Friday, August 29, 2014

Writing Isn't The Easiest Thing To Teach

So this week as our WRAP UP I'll talk about how our new Writing Curriculum worked out.

Tiger Lilly is my avid Writer, Artist and Programmer. Major Creative spirit here.

I'm trying to prepare her for the following CLEP TEST.

Composition (English) CLEP
Analyzing Literature CLEP

I needed help, after she took the Composition CLEP cold about 6 months ago (she failed by only 1 point! Sigh). However, I wanted to make her studying for it this time more active.

And to be honest there wasn't any viable options for studying Analyzing Literature CLEP...until I found one.


Composition (English) CLEP (For Grammar, Essay Writing and Research Paper $99 each - for 3 courses) Each are 8 week online courses that are spelled out, outlined and has a teacher actually correct the papers and work. The teacher has done an excellent job at redlining the papers and checking the work. I've been very happy with this course.

Analyzing Literature CLEP allowed me to specify a program that taught her how to analyze literature like Plays, Poetry, English and American. It's a tailored to fit program for our needs. It got off to a rocky start since they didn't really understand my requirements but once I spelled out what I was looking for they found my daughter a Phd in English to teach it. The only thing I don't like is that the teacher doesn't actually correct her papers. However, the feedback is very useful regarding how my daughter should approach her literature review and rules regarding responses in Literature. Overall, I am happy with the program, I just wish the teacher would be more thorough in correcting her written responses.

SpeedyPrep Videos and Flashcards
We signed up for this and I like that it comes with videos and flashcards for each test.

Peterson's and REA sample test
The Peterson's test are free through our library and more difficult than the REA. The REA electronic test are the best. Our goal is when she is scoring at least 57% on each test, we know she will be ready to talke the above test.

She took a sample test for REA and scored a 60% but since she took it before I wanted her to touch up on her grammar so we are doing a season of Analytical Grammar and Grammar.

Speed Racer started his new online writing and independent work this week.

He is doing fab. All the challenges he had last year seem to be fading away and he is rather compliant now with mom and dad when doing his work.


This week he started his new Writing Online Course with

Sandiego Scribblers

Basically Speed Racer logs on, gets his assignment and types it in. The assignment is corrected with clear explanations. It's been going well. As well as the set up was simple.

He had a timed writing exercise or assignment from the course. I timed him and had him write his paragraph, then he typed it into the student interface. We read over it and he made corrections then I let him hit send. He had 1 week to turn in his work. The teacher will redline it, send it back for him to make corrections.

Speed Racer liked that he got to 'meet' other students in the class. They were all told to 'write' and introduction of themselves and my little guy read everyone's.


All went smoothly this week. The kids now have their independent online work to do while they are with the home helper for 3 hours a day.

I get home, toss dinner in the oven if it's not already in the crockpot.

We started instruction on our boxed curriculum Abeka Academy videos, workbooks, test and quizzes at 3pm.

This week my little guy didn't have his dance crew practice (which is 3 days a week 2.5-3hrs each day). Since we didn't have that, he finished school earlier than his sister did - at least when he wasn't sneaking longer break times.

Ending our school day at 9:30pm with poppa bear running things from 8pm til dinner at 9:30pm.

Only2 snafus happened

I had to stay late at work about 2 hrs and we had a later night than usual because my students didn't want work over the weekend.

My poor Hubba (after participating in a 'dance battle' at Speed Racer's dance school) injured his knee and just told me that he'd set his surgery date for Friday. Well it conflicted with my workschedule since I had no more vacation time. So... Razor Ray (my oldest son) came to save the day. He's coming home from his college apartment to take his dad to the hospital for surgery and is waiting there to drive dad home.


This week I had to be flexible and was willing to move a portion of instruction to the weekend or push the entire schedule a day. I worked 50 hrs this week instead of my customary 40. And had to wake up at an ungodly hour to do this. So I made a strick bedtime for myself at 10pm in order to get 6 hours of sleep each nigh. Thankfully, I survived on just 1 8 oz cup of coffee each day.

Curriculum and School Day schedule. As far as wibble room in the curriculum I have about 20 days to play with to end by mid May 2015.

Planning dinner went off course this week and while I dropped the kids off at their sports, I had to run to the grocery store to get supplies. Also, caved in and had Chick-fil-A one day since I had to help my daughter with her online Python class homework.

Workboxes and online courses helped me keep the kids and dad on track. Also, I could check their work progress at work while on my lunch break.

Creating Weekly Lesson Plan is off course since I have to re-adjust to accomadate a new Spanish Curriculum, Currclick Logic Class, Time4Learning Research Paper Class and integrating Humanities, African American history Movie Based Curriculum to sneak in some learning.

There was some silly time that was unscheduled and pushed into a later end to school at 10pm, but the kids didn't mind. Considering they stayed up til 12am with their dad playing video games.

1 comment:

  1. My son took a writing class this summer with Time4Writing. He took the SAT Writing course. Yes, writing is one of the most difficult subjects for me to teach...that and the high school level. I'm thankful for T4W!! :)