Homeschool Middle School Writing Curriculum Review

Finding a Homeschool Middle School Writing Curriculum can be challenging. Many of us don’t feel equipped to evaluate our child’s writing.

Through the years I have had the opportunity to try many different writing programs.  Everything from workbooks to videos, highly parent heavy to those that claim independence and more. 

The ones I have been most happy with are ones that have tools for evaluating writing (both for student and parent) and ones that have the bulk of the writing curriculum spelled out so the student can be mostly independent. The trouble is finding one curriculum that does it all! 

Homeschool Middle School Writing Curriculum Review from Starts At Eight - WriteShop's homeschool middle school writing curriculum is a comprehensive writing program that walk both student and parent through the writing process.

WriteShop Homeschool Middle School Writing Curriculum

I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with WriteShop. I have recently acquired WriteShop I to use with my 8th grader and I am finding it to be a comprehensive writing curriculum that includes detailed help for both student and parent.

{I received WriteShop I and Video Companion Course as part of this review and I was compensated for my time in writing it. All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

While I say “middle school”, don’t let that fool you! WriteShop is a flexible writing program for middle and high school students.

Choosing a level depends on your student’s experience level:

  • No Prior Writing Experience
  • Limited Writing Experience
  • Writing at Grade Level
  • Writing Above Grade Level 

You can START WITH A PLACEMENT TEST and learn more about the general placement guidelines on WriteShop’s website.

I used WriteShop I for the purpose of this review because my daughter is in 8th grade and that is what is recommended for 8th grade with any of the levels of writing experience.

Features of the WriteShop Program

What’s Included?

WriteShop What's Included from Starts At Eight

The WriteShop I & II product line consists of:

  • A Student Workbook (actually 2 – one for each level)
  • Teacher’s Manual (just one that includes both levels)
  • Optional Video Companion Course (one for each level)
  • As well as the option to purchase The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, and The Copying & Dictation Exercises.

When shopping for WriteShop products you have multiple combinations of these things to choose from. You need both the Student Workbook and Teacher’s Manual, but I highly recommend you opt for the WriteShop I Video Course Set that includes both those books, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, and the Video Companion Course.

Optional Video Companion Course 

Let’s talk a little more about this gem of a Video Companion Course WriteShop offers. This is an online (not DVD) Companion Course for WriteShop I and II through Play With Education. Play With Education is a separate website that provides quality e-learning solutions for families using WriteShop.

The video course walks teens through each WriteShop lesson and activity. Each 10 to 15 minute video breaks down WriteShop lessons into segments and gives in-depth explanations of the key points.

Video Course Features

  • Step-by-step demonstrations of each step of the writing process.
  • Techniques to identify repeated words, passive verbs, and other common mistakes.
  • Self-editing guidance.
  • The video course may be used for your entire family.
  • Go at your own pace.
  • Lessons never expire.
  • Instructor is an experienced private tutor who has taught and edited papers for WriteShop students for over a decade.

To see a lesson, click the Video Lesson Sample tab on their website.

What I Love About WriteShop Homeschool Middle School Writing Curriculum

Flexible Scheduling

WriteShop assumes that your student knows how to construct, capitalize, and punctuate a basic sentence. Beyond that, depending on their ability and interest, you can take them through the program (meaning WriteShop I & II) in one (Fast Track), two (Standard Track), or three (Extended Practice and/or Remediation) years.

In the WriteShop I/II Teacher’s Manual you will find guidelines for why you might choose the one, two, or three year options, along with Lesson Plan Overviews for each option.

Parental Involvement 

In my opinion there is just the right amount of parental involvement needed. WriteShop makes the process clear enough so the student can work independently, especially with the optional videos, but encourages a cooperative parent-student relationship for success with the WritShop program.

WriteShop Editing Tools from Starts At Eight

Included within the program are helpful tips for teaching, editing, and grading student compositions. You, the teacher, are responsible to proofread and edit the student’s first revision, discussing ways to improve the composition. Then when the final draft is complete you will use the Composition Evaluation form to give a grade.

The Video Companion Course 

I LOVE THESE! Let me say that again, I LOVE THESE!

I think the videos are an incredibly beneficial addition to the WriteShop program. For the mom who does not or can not sit and walk her child through each step, the Video Companion Course is key!

WriteShop I Video Companion Course

I have found these to be an integral part of the equation for teaching writing! My daughter finds it so easy to sit down and watch these short lessons. They walk her through each of the worksheet activities, as well as any writing assignments.