I often hear that the fun in school stops at the middle and high school grades, but I have not found that to be true. Being selective in our choices for homeschool writing programs has been one way that we have avoided middle and high school monotony. So when I heard about Fortuigence, which is an online writing course, I was thrilled to try it.
However, knowing that I will be moving in just a few weeks though, I invited Jasmine as a guest blogger from Ponder the Path to review Fortuigence for us, because I just didn’t want to pass up the opportunity for you to know about this wonderful homeschool writing program. Before you read her helpful review below though, I wanted to let you know what makes a curriculum wonderful to me.
Homeschool Writing Program
(Jasmine was given a free copy of Essay Rock Star. She was compensated for her time. Her opinions and my opinions are our own and for sure I will always tell you what is on my mind, because it does not mean any company will get a rave review. However, if I accept a review it’s because I am excited to tell you about the curriculum. This post also contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosures here.)
As I homeschool longer I get more vocal about avoiding companies that invade the homeschooling market because we are a large educational niche for some companies. Not all, but a lot of companies are not really bringing any real value or help to our children or to us as the teachers.
Neither do they understand the paramount role parents have as teachers. So I try to actively seek out companies like Fortuigence whose students are mostly all homeschoolers, value our role as educator and create their products specifically to suit our needs.
I think you’ll see what I mean when you read Jasmine’s review.
Homeschool Writing Program For Middle and High School Students
What do GMO’s, (genetically modified organisms) rock stars, and mind maps have in common?
All three were part of a recent homeschool writing curriculum my daughter worked on this summer! Maddie will be entering the 7th grade this fall and had never done any formal writing before. When the opportunity came up for her to try Essay Rock Star by Fortuigence, she was excited to take her first online course.
Choosing an Online Writing Course
After choosing one of the four Essay Rock Star classes, Maddie was signed up with her own account. This may not seem like a big deal to most, but to a 12 year old girl this was a big deal. She was able to log in to her class on her own and receive emails directly from Ms. I, as her teacher is affectionately called.
I decided it would be best if Maddie took the Essay Rock Star: Expository Essay class. In this class, Maddie learned to write an essay that explained a specific subject or topic.
Maddie had heard me talk about GMO’s before and knew basically what they were. She wanted to find out more about them and thought that they would make an interesting topic for her essay.
Working Through the Essay Rock Star Writing Lessons
When Maddie first started the course, I sat down with her and walked her through the “classroom”. We went over how to work through the class, where to turn in assignments, and how to complete the lessons.
Each of the 7 lessons has a video for the student to watch. In the video, Ms. I walks the student through each step in the writing process. After watching the video, the student then reads through the lesson or can choose to listen to the audio version (great for different types of learners!).
There are several learning aids included in each lesson that the student can either save or print out and put in a notebook. These items are great to keep on hand for future student writing assignments.
Some of the ones that we thought were particularly helpful were: “How to Write a Strong Introduction and Conclusion” and the “Revision Checklist”.
After watching the video, reading the lesson, and printing or saving any of the extra learning tools, Maddie would work through each step of the writing process.
For instance, one of the first steps is the brainstorming process. Ms. I shared a great tool for brainstorming called mind mapping. She shared a link to Bubbl.us which is an online software tool that allows you to create pictorial mind maps and save them as images.
This was one of the funnest parts for Maddie, as she could visually see how her ideas fit together. And the software allows you to move ideas around and create or delete ideas as needed.
You can get very detailed with your mind map, or just create the main points for your essay. We will definitely continue to use this tool in our writing assignments.
Personalized Writing Lessons
One thing that stuck out to me as Maddie went through the writing process, was the willingness of Ms. I to work with her students right where they were and teach them in a personalized way. For instance, Maddie had decided to write her paper on GMO’s.
She did some research for her essay. Because she had outside sources she had used for the information in her essay, Ms. I showed her how to cite her sources at the end of the paper. This was not in the original lesson, but was taught when it was needed.
Maddie learned so much in the process of the course and it offered me a break in teaching. It also gave Maddie a different learning perspective. She enjoyed the independence of learning on her own and receiving feedback for each lesson.
Writing Program for Middle and High School
She now has the knowledge to work through each step and complete an expository essay on her own.
I look forward to seeing her build on the foundational skills she learned in this writing class. This has been a rewarding experience and has helped her enjoy learning to write!
You’ll love this Free e-book for kids of all ages to help them and their parents get them started writing: End Blank Page Terror Forever: 24 PreWriting Tools and Guidebook to Organize Content, Take Notes with Ease and Make Your Kids Confident Writers!
You’ll also love these other tips:
- 3 Ways to Choose the BEST Writing Curriculum (for a Growing Homeschool Family)
- Online Homeschool High School Poetry (No Teaching Involved)
- How to Rock Creative Writing When Homeschooling (and when you don’t feel like THAT creative mom)
- Modern U.S. and World History High School Literature
- A to Z List: Middle and High School Homeschool Electives
- Cursive Matters; Handwriting Style Doesn’t + Free Resources
- Should I be Teaching Spelling to my Homeschooled High Schooler?
- 5 Creative Ways to Boost Handwriting in Older Kids
Product Name: Essay Rock Star: Expository Essay. In this course, students learn to write an expository essay. The expository essay is the most common essay form that is often assigned in high school, college, and in the workplace. The purpose of an expository essay is to explain or inform an audience objectively about a specific subject.
Type of Product: Individual essay courses and a longer course with multiple essays. Each essay takes approximately 4 weeks to complete. The courses are a combination of pdf and video content. Ms. I provides personalized feedback throughout the process! I like the fact too that your child can receive high school credit even during the middle grades.
Age: Middle School to High School, but can be used by an advanced writer. The 1:1 tips also makes it a great curriculum for writers who dread the process.
Air Force wife, homeschooling mom, herbalist in training, quilter, soapmaker, all around homesteader…yup, that about sums it up! You can find Jasmine at Ponder the Path.