Top positive review
Great resource for content area writing in homeschool setting
Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2018
I found The Writing Revolution while searching for “content area writing” and “writing across the curriculum” resources to use in homeschooling my daughter. While some materials that are written for the classroom are hard to put into practice in a homeschooling situation, such is not the case with this book. Rather, having tried several homeschool writing curricula, and not having found anything that really “clicked” for us, I feel like I have found what I have been looking for in this book. Some of the things that this book advocates and that work well in the homeschool setting are: starting with what the student is able to do, not what they “should” be able to do according to age or grade level; using the student’s work to inform instruction; using a “gradual release of responsibility” model (I don’t remember this exact term being used in the book, but it addresses starting with modeling, then doing activities together, and gradually moving towards students being able to do things independently); and writing in the content areas to reinforce what is being learned in subject areas such as history and science, rather than having a separate writing curriculum that is unrelated to what is being studied in other areas.
In some ways, I think this method would be easier to apply in the homeschool than the classroom, because it is easier to differentiate instruction when you are working with fewer students, who are usually different ages, and homeschooling parents are more likely to be teaching multiple subjects to their children, so integrating writing instruction with content area learning makes sense and is easier to implement than in a school setting where, at least at the secondary level, you are more likely to have different teachers for different subjects. The only drawback I can see in a homeschool setting is that more teacher preparation is required compared to other homeschool writing curricula, because the lessons are meant to be integrated into the content areas, and are not all pre-planned. This might make it difficult for a homeschooling parent who is juggling multiple children of various ages, especially if they have babies and toddlers in the mix (I only have two kids, ages 12 and 16, and am only homeschooling my 12 year old). But the benefit of this method is that it will help you to provide a very individualized writing program that can be easily adapted to your child’s needs and abilities.