FAQ

Over the years, we have solved many questions for parents! To ensure your experience goes smoothly, you can find them showcased in this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

You bought the course from the tremendous people who wrote the books: WriteShop. Now, you’re using the videos produced by a completely different company—PlayWith Education (PWE).

Because PWE created the videos and the website, we can provide you with answers about the tech or setup. 

Please look here first,  so you can get the solution as swiftly as possible!
If you don’t find the answer, submit a request for tech support or ask our chat help!

If that still does not solve the issue, please call. I will try to fix it, even when you’re having trouble after hours or on the weekend.
If I don’t catch the call immediately, please leave a detailed message on the phone or (better yet) via email, so I can help you most efficiently! 

Below you will find the most common issues and some ways to solve them. They are categorized in different sections, such as getting started FAQ,  pricing FAQ, service FAQ, and so forth. 

If your issue is not listed here, please contact us ! We want to help you find a solution to your issue.

Getting Started

In most cases, the generated email is directed to the spam folder. Depending on your email client, this folder may be called “Junk,” the “Junk Folder,” or simply “Spam.” Please check there first to see if the email got directed there.

Sometimes, though, it REALLY isn’t there… maybe the junk folder was emptied before you had a chance to check it. Or, perhaps the settings in your email client automatically delete spam without ever putting it in the spam folder. It’s ok, all hope isn’t lost! The email from PlayWith Education contains everything you need to to do a “password recovery” using your email address.

Before you click that link, make sure to “whitelist” or “allow” emails from playwith.education@gmail.com. If you can’t find the place in your email client’s settings to do this, adding our email address to your contact list will usually ensure that emails from our site will be directed to your inbox instead of to your spam folder.

No worries! You can use the password recovery function from here or from the Student Portal page. We have a handy tutorial there for you to follow!

Again, make sure you receive email from Orders@playwith.education. When you reset your password, our website will send you an automatic email with a link to reset your password. If you don’t find it, check your junk or spam folders.

If you remember your username, you can sign in from the Student Portal. When you look at your account, you can click on the courses you’re enrolled in.

Or, take a shortcut and use the dropdown menu. Click on the link for your course.

If you don’t remember your username, you can use your email address to sign in. Follow the directions for lost password recovery from here or from the Student Portal. We have a nice tutorial video there for you to follow, too!

Again, make sure your email client accepts email from Orders@playwith.education. When you reset your password, our website will send you an automatic email with a link. If you don’t find it, check your junk or spam folders.

If you’ve clicked the link from the email sent by PWE and are getting an error saying that you’re not in that class, please contact me immediately so I can apologize and make it right as quickly as possible. Either I mistakenly put your child in the wrong class or I’ve sent you the wrong link… Though I strive to put each student in the correct course, sometimes I get distracted or goof.

For parents who chose the Video Only option, it’s possible that you’ve worked through several lessons already before purchasing our program. There is no instant way to advance a student’s progress from our end, unfortunately. The solution is for that PARENT or TEACHER to go through each unit to “Mark as Complete” up to the required lesson or unit (the green button at the bottom of each course unit, as shown in the image below).

markcomplete

Please don’t allow the student press ahead like this, as we want to avoid the students getting in the habit of pressing ahead in the lessons before they get permission. We still do highly recommend that you and your child watch the videos for at least Lesson One (preferably up to Lesson Three), as several key concepts that the students need in later lessons are fully explained.

If you are in the Grading or Grading+ courses, it is not really possible to press ahead in the lessons, due to the quizzing process. Please contact us so we can work out a solution that works for you and your child.

The videos correspond with both the 5th edition student workbook and the 4th edition workbook. If you’re using the 4th edition, your workbook’s Lesson 15 will include an extra example that the video does not mention.

Since the video course was created after the Teacher’s Manual was published, the videos are not mentioned in your TM. Instead of following the schedule there, it’s vital that you examine and use our Video Course Schedule. The good news is that our movies do all the work for you; you do not have to add anything (not even the pre-writing activities mentioned in your TM).

