We recently had the opportunity to review the middle school composition curriculum, Jump In, 2nd Edition written by Sharon Watson and published by Writing With Sharon Watson. Lydia is feeling more at ease with writing suddenly!
Jump In, 2nd Edition was written for students working at a Middle school or roughly 5-8th grade levels. The author created this program for students to work as independently as possible. There are 98 daily lessons gauged at students to use over a period of a year, or you can stretch the material out longer depending on your student.
Students will practice skills such as topic sentences, main ideas, and in-text citations. They will cover the nine main types of essays, how to write a research report, story writing, and poetry.
Writing is a subject that I really struggle teaching with our kids. They are concrete thinkers on so many levels. So journaling and creative writing is hard for them at times. I really liked that when Lydia and I started Jump In, 2nd Edition, it started with persuasive writing. Lydia is super opinionated and always trying to convince us she is right, so what better form of writing for her to start with.
Jump In, 2nd Edition is available in both printed version and also a digital download. We reviewed the digital edition. It was an easy to download PDF file. The Student Workbook and Teacher's Guide are two individual files, so you can choose the open windows easier.
I like the flexibility with this course. Daily writing is a bit of a struggle for Lydia, with her work schedule at the zoo the last couple months. I opted to move more slowly through the summer months, but getting accomplishing all we could. My first step was to start printing the workbook pages. The Student workbook is 292 pages. But the nice thing is that you can print what you work. And I choose to print a section of work at a time. Makes it more manageable, since we will spend a little over a year in this book. We keep her pages in a 3-ring binder.
Each "daily" lesson is roughly 5 - 15 minutes worth of work for your student. The first part of the book allows students to start exploring their writing style. Where do they like to write, and is there a certain topic they are more comfortable with. The author also covers brainstorming with them and includes several graphs that give students examples of how brainstorming your topic does not need to be organized, as long as you are thinking about the topic.
The persuasive writing section allows students to start writing without even realize they are writing. Each lesson starts out with a brief explanation, and then many of the pages are simple fill-in. In the case above, she is working on establishing and realizing that she has opinions. A light bulb went off when she realized that she had opinions on even the smallest thing, such as flavor if ice cream or type of clothes that she wears each day.
As you can see, each Skill topic is laid out in an easy to read and well-explained format. This program was specifically written so that students can grow more comfortable with working independently.
The Teacher's Guide is available to go along with the Student Workbook. The book we received was also in digital format. I chose to not print this book though. I keep the file open in my Adobe and I just bring up the pages we are working on while Lydia and I are working. I really loved the Dos and Don'ts section of the persuasive essays. It's a great checklist and reminders for ALL of us. Just because we have an opinion about something does not mean that we have to express our opinions with hatred.
The Teacher's Guide is basically the student workbook with all the answers in it. There are also tips though to help your student and their "I CAN'T WRITE" attitudes. The Teacher's Guide will help those reluctant and nervous parents on how they can help their student's learn writing skills. The set really builds confidence in both parents (to teach) and kids (to learn) writing.
Since Lydia is delayed in writing due to her reading/learning disabilities, I plan on continuing at a 2-3 lesson a week schedule for her. In fact, I am probably going to start Caty on this program in the fall, since she is starting middle school. The light bulbs that have already gone off for Lydia are amazing, and her attitude about "writing class" have completely changed. I'm very grateful for that.
Even with using the worksheets in the Student Workbook, there are still ways to type up answers if your student even struggles in the handwriting area (which she struggles with long paragraphs). Writing with Sharon Watson programs allow for so much flexibility when you are working with students who have special needs and disabilities. I highly recommend if you have a student with learning delays or struggles in writing to check out Jump In, 2nd Edition.
Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Jump In, 2nd Edition from Writing With Sharon Watson. Click on the ad below to see how they used this product in their home, and how they felt about it.