Posted in TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

BetterRhetor {Review}

This is my oldest son’s last year (technically) of what is known as middle school. I am not big on grades and levels when it comes to our learning BUT knowing that there are so many statistics out there showing that students are not really prepared when they enter into higher learning, I want to be sure that my son is. Especially since college is something he is considering right now. He also likes to work independently (away from mom) and prefers work that involves actual projects so he can do as goes along. For that reason I was very interested in reviewing College-Ready Writing Essentials™ from BetterRhetor. Sure it’s a little soon but as one who loves to write, why not encourage this as much as we can?

There are 25 lessons in this course for our students to work through, as slowly or as quickly as they like. As they complete the lessons, they will slowly develop their own research based essay. With plenty of direction along the way, before you know it, they will have learned about all of the various aspects of writing needed for the college level. We received lifetime access to the premium level course, which includes Dr. Bryant’s own personalized feedback for your student’s essay, and a full PDF of the Teacher’s Guide. If you are familiar with the word Rhetor, you will realize that this refers to an orator (for writing it is referred to as rhetoric). As I am sure you can imagine, this course is quite in-depth; this doesn’t just teach writing but also an understanding of how each part in an essay, works for the purpose the essay was written for. We aren’t just tossing words and phrases around. Its so much deeper than that.

My son has determined to write his own book directed to teenagers (in or out of the faith) sharing the lessons he has learned in his thirteen (almost fourteen) years of life. In this book, he hopes to share not just lessons in story form but also factual information relating to the search for purpose as a youth, nutrition and fitting in (or not fitting in).

This begins with planning your essay and includes topics like: task, audience, purpose, defining an issue and connecting issues to a concern. I know as I went over this along with my son, I don’t think we covered nearly half of this in my college writing classes. Of course this was designed by someone who was once the Director of Writing Assessments at ACT. I remember the ACT – I hated them, except for the writing portion of the exam. 🙂

When my son was younger we seemed to do so much more in regards to critical thinking and writing. He spent a few years in an amazing group that really helped him learn how to compose information and thoughts for various speech ands debate activities. While life has changed for us, certainly there is no reason that we cannot continue to foster a love of critical thinking, logic training and writing. If you ask me these all go together as well as peanut butter and jelly.

This course is recommended to be completed in about 5 weeks however our summer was quite crazy and so we did go a little bit slower. Each course requires quite a bit of reading (a bit of a struggle for my very visual son) but we often would go over the material together. In fact I even found some old college essays to share with him as we were going along. It was fun to read through them, so many years later, and see the change in perspective both of issues I chose to study and of the form of writing which I used.

At the end of each lesson there are assignments to complete (If you have a premium level you will have additional assignments). In the first lesson one of the questions posted is why communication skills are so important today for any career. Since my son has recently become a working boy (he has had quite a few unique odd jobs recently) this is something that can be a great asset to him as he continues working. There are articles to read along the way as well as videos here and there, so you can better understand the place and value that strong writing skills have. One of the things I wish my son would have used more is the comment box at the end of his lessons. This is a great place to get questions answered, pose a thought for discussion. What a great way to clarify confusion, or just practice your oratory skills.

There are so many amazing resources within this very thorough course. For any student (or adult) who is looking to strengthen their skills in writing and research, this is definitely a wonderful resource. This won’t teach you the basics of writing but this will definitely advance your skills if you take the time to really invest in it. As I have observed my son going through this course I have determined myself, to go through this as well. But much more slowly. Five weeks is a pretty short period of time to complete something of this level of intensity. But it will be worth it I am certain because I cannot see anyone completing this class and not having amazing skills.

Don’t take my word for it though – you do not want to miss what the other members of the Crew had to say about this one!

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I am a God loving and fearing Apostolic Pentecostal - All about Holiness, a tongue Talking Homeschooling Mommy of Two AWESOME little men and two darling little ladies, with a precious one in Jesus arms too. I love to study His word, and the stories and histories that go along with it. Seeking truth at all expense and learning so much as we go along. We are truly blessed to homeschool - blessed that we may school our children for such a small cost. I believe in the power of the name of Jesus and the power of His people when they come together in prayer. Standing firm and speaking out! There is nothing that I seek more than His kingdom and the joys that follow Him! Ultra conservative, growing Jesus follower, mommy to two awesome boys, one precious little girl- with a great family and a wonderful life that I am so blessed to have! Living and loving as best I can, with the Lord-Holy Ghost filled and speaking in tongues-WOW!

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