If you are looking for a writing program for grades 3-12 that models good writing after great works of literature, check out Write with the Best by Jill Dixon. Comprised of two volumes, Write with the Best includes chapters teaching the following skills: writing a descriptive paragraphs, writing dialogues, writing short stories, writing fables, writing friendly letters, writing poetry, writing business letters, taking notes, writing outlines, writing summaries, writing persuasive and expository essays, writing book reviews and literary critiques, writing newspaper articles, writing speeches, and writing a dramatic monologue. WOW, that is a lot of material!
Write with the Best, Volume 1, is written for students in third through twelfth grade. Write with the Best, Volume 2, is written for students in sixth through twelfth grade. If you want further information about these programs, visit their web site at www.diagnosticprescriptive.com.
There are many writing programs on the market today that do an excellent job of preparing students for college and a job. How is a parent to choose? First, decide on how you want to teach writing, and then decide how much you can afford to spend. Using these two factors will help narrow down your choices. With Write with the Best, you get a program that grows with your child and allows one purchase for several years of use with multiple students (like Spelling Power).
I tested Write with the Best, Volume 1, on my three daughters. I like the layout of the program and the fantastic "how to write guides" in the appendix. I found that I needed to do a short amount (less than a half hour) of teacher preparation per unit. Your family will need a dictionary, a thesaurus, colored pencils, and the use of a copy machine to use Write with the Best. An English handbook is not necessary, but is a helpful teacher and student aid. The author recommends Editor-In-Chief for additional practice with proofreading skills, and I second that recommendation. For additional practice with capitalization, punctuation, and English use, I recommend Daily Grams and Easy Grammar or the A Beka language series.
My daughters enjoyed the literature passages found in each unit. I liked the extra literature selections included for additional practice