YES!!! You’re off the hook. Students watch the video and get all the content that you would add if you were using the Teacher’s Manual. In the movies, the engaging pre-writing activities show up on Day Two with the brainstorming material. To replace the practice paragraph, we present students with a sample paper and demonstrate by example how to edit it to achieve the lesson’s objectives (just as teachers do when they model a practice paragraph with a group, or as you would do if you were not using the video course). Consequently, our own schedule for Day Two doesn’t require that you do a separate practice paragraph with your students, but you can if you’d like to. It’s up to you.

WriteShop recently changed the layout of their Student Handbooks. Our video was recorded with the previous edition came in the blue binder. This new edition replaces the binders with colorful booklets. Please read the section in the first several units of Lesson One about the edition change with WriteShop. This was a purely cosmetic change. The page numbers for the binder version of the workbook referenced in the videos are the same as the updated booklet version.

Oops! Don’t worry, this happens sometimes. In most cases, Ms. Lane probably already contacted you to find out what happened. However, please contact Ms. Lane as soon as you realize the error. This saves lots of time, as she will be able to reset the quiz to submit the correct paper or email you with further instructions.

Our site will only accept doc and docx file types. If you’re getting this error, please ensure that you’ve saved the document correctly in either Word Format or in Word 97-2003 Format (we prefer Word Format). You can do that in your Word Processor’s “save as” function, as shown below.

save as

Please note: very rarely this error can come up despite saving the document correctly. If you have assured that it’s saved properly and you’re still getting this error, please contact us so we can fix it as quickly as possible.

Service Related

You may not need a tutor. Watch our five-lesson parent course first. It may be just what you need to boost your confidence!

You may not need a tutor. Watch our five-lesson parent course first. You may find that our course equips you exactly what you need to properly edit and grade your child’s work.

You may not need a tutor. Watch our five-lesson parent course first. We give you tips on how to objectively and impartially edit your child’s paper, as well as find constructive ways to relay critical information.

You edit your students’ papers and verify that they use WriteShop’s new skills. The videos teach both you and your students the techniques that they are required to understand and apply. Watching them (alone or with your students) allows you to sit back and listen instead of reading the manual or preparing lessons.

ALL of Lesson 1!!! This gives an overview of the course. After that, new concepts are usually presented in the Skill Builder and Sloppy Copy videos. Sometimes, an additional separate movie explains added ideas. You’ll find them in the list of units when you view the Skill Builder.

You must know the content of the Skill Builder because students solidify new techniques taught in the videos by practicing on worksheets. If the student has misunderstood the lesson, they NEED YOU to notice it when you grade the Skill Builder.

Be especially critical on Lessons 3 (paired adjectives), 7 and 9 (present participial phrases), 12 (prepositional phrases), 16 (past participial phrases).

This is totally normal! Watch our five-lesson parent course first. In it you will find helpful information to remove the anger and frustration from the editing process. However, this is often the reason for handing over the grading to an outsider. If so, then contact us about enrolling in the Grading or Grading+ program!

You may find that tutoring will help you free up much needed quality time to spend with your family.

Depending on your fluency, you may need a tutor to help your child learn the intricacies of writing papers in English. We can definitely help!

Did anything change on your end? Did you add a new computer or change your browser? Do you use any parental control software to limit or filter your student’s internet access? We’re finding that sometimes parents change the security settings without adding Play With Education as a “safe” spot.

If you have individual parents who want to buy the course on their own to watch in their homes, they can purchase the videos directly from us. WriteShop I and II are separate courses. Each account never expires and costs $139.95 (a total of $279.90 for both years).

They might choose this option is that it is a family account. So, they can continue to use it forever. This is beneficial if the current student wants to review the videos in a couple of years. Plus, if the student has siblings or younger children, the parents can use the same videos with them, too.

If you want to show them in the classroom or stream them (using your favorite such as Zoom) , we have two options.
Option One: Watch the videos together in a classroom:
# 1-20 students = $139.95 for one year
# 21-49 students = $209.92 for one year
# 50-99 students = $279.90 for one year
# 100+ students = $349.87 for one year

Option Two: Add a separate account for each student so the kids can also access the videos individually at home on their own. This could be paid for by the school or by the individual parent. 

