Every single time I speak at a homeschool conference, a concerned parent walks up to me desperate for a solution to the high school writing quandary. Writing is often not a student’s favorite subject, making it super difficult to find a curriculum that won’t result in tears, excessive nagging, or a very low grade.
The key to a good high school writing curriculum has always been to make it relevant and of high interest to the student.
Sadly, a lot of available options for writing fail at this task, making school and writing seem like an impossible feat. If you read nothing else in this post, please don’t miss this truth—> You don’t have to buy or use BORING curriculum. EVER. I’m serious. Learning is exciting and there are many ways to do it. Don’t smother your children with traditional or “everybody-else-is-doing-it” methods that snuff the life out of them.
Back to writing. With this in mind, I’m thrilled to introduce you to a writing option your high schooler will love!
As soon as I opened the box, I remembered how excited I was when I reviewed the middle school curriculum for this same company last year. Quite possibly my favorite review I’ve ever written, Cover Story, a middle school writing curriculum was so fun, I personally wanted to sit down and do it. So naturally, when the high school box came in the mail, I was eager.
“Byline turns students into time-traveling reporters who practice journalism in the forgotten corners of history,” according to its authors. And they are right. My 7th grade daughter saw the books and was immediately captivated by the idea. What kid doesn’t want to become a reporter?
I love that Clearwater Press has taken advantage of the concept of journalism, which has been used by schools for decades to motivate writers, and tossed in rich history to create an irresistible option to earn your high school English credit.
As a struggling reader who finds books “boring,” my daughter was eager to use this curriculum for its reading selections. Instead of lengthy novels that she finds uninteresting, she loves the excerpts from articles and stories that are right in the course’s training manual. She also really loved the “Reporter’s Notebook” that came with the curriculum.
As a busy mom with lots of responsibilities, I love that the course comes with 72 video lessons (available in DVD or by streaming) that I don’t have to teach. Independent learning is a huge priority in my home and I’m always looking for curriculum that makes accommodations for this. It’s a plus that the lessons are fun to watch. Even my 7-year-old kept standing there, enamored.
The teacher’s guide is simple, but complete, laying out a syllabus of the course as well as a grading rubric for you to use. This makes it easy for any parent to feel confident teaching this curriculum, even if English is not their strongest subject.
In the words of my daughter, “every kid would LOVE to use this curriculum” for an English credit. And as mom, I’d have to agree. Byline is another win from Clearwater Press.