Since I don’t believe in teaching little kids to write, we often do formal writing instruction a bit late. Narration and oral storytelling naturally lead to better compositions when kids are older. But, sometimes middle schoolers and teens need a bit of help with some of those mechanical skills such as tricky spelling and homophones, grammar, and more obscure sentence mechanics. (They usually know what a sentence is, but how about prepositions and clauses?) I like to use a targeted but immersive approach to pick up these skills easily and quickly. So I veer towards an easy to use curriculum specifically for editing their writing. One of my favorite companies for this is Common Sense Press. Recently, I used their Great Explorations in Editing curriculum to help get my son’s writing skills up to speed for high school.
Easy to use curriculum to make teens’ writing better
I have used curriculum from Common Sense Press before, particularly as a language arts resource for teaching my children to read when they showed readiness. So, it only made sense that I would take a look at their easy to use curriculum for possibilities in teaching other writing skills. They did not disappoint! What drew me to their products when my children were smaller continued to delight my children and me in their curriculum for older children, too.
An easy to use curriculum that is still immersive and relevant.
One of my favorite things about their easy to use curriculum is how relevant and immersive the lessons are. Instead of just telling teens the rule and then giving them some fill-in-the-blank worksheet exercises, teens dive right in. They learn by doing. The program gives them a passage containing errors and teens then have to act as editor. By finding others’ errors, they are better equipped to spot their own writing errors. The program does offer some review of the rules, but it is more of a guide than instruction. My son appreciated that. Sometimes, he found that a passage didn’t sound or look right, but he wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong. The review helped him figure it out.
Short lessons prevent boredom.
Another thing I really love about Common Sense Press in general and Great Explorations in Editing specifically is the fact that the lessons pack a lot of punch in a short time span. Each lesson only takes about ten minutes! My son loved that and I appreciated that he could really hone his writing skills without taking time away from his other studies. This is especially important in the upper grades. I didn’t want a program that I would have to struggle with my son to get cooperation. The fact that each lesson is a new installment in an ongoing story is an added plus.
Focuses on just one or two skills per lesson.
Most of the time, people can only learn one skill at a time, one step at a time. Anything else, and it becomes more and more difficult to remember. It also gets confusing and frustrating. I really appreciate that the lessons in Great Explorations in Editing were short, to the point, and focused on only one or two main skills. This helped my son to absorb the skills more effectively and kept frustration at bay.
Want to give Common Sense Press a try?
You won’t be disappointed! Take advantage of 15% off with code SUMMER2021 through July 31. And be sure to enter the giveaway described below for your chance to win your choice of free product.
And now for a giveaway!
Enter for your chance to win a choice of either language arts or science curriculum. Please note this giveaway ends June 27, 2021.