This way you can choose to watch the videos together in a classroom or (if you have a short classroom time) assign the videos to be viewed before class and then use all of your school session for in-person demonstrations. 

In addition, this allows unlimited review during the school year. That takes some of that burden off your time when dealing with a student who is not catching a concept. Instead of repeating yourself, you can point the student toward reviewing the earlier lesson:
# 1-20 $139.95 for one year + $25 per student account
# 21-49 $209.90 for one year + $25 per student account
# 50-99 $279.90 + $20 per student account
# 100+ $349.87 + $20 per student account
Unlike our usual videos, these special accounts end at the end of the school year.
If you decide to purchase, please let me know which version you’d like, then I’ll send the payment details.

Pricing Related

When you purchase access to the online videos for WriteShop I or WriteShop II, you are investing in it for your whole family, not just one student. You may use it for as long as you choose, so you can move through the lessons as rapidly or as slowly as you want. Moreover, you can continue to take advantage of it if you have younger students in your home. The cost is $100 per family.

Because of the way papers are submitted and grades are issued through our software, each Grading or Grading+ student must have his or her own account, which is why we include the Video Companion Course complimentary for all of our Grading and Grading+ students. The only fee paid is for the grading and editing services of our tutor.

There are no expiration dates for the video course. You may use them for your family as long as you need.

We do not keep you limited to just a semester as many other tutors demand. Instead, you may submit papers for up to three years. This extended time frame means that you can work at your own pace, either swiftly or slowly. Normal life often includes interruptions (caring for a family member who is ill, taking an extended vacation, participating in a demanding class such as SAT preparation). Consequently, you are welcome to move ahead intermittently if necessary.

Because the video course was created after WriteShop published the WriteShop Teacher’s Manual, the TM  does not mention the movies. To bridge that gap, we provide a Video Schedule that replaces the one your TM. When the TM tells you to do pre-writing activities and practice paragraphs, you can skip  that because the videos do those exercises FOR you.

Each lesson takes two weeks, and students work on their writing projects three or four days a week. In fact, if they complete their assignment carefully and don’t need an extra day to update the Final Draft further, then they have just two days of work during the second week. Each day that they have writing scheduled, kids watch a video (5 to 20 minutes) and complete that day’s project. You may visit our Video Course Schedule page, which details a daily routine along with the Course Calendar to get an example of how to incorporate WriteShop into your day.

Unfortunately, the lessons must be viewed online and logged into your PlayWith Education account. DVDs of the course lessons are not available.

Our tutor will work with your schedule. As with the Video Only option, you may follow the schedule provided in the WriteShop Teacher’s Manual,
or you may follow a schedule that fits more in line with your academic goals. You may visit our WriteShop Course Schedule page, which details a daily routine along with the Course Calendar if you’d like to get an example of how to incorporate WriteShop into your schedule.

The Grading service is where your student submits their papers (brainstorm, Sloppy Copy, First Revision, and Final Draft) to our tutor for feedback, editing, and grading of the Final Draft. Parents will be teaching and grading the Skill Builder exercises using both the videos and the WriteShop Teacher’s Manual as resources to guide you through the lessons.

The Grading+ service includes everything in the Grading service, then it adds grading the Skill Builder exercises. Students will submit all work to the tutor for feedback, editing, and grading.

Our tutor provides generous compliments, corrections on grammar and punctuation, and suggestions for techniques to enhance the content of the First Revision. Students use that direction to improve the paragraphs and then submit it again as a Final Draft. After that, the tutor will give a few more comments and issue a grade.

If you feel overwhelmed with the task of editing the papers for your student, relax. Use the email found at the bottom of this page to send us a note. Our time- and sanity-saving grading service will help you out.

We have posted a few videos to preview on our Sample Lesson page.

Others

No problem! Please contact Customer Assistance at (951) 468-5352 or via our Contact Page.

To view the videos, you must have a working computer or tablet device, speakers or headphones, and a high-speed internet connection. Additionally, Grading and Grading+ students must have a keyboard and mouse, as well as access to word processing software (such as MS Word or Open Office). All papers must be submitted in .docx or .doc format.

