helpful, but it is not cheap.  To continue with that program will likely break my bank.  When I was first presented with the opportunity to review this product I was excited!  Yay, another writing curriculum to look into that might be the answer to our struggles.  The affordable price sparked my interest and the information I gained from the website was intriguing.  After receiving the product, here were my favorite aspects that I would like to share....
  • The lessons were of manageable size, clear, and speckled with humor.
  • The flow of the lessons was not intimidating.  The student is led gently into the world of writing and the different essay styles are well covered and explored before moving on.
  • The curriculum objectives were comprehensive and will enable the student to become a confident and experienced writer by the end of the program.....well prepared for the SAT.
  • The Teacher's Guide was filled with helpful tips, tools, and plans.  It includes the answers to the student assignments.
  •  Amen, there is a grading tool.  This is one of the hardest parts for me when it comes to writing.  But, the tool provided is a scale system for multiple aspects of the assignment.  I am leaping with joy to use this.
  • I really liked the 14 minute power surges.  These will be great when we want to take a break from the student text and just have some fun exploring writing.
  • The price is RIGHT.  Wow, this is wonderfully affordable, especially for such a complete and masterful curriculum.
  • There is a section in the Teacher's Guide with sample works and critiques on how to earn an A, B, C, etc.  It really helps decipher the differences and what to look for.
What I did not like....
  • I don't care for soft bound books.  I wish this book was at least spiral bound.  It does not stay open on its own and that is annoying to me.
  •  Um, yeah, that's it.
We look forward to using this for our 9th/10th grade school years.  Actually, we'll dapple with some of the 14 minute power surges this summer just to get the juices flowing.  I'll come back here and give you some updates as we move along.  Maybe I'll even post some of my son's writing samples!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Doreen! Thanks for your upbeat review of The Power in Your Hands! I love "Amen, there is a grading tool"!

    Let me know when you publish one of your son's essays. I'd love to read it!