Monday, April 9, 2012

TOS Review: Write with World

As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Crew, my family was given an opportunity to review Write with World created by God’s World Publications, publishers of God’s World News and WORLD Magazine.
I was given year one of a two year program, it included a student manual and a teacher’s manual. The teacher’s manual was an exact copy of the student text with a side margin listing some extra details and hints. There are 16 Lessons (4 Units) and each lesson is broken into 5 sections (called Capsules) making it easy to complete a capsule per day usually. Here’s a Sample Lesson to give you a better idea.
This program was designed for middle schoolers but can actually be used with 6-9th graders. While Write with World is loosely linked with it’s magazines and can be used very well with either one or both of them, but according to the publishers, it is not necessary to have the magazines in order to use this program.
The publishers list several reasons for creating this program on their website, including the need for “Christian’s to be heard in this era of conflicting worldviews.” I found this very interesting because, just today I was talking with my son about how difficult it is to get the actual truth from any media outlet. Our family enjoyed a membership to two of the God’s World News magazines last year and I really enjoyed hearing current news from a Christian perspective. If we can get our children interested in writing, while teaching them current news, we’ll be accomplishing so much more than just preparing them to write well for college. Not only that, they will be equipped to discern what they are reading in all media outlets. I think it’s a wonderful idea and my son loves the program!
When I asked my 11 year old his thoughts on the program, this is what he had to say: “Write with World helps you see the potential of a story in everything around you. I really like it.”
He has been used to using a pretty complex writing program so this seemed like a breeze to him, I guess. My problem with it was, yes it was fun and interesting, but it didn’t translate well. In other words, I saw very little actual writing. Perhaps I wasn’t monitoring him closely enough or we didn’t get far enough in the program. Another problem I had was being able to easily glance at the book and know what was going on. It’s written in paragraph form so you really have to read to get the jest of the lesson. There isn’t a bullet list or a “What You Will Learn In Lesson _”  to give you an overview of what to expect. There is a “General Overview” and a “Detailed Overview” in the teachers manual, but even the ”General Overview” is just paragraphs. I need short and to the point.
These are just personal preferences and shouldn’t stop you from checking out this program. There are plenty of good things about Write with World that I hope will encourage you to give it a try such as, your child learning current events from a Christian perspective while applying these to writing. Also, unlike what I grew up with, the variety this course offers in each lesson is fun and keeps them interested. Write with World doesn’t toss out a thought/topic and expect your child to write a couple paragraphs about it, which is exactly how I was first introduced to writing, in 7th grade. We had a journal and the first 5-10 minutes of class we wrote about whatever topic the teacher had on the board. For example “This weekend I plan to…”  It was very dull and ineffective.
The cost of this program is $95 for one year or $165 for two years (you receive a teacher and student manual for each year). Also, Write with World is in the process of creating an online site that should be ready in September. This site will have 3 primary functions: 1) provide additional prompts and subject matter for the child to work with, 2) allow students to submit their writings for publication, and 3) offer a place for students and teachers to discuss what their learning and provide feedback to Write with World.
If you are interested in reading more reviews on Write with World, please check out this post.
**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. All opinions are mine. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.

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