Let me be completely honest with you my son doesn’t like to write, but this year with our curriculum change he became more open to writing. I don’t think my son’s unwillingness to write has anything to do with his inability to write a sentence I think it has more to do with his not knowing what to write and how to organize his thought.
He is moving into middle school in the upcoming school year. I think it’s time that we really target the writing process and get him excited about writing. I’ve looked at several different curriculums over the last couple of months and Write by Number is one that has continually come up on my searches. I first saw Write by Number on a fellow homeschool mom’s Instagram. I decided to take advantage of their 14-day free trial last fall and tuck this program away as my maybe. I knew right away from the trial that this wasn’t your ordinary writing curriculum the lessons are short and your student does not move on until they have mastered that particular stage in the program.
What is Write By Number
Write by Number is a comprehensive writing program for students in grades K through 12th grade. The program is also adaptable for students with special needs. There are 12 stages to the program all students start at stage one. The objective is for students to be able to confidently write an 8-page essay once they have completed all 12 stages. The program focuses on teaching your student to write effectively from the start with the use of sentence patterns. Stages can be completed with your student or independently. If you decide to purchase the hardcover curriculum you will receive a student book which is hardcover and a teacher’s book which is softcover. In the teacher’s book, you will find a section on how to use the curriculum. You will also get some background information on the creator and her recommendations. You will also find workshop videos on the website and the customer service is excellent. Write by Number is not just a writing curriculum students will learn :
- Usage and Mechanics
- Build Vocabulary and Spelling Skills
Students will need a separate notebook and it is recommended they use pens that are not erasable. I would also suggest having some kind of different color correction pen to do edits. Each stage is different and builds upon the previous stage. Students will continue to work through all the stages as they continue to learn a new stage as they continue to progress.
The student book can be used with dependent and independent learners. The book is written to the student so it makes an independent student feel confident that this is not your typical lesson. In the back of the student book, you will find grammar worksheets. The worksheets are to be done in your student’s writing notebook separately. What I did notice is that the worksheets don’t necessarily correspond with the stages in sequence so you need to be sure that when your student is using the appropriate worksheet. Students will always know what stage they’re on because they can look on the right side of the lesson book. On the left side is the paragraph structure for the lesson. I find having the noted stage in the margin is helpful for the student because it teaches them to organize their writing.
The teacher’s book is comprehensive it gives you insight into the creator and how to use the program. At the beginning of each stage, there is a complete overview of the lesson that includes:
- Common Core Standards
- Teacher Resources
- Student Materials
The teacher’s book also makes suggestions of what worksheets to use and the writing evaluation checklist. There are supportive scripts for you to use with your student if you helping your student complete lessons. The directions for each stage are simple with examples and easy to follow.
How it Works
In Stage 1 (power sentence) students will work on sentence structure using the keyword two. The power sentence sets the tone for future paragraphs. I like using the phrase power sentence better than the topic sentence for students. At first, my son found this assignment a little bit tedious. He soon found out that it wasn’t exactly tedious at all, because we spent two weeks just in stage 1. Stage one is your basic how to write a sentence, capitalization, and punctuation. I have no idea why it was such a struggle for him to use the word two in his sentence, but he was having some issues. You and your learner can decide how many sentences you want your student to write in this assignment. We decided on writing two sentences, but he was puzzled about coming up with two sentences that are quality. Observing my son struggle a little bit with this requirement, put things in perspective for me. He has been writing short stories, reports, and essays all year. His issue was not punctuation, content, and grammar. The issue that was hindering his writing was how to organize his thoughts. The reason why I hadn’t caught this problem earlier is because he and I have always done partnership writing. Needless to say, we did a lot of rewriting in the first week. The second week in stage one was spent building quality sentences and correcting edits.
- Students write the date in the margin of their notebook page.
- Students work on the stage lesson.
- Rewrite Sentences
- Cross youth the original sentences if there were edits
- Repeat steps 1-5 if needed
Stage two students are required to write three sentences paragraph. Stage two lesson went over a lot better, his confidence was through the roof. I am happy to report that he did it independently and produced two quality three paragraphs. We only had to do a rewrite once and he was so proud of himself. He read the lesson on his own and completed the assignment. We edited together and he did the rewrite. This time around he was more open to correcting his mistakes and rewriting his sentences. I also noticed his sentences were quality and well thought out. The best part was I had nothing to do with what he wrote!
So, here we are starting stage three at the time of this review. We do Write by Number three days a week and the lessons take 15 mins to complete. I like the rhythm of spending two weeks on each stage and since this is a curriculum that will grow with us over the next few years. I don’t feel rushed to get it done by a certain timeline. I appreciate that Write by Number can be used alongside your current language arts curriculum. Watching my son write his power sentence and rereading his own work, with no assistance from me makes me feel we are on a better track for successful writing.
Hence, I highly recommend Write by Number especially if you have a beginner, reluctant writer, or experienced writer. The lessons are simple and they teach the student to learn how to write correctly using proper grammar, organization, and creativity. To my surprise, my son told me a few weeks ago he wanted to start guest writing on my blog. We recently published his first blog review. It is homeschool convention time if you happen to see the Write by Number booth I highly recommend you stop by and check out the curriculum. At the time of this review Write by Number is still offering its free trial. The cost of Write by Number starts at $99, you also have the option to do the digital pdf reader option at a monthly or yearly cost. If you use Homeschool Planet Write by Number lessons plans are available for $9.95. Check out the trial you won’t be a disappointment. Be sure to check out all of the Write by Number social media platforms by clicking the links below.
Until the Next Time,