Essentials in Writing is a DVD course. I really liked this aspect of the program because it gives my son a fresh face/voice to listen too!
Mr. Stephens presents each lesson, which your child watches on DVD. There are workbook pages provided (either via download or you can pay extra for a physical workbook) which go with each presented lesson. This allows your child to show they grasped the concept presented. Some lessons have more than one worksheet; which provides further practice of the concept.
Writing has been a subject with which I struggle with my son; however, he took to Mr. Stephens classes fairly easily, and completes his assignments without any struggle (most days).
The First Grade curriculum covers the following topics (from the website):
- Review Letter Formation and Sounds
- Introduction to Complete Sentences
- Capitalization Rules: Beginning of sentences, names
- Punctuation Rules: period, question mark, & exclamation point
- Basic Grammar: Subject/Predicate, Nouns, Action Verbs
- Parts of a Personal Letter
- Writing a Personal Letter
- Parts of a Paragraph
- Writing a Paragraph
- Other Forms of Written Communication: Lists
- Introduction to Narrative and Descriptive Paragraphs
- Text Features of Poetry
You can also view a sample lesson at the website. Here is my son watching his lesson.
The only negative I found with the program is the videography is a little shaky at times, but my son didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all, nor did he even notice.
Overall, we were quite pleased with the program. The presentation of the lessons kept my sons interest, they were short and to the point and on target for grade level. We will be continuing this program, and quite possibly will make it a yearly addition.
The First Grade Program is available for $40, the printed workbook costs $20 extra (should you prefer that over the downloadable version). They have programs for grades 1-12 available. You can see more reviews, including other grades by clicking the banner below.
For those that are concerned with Common Core Standards, Essentials in Writing plans to remain independent of alignment.