Navigating the WriteShop Video Course Schedule
You’re free to work through the program at whatever pace is comfortable for your student. Of course, that will be determined by how old they are, how much writing they have done, and how far they have progressed in grammar lessons.
With young students, we take it slow and spread the workbook over three years. With teens preparing for graduation, we accelerate the speed to work on one lesson each week and finish one book per semester. Finally, with kids in between those two groups, our schedule allows them to move consistently while still enjoying the process of writing and participating in the other activities in their lives. Using that normal schedule, kids usually finish one lesson every two weeks to wrap up one manual each year.
You’ll find the two most common schedules: 1. Normal Schedule and 2. Accelerated Schedule.
Two weeks per Lesson; One Student Workbook per year
- Day One: Skill Builder Video, read that section in Student Manual, and Complete Day One of Skill Builder Worksheet (Plan 20-30 min.)
- Day Two: Finish Day Two and Day Three of Skill Builder Worksheet (Plan 20 min.)
- Day Three: Brain-storming Video, read Student Manual, and Fill Out Brainstorming Worksheet (Plan 30-40 min.)
- Day Four: Sloppy Copy Video, read Student Manual, and Write Sloppy Copy (Plan 30-60 min.)
- Day Five: Day Off! (Finish Sloppy Copy if not done)
- Day Six: First Revision Video and Write First Revision (Plan 40-60 min.)
- Day Seven: Teacher’s Day for Editing
- Day Eight: Final Draft Video (Lessons 1-3 only) and Write Final Draft (Plan 30 min.)
- Day Nine: Teacher’s Day for Editing
- Day Ten: Write Second Final Draft (if necessary) (Plan 20 min.)
1. Day One
When you look at the Skill Builder worksheet, you see that it is broken into three sections: “Day One,” “Day Two,” and “Day Three.”
We flex the days for the Skill Builders a little differently than the Teacher’s Manual does. Kids on the normal schedule complete the worksheet over the course of two days (today and tomorrow) while the accelerated ones do it all in one day. As you will see, the three projects are usually comfortably completed in this time frame.
The Pre-Writing Activities mentioned in the TM are presented later, in the second segment of the lesson (usually the Brainstorming video). That’s the day they actually begin writing. Then, we start with a presentation that captures their interest while demonstrating the core concept with real-life examples.
2. Day Two
The TM lists “Day Two” as the day to work on the practice paragraph. To accomplish that goal, we present students with a sample paper in tomorrow’s Brainstorming Video and demonstrate by example how to edit it to achieve the lesson’s objectives (just as co-op teachers do when they model a practice paragraph with a group). Consequently, our own schedule for Day Two doesn’t require that you do a separate practice paragraph, but you can if you’d like to. It’s up to you.
Some parents choose to do one in addition to our demonstration, while others do not. As the WriteShop website says, “If your student quickly gets the hang of each writing assignment and appears to follow directions well, you might only choose to write a practice paragraph now and then, perhaps when a new kind of writing is introduced. On the other hand, if she has trouble staying on track, needs more guidance, or has trouble grasping lesson objectives, you’ll probably want to write practice paragraphs more often.”
If you feel that your own student would benefit from doing a practice paragraph with you, Day Three would be the day to do it, after he or she has watched the Brainstorming video. Look at page 16 of the TM for step-by-step instructions.