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U/S friendly how-to-write curricula?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Debated whether to put this in unschooling or the general HS forum. I especially want unschooling friendly recommendations and recommendations from those familiar with the way u/s kids tend to learn, so I've put it here. If it feels inappropriate, say and I'll ask for it to be moved.


In a nutshell, my 10 year old needs/wants to learn how to write essays. He has never done it and needs to be able to. He needs to be able to do this because he is considering school and doesn't want this to be an issue. 


He'd prefer a structured program he can work through at his own pace, with not too much need for me to help him. (he can read perfectly well so an adult self-teaching book would be fine). He doesn't want me to set him regular essays, for example, and he already has an occasional blog. He really wants the security and structure of a course. 


Free is good, but quality is more important. 


Does anyone have anything they can recommend? 


The ideal for us would be something ideally online, but at least previewable online.


In case anyone knows of any apps, we have an Android tablet and an ipad.




(oh and I know there is a meta-debate here...he does need to be able to write for school and he will not get much help with it at our local school. This is really a given so....shrug.gif. But he has a lot to say for himself-like all our kids, I expect- and I think he'd enjoy having the ability to structure his thoughts anyway-its not a waste of time) 

Edited by Fillyjonk - 10/10/13 at 4:50am
post #2 of 5

My 10-year-old is in a similar situation. I expect she'd get all the help she needs at the local school fixing any "deficiencies," but she doesn't like having to fix things. And she's now registered two grade levels up, so if she ever does go to school it'll be at a level with higher expectations than otherwise. I don't have any answers. We have talked about the five-paragraph essay approach and structure and she's planning to practice that on a couple of on-line novel-study questions. She would probably love what you're looking for, if it exists.




post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

ack. If I find anything, will let you know. I think there's a real gap in the market for self teaching books aimed at this kind of age group. The problem we have is one that I suspect is quite common to users -my son is reading at whatever level (he can read anything afaik), his math, science, general knowledge seems good from what I can see. A few weeks ago he worked through the revision topics for our tests for 11 year olds (yes, we have tests for 11 year olds) on the bbc bitesize website (it might be worth a look if you are not familiar with it) and got everything right, so he's basically ok. Like all the other HS kids I know, his general knowledge, science, history etc is very broad. He has one very specific problem which is that he's never learnt to write an essay (actually he has two-his handwriting is dire, but that's something else). Surprised I can't find something that will just work on this specifically. Well I haven't finished looking :) 


can I just check something-people do actually call these things "essays"? in the US. If not, I'm looking for the wrong thing!

post #4 of 5

I have heard the Daily 6-Trait Writing books from Evan Moor publishing are very structured (which maybe good or bad depending on what you need).  They are supposed to be supplementary but maybe that is all needed? I have never used them so I don't know if they are any good.  Just throwing it out there so you guys can check it out to see if it will do.   

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok what I think we're going to end up with is the curriculum from Create Better Writers, with him actually putting himself through it to some extent but remaining in control. That seems to be the best I can find and the style of Create Better Writers seems quite down to earth. Since I have three kids who may or may not face this, I may just write my own curriculum for him (I've taught writing) but that kind of feels like defeating the object a bit!


It surprises me what a dearth of materials there is out there. Sure a lot of adults learn to write from reading, and that's the ideal IMO, but sometimes a kid just needs to get up to speed fast and no-nonsense. 


Thanks Emaye btw-I think those books look good for us for the future maybe. Although they do look very structured they also look amenable to self assessment which is what ds needs :-)

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