YES (and NO). Teens are in a transitional phase. Some need your input, others will not tolerate it.

If your students WILL talk with you about writing, stay in the background:
# Allow the videos to teach
# Give your teens time to work alone, if they choose
# Enjoy your role as a friendly advisor, not the sole teacher
# Stay out of the process unless they invite you in

If your students will NOT talk with you, stay in the background:
# Allow the videos to teach
# Give your teens time to work alone
# Point them back to the videos as the authority
# Stay out of the process

Ask for help on something YOU are composing. When you’re putting together a note that is NOT academic, ask for advice:

“Honey, I’m trying to encourage Uncle Cec while he’s going through a rough time after losing his elderly dog. You’re so good at talking with him. Would you listen to what I’ve written so far and help me because I’m stuck for a closing.”

“Hey (cause sometimes teens are so prickly that they don’t appreciate ‘Honey’), I’m putting together an announcement for the co-op’s big event. Would you please tell me if I’ve made the directions clear enough for everyone to follow?”

Not talking with mom about something as volatile as writing is normal at this age. Find an outsider to help with the papers themselves. Ask a friend to grade them or hire a tutor.

Serious learning can be fun! Kids and parents often clash when working on writing. We encourage you to allow the videos to do all the teaching. Enjoy playing with words and ideas and take a lighthearted approach to get the most out of these videos.

Before reading every paper, visit the section in the Teacher’s Manual for Positive and Encouraging Comments starting on page 101.

Be gentle yet thorough. YOU know what your students have leaned over the years for grammar and punctuation and spelling, Hold them responsible to implement according to that background (no more, no less).

Most students (AND adults) can use a fresh grammar course or at least a review.

As parents, we often get so excited about the tremendous questions on WriteShop’s early worksheets that we tend to get involved and either add ideas or push kids toward noticing what we’re seeing.

Step back. Stay quiet.

Kids learn over the course of 16 lessons. Some start out with abundant observations, but some take a slower route to get there. Many already feel that you’re a much better writer than them, and they can’t live up to your expertise; they quickly shut down.

Don’t expect your beginner to fill in every inch of every line on their first brainstorming worksheet. Allow the student to present less-than-perfect papers for the first few lessons.

THIS is the spot to teach students to do careful work on his own. Verify that he finds the MAIN repeated nouns, verbs, adjectives (NOT common words like “and, the”). You can give him one to look for if he hasn’t noticed, but don’t tell him all the answers.

Expect him to note the repeated words in blue (not a range of other colors). Send him back to work if he skips the “to be” verbs taught in Lesson 2.

First, stand on the video as the authority. You are using the course as written for now. After the course is complete, then they can loosen up and make creative changes.

For example, kids are taught the first pattern in Lesson 2: “Slow and steady, the turtle got home.” They start a sentence with a pair of adjectives (words that describe nouns). Sometimes, kids insist on using adverbs (words that describe verbs, adjectives or other adverbs) instead of adjectives.

Gently, ask your pupil to show you the section in the video where it says that adverbs are OK. “Honey, I didn’t see that choice in the video. It seemed like it was pretty firm about starting with adjectives. Would you please show me where you saw it?”

Second, ask your student to show you the line in the Student Workbook where it gives the option to place adverbs in that pattern. Reassure them that you’ll allow it if they can find the route.

Third, if those two don’t work, please write me a note. I’m happy to step in and reinforce the lesson.

Even though homeschooling parents don’t need to see a paper formatted carefully (we know who wrote it without our student’s name in the upper corner), this skill will be required in college and it’s useful for life in general. Now is the time to get in the habit.
If you use our editing and grading service, pupils will become comfortable with a word processor as we will be sending typed papers back and forth.

Allow your student to enjoy experimenting when you’re not working on formal papers for class. Find a free online teacher you approve of and allow your kids to learn how to expand their options:

# add colored font and text
# insert photos
# crate drawings and cartoons
add gifs
# get comfortable with charts
# try a spreadsheet program like Google Sheets or Excel
# learn a slide creation program like PowerPoint or Google Slides
# build a website or a blog

The more flexible your students become with the mechanics, the more options they student will have as they progress.

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