For as long as I can remember I have loved to write. When it comes to homeschool, this seems to be one of the hardest things for us to really enjoy together though. My oldest son (10) loves to write but has no interest in all the details that go along with it; he has a very creative mind but tends to be my “hot mess” boy. The more structure and rules, the less he wants to be a part of it; he wants to do it all his way or no way when it comes to writing. My two younger ones (6 and 4) enjoy writing as they are able, especially when its something they can do together. But with the different ages and abilities, not to mention the attitudes towards writing, its hard to find something that works for us. Enter in, Here to Help Learning.
Here to Help Learning is a multi-level homeschool writing program that offers instruction that is purposeful, taught from a Biblical worldview and able to be shared with the world too. They offer both online and DVD/workbook instruction kits. This program offers two levels (paragraph and essay): Flight 1, 2, 3 Paragraph Writing (recommended for grades 1-3) and Flights, 1, 2, 3 Essay Writing (recommended for grades 4-6). They also offer what looks like an excellent literature unit study at this time. We used the Teacher’s Kit Flight 1 Paragraph Writing mostly with my oldest son who I guess is working around the 5/6th grade level. We also did a bit here and there with my younger son (6 ) who is always eager to do what his big brother is doing. If you are not sure where to start, the program also offers a placement test to help you determine which level is best for use with your child.
There are three levels offered. Each level contains three sections also referred to as “flights” and each flight is divided into thirty-two lessons. Students may use any flight within the level they’re working in. Each flight contains a variety of projects, so you can choose the ones that are most likely to spark your child’s interest. You can find all the details within the Scope and Sequence section. Also contained within these is a poetry writing portion (which is perfect since this is something I have been wanting to delve into lately).
- Paragraph Writing- This level teaches children how to write a basic paragraph and would be good for beginning writers. (generally grades 1-3 or higher)
- Essay Writing- This level teaches children how to write a five paragraph essay. It should be used after a child can write paragraphs. (generally grades 4-6 or higher)
- Write a Book Project- At this level students write a book of their own. It is recommended they have completed at least one flight series in the Essay Writing level before using this.
Once we received our login for the website, we started digging around right away. I was excited (honestly, my boys were not). I went to the Getting Started section immediately, and was just blown away! All I can say is WOW~ This was full of every detail big and small, that would be needed to use this program. There were pictoral guides to review for making essay folders and yearly writing portfolios; there were master supply lists for the year, printable writing paper, and lots lots more great resources to help smoothly use and enjoy every bit of this program!
There are videos to watch online as well as teacher and student pages for each lesson. There is also a Student Language Helps booklet to use along your flight. We went ahead and printed these out right away so my son could have them on hand as he worked through each lesson. If you would rather not print them all yourself, or are unable to do so, you can purchase these as printed resources from the Here to Help Learning store. And they really do make this program amazingly affordable!
I love how this began, in the first lesson, by showing our kids how to set up the notebooks they would be using as well as what they are to put into them and why. Each lesson begins in this way, so that it also helps our kids learn how to organize and manage their work. I really appreciate this since I have really been looking to help my oldest son become a bit more independent in his education. This is a wonderful way of helping our children to take ownership with their work. I also love how it is stressed that while attitude may seem to be a small thing, it makes a huge difference. It encouraging for my children to hear this; we have been working on intentional attention to attitude with my oldest son lately and so he recognized that truth right away. It’s not just momma saying it anymore. 🙂
My son is really enjoying this program, especially the videos. He is a very visual learner so this worked really well for him. He especially enjoyed the example given on the value of showing enthusiasm and excitement (as the teacher) in learning. We bake bread often so he got quite a chuckle out of watching her example with baking a loaf of bread. In fact he watched this one a few times and afterwards it gave him some ideas of different things he could teach others too. He is still a pretty reluctant writer but he is more willing to write now that he has this program. He gets excited to see what Ms Mora (co-creator and instructor) is going to share with them today. Its structured enough that he is definitely learning (albeit slowly) but relaxed enough that he doesn’t feel too much pressure on himself to perform. He appreciates the more freestyle writing while also learning the value of brainstorming and rough drafts (he loves the physical cues that are taught which go along with each step of the writing process!).
This program has been such an awesome experience for us and we will definitely be continuing to use this beyond the review period I think! With the excitement and enthusiasm that is within this program and is blossoming within my son, this is one that I don’t know if I can do without. Eventually we have got to try out their literature study too because we do lots of reading in our house and the book that is used is one of my all time favorites so I am excited to use it with my children in the near future! At the same time, every lesson, very time we log in, is exciting for us too so its never a dull day with this program!
Vendor Blog: http://heretohelplearning.com/hometohome/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/HereToHelpLearning