2204 Fort Belvoir Dr
Virginia Beach, VA, 23464
by Emerson Sandow
Writing has always been a vital skill and even today, with the encroachment of electronic media, with foreshortened communications such as texting, etc., being able to convey one’s thoughts on paper reigns as the most important of skills – doing so clearly and intelligently is also helpful! In recent years, the SAT essay portion has increased this importance and homeschoolers are very fortunate to have online programs such as Write At Home to provide the deep instruction necessary to achieve mastery without having to attend brick-and-mortar classes at possibly inconvenient times.
Write At Home does not require the student user to log in at a certain time or watch a presentation at a given time. Rather, the student can log in “anytime” s/he wishes and can work on an individual schedule throughout the program. Since the students using Write At Home are middle school or high school age, 12 to 18 years, the issue of self-discipline and self-guidance is non-existent. This age is the time of mastering one’s writing skills and the serious homeschooler knows that the future in college and employment hinges on being serious about writing.
Write At Home’s basic self-guided courses come in three different lengths of time: 32-week annual courses, 16-week semester courses, and 8-week workshops. The student is given an assignment and a due date and is expected to submit the completed assignment by the due date. The assignments can take from 1-3 hours per week, sometimes more.
Here is a partial list of what the first annual 32-week course for the average 5th or 6th grader is intended to achieve:
Students who complete the course will be able to…
- compose complete sentences.
- create logically organized paragraphs.
- write for a variety of purposes, including narration, description, exposition, and persuasion.
- respond to coach feedback on their writing through revising and proofreading.
- demonstrate a grasp of basic writing concepts such as unity, conciseness, and clarity.
- engage the writing process by employing the following five steps in composing every paper: prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, publishing.
- demonstrate comprehension of basic usage and mechanics rules in their writing.
- demonstrate proficiency at writing under time constraints.
- improve their writing across a wide range of broad evaluative areas, including content, style and form.
Actually, many older students benefit from taking this course as well, since previous writing work might have been spotty and the review and revision is invaluable. The other regular writing course offerings are similar in scope and time, becoming more focused on truly understanding and mastering the various types of writing and receiving feedback and criticism for improvement.
Besides the many regular writing courses offered, Brian Wasko, creator of Write At Home, offers online Classic Literature classes called Wasko Lit. The Lit 1 Syllabus includes Mythology by Edith Hamilton, The Illiad, The Odyssey, plays by Aeschylus, Euripides, some selections from Plato, C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces, other works and Julius Caesar by Shakespeare. This is the heavy-duty study that homeschoolers are known for and many adults wish they could have enjoyed such an extensive course in the comfort of home!
Write At Home should be a part of every homeschooler’s education. Please visit the website to see complete information and enroll your student right away! E.S.