IEW Writing Review

Hi everyone! I’ve had a ton of requests to do a review for our homeschool writing curriculum. We’ve been using the Institute for Excellence in Writing program for a few years now and really love it. We started out with the Group A Student Writing Intensive, and this past year we moved on to the Group A Continuation Student Writing Intensive program. IEW does offer several different courses depending on the ages and needs of your students, so you’ll want to check out the IEW Website to decide which program is best for your student. They also have themed writing units if you don’t want to do the writing intensive curriculum like we are. I really like how this program works. The instructions for your students are really clear and they know exactly what they need to do to create a properly formed paragraph along with dress-ups, and sentence openers that will really improve their writing style. I didn’t do the Teacher course called Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, but they … [Read more...]


Homeschool Writing Curriculum Forum

Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying the homeschool curriculum forums we’ve been sharing lately! I know I love to read everyone’s comments, pros, and cons for curriculum! Today we’re continuing on with our forum discussion with the subject of writing.   Teaching writing is one of the harder things for me. From encouraging younger students, to grading upper levels, writing is just not my strong suit. Ironic considering I have a blog and all isn’t it? But writing, and teaching writing are two different things!   Previously we’ve used WriteShop and it remains one of my favorite programs around! I love the scripted conversations, and my children have benefited greatly from the teacher led brainstorming and step-by-step process. We are finishing up with WriteShop D this year and have enjoyed the program quite a bit. I would highly recommend it to anyone needing more help with teaching writing. Pros: Affordable Great for struggling writers Cons: For younger … [Read more...]


Free Story Writing Printables

Looking for some help teaching writing to elementary aged students? Looking for some creative writing pages, editing checklists, and story planners? Look no further!   This year I thought I’d get a head start on our writing process and created some helpful printables to help make writing a little easier and a little more fun! --> Download the Writing Pages Printables <-- One of the things we need to work on this year is our writing skills. Writing isn’t Turbo’s favorite subject and I found out that he does much better if he has a way to plan out stories or letters prior to working on them. So this year I created a bunch of different writing pages to help make the process a little less painful. What’s Included? (not all worksheets shown) Editing Checklists: (These are small 2x3 sized cards that can be laminated then hole punched. Store them on a keyring for quick access to help students edit and proof their writing! (See above photo) Editing Checklist … [Read more...]


WriteShop Story Builders

We’re into our 4th month of school this year, and we’re still loving the WriteShop Primary! Although I’ve only been doing it a couple times a week, our kids are doing quite well. One thing that has really helped us with our writing, is our WriteShop Story Builders!   They’ve been a HUGE help on days when they kids just can’t come up with an idea to write about. I printed them all off and put them in a little 3x5 recipe type box. I let them just grab in and pull out a card so it’s a surprise! If they really don’t like the card they pick, I let them grab another one, it’s really not a big deal, and they always find something fun to write about using the Story Builders!     What types of cards do they offer? World of Sports StoryBuilders (e-book) ($7.95) StoryBuilders Christmas Mini-Builder (e-book) ($3.95) World of Animals StoryBuilders (e-book) ($7.95) World of People StoryBuilders (e-book) ($7.95) Now is a great time for the Christmas … [Read more...]


K4 Curriculum: Printables, Lesson Plans, and More!

It’s finally ready! My K4 Curriculum! I've had a huge response to my K4 Curriculum and based on request, I've made it even better! It's now a FULL 34 week K4 Curriculum! What does that mean? While you can still add in Letter of the Week activities if you choose, the K4 Curriculum is now stand alone. It comes with 34 weeks of Lesson Plans, and several added printables not previously available! (As always, if you've already purchased the K4 Curriculum, send me an email at erica {at} confessionsofahomeschooler dot com. Include your paypal email and/or transaction ID and I'd love to send you updated download links!) Is my Letter of the Week Preschool Curriculum a little too easy for your preschooler? Are you ready for something a little more challenging? Then the K4 Curriculum is for you! The K4 Curriculum is geared towards kids ages 4-5 who are looking for an extra boost towards being kindergarten ready. $10 ~ Download / $15 ~ CD Version / $20 – Classroom License Download & CD … [Read more...]


The Write Shop Primary Review & Giveaway

Looking for some help teaching your children how to write? In preparation for next year, this one was thing on my mind! I don’t consider myself a great writer. I never even journal. I talk a lot. But I don’t think that counts. So the thought of teaching my children to write was freaking me out a bit. Oooh! Write Shop Primary, thank you so much for relieving my stress! After 2 years of another curriculum, I was starting to notice that what I was using wasn’t really teaching my children “how” to write. It would give them words to use then say “okay now write a story”. It seemed logical to me, but for little guys it was too open ended. They didn’t even know where to start. Write Shop is different. It is a teacher directed program that literally shows your children the “how to” of writing through examples, brainstorming, working together, and editing. No longer are they just trying to come up with something creative out of thin air. I know that seems simple, and it is, but its works! … [Read more...]


1-20 Writing Practice

Last week I published some A-Z Writing Worksheets for K4 work for my preschooler and this week I’m adding 1-20 Number Worksheets! Download 1-20 Number Practice The tracers include pre-writing practice for each number as well as tracing numbers. I also included a blank line with dots so they can practice writing on their own as well. Hope you like them! Click here to see my other K4 Curriculum Activities! These activities are part of my K4 level expansion to my Letter of the Week Curriculum, click on the images below to see more activities. The K4 curriculum isn’t quite finished yet, so until I get it packaged all nice and purdy you can download from my posts! … [Read more...]


A-Z Handwriting Worksheets

Welcome to Preschool Kicked Up A Notch! BAM! As we’re going through the Letter of the Week activities, I wanted to add in some more handwriting now that we’ve done all the pre-writing practice, and here they are for you too! Download the A-Z Handwriting Worksheets Each sheet contains some pre-writing practice for the letter along with capital and lowercase writing practice. Click here to get the rest of my Letter of the Week activities The download contains pages for the letters I have more than one subject selection for as well. These activities are part of my K4 level expansion to my Letter of the Week Curriculum, click on the images below to see more activities. The K4 curriculum isn’t quite finished yet, so until I get it packaged all nice and purdy you can download from my posts! … [Read more...]


Pen Pals

I found this idea at The Homeschool Post and thought it was such a great idea, I had to share! We started a notebook that will contain letters between me and my daughter, its a great relationship building activity and will become a wonderful keepsake down the road! (Not to mention that it works on handwriting, spelling, and writing at the same time, and you know, if you can sneak in a little school, hey!) But really I’m hoping to gain some treasured insight into my daughter and what goes on in that sweet head of hers. As well as strengthen our bond, and even give us some “1 on 1” time with each other that can be difficult to find in a family of 6. I copied Beverly’s initial letter almost to the T: “Dear ****, Would you like to be pen pals? I thought it would be fun! Instead of mailing letters to each other, we’ll keep them in this notebook.I will write to you, and leave the notebook on your bed. Then, when you want to write me back, you write on the next page and leave the notebook … [Read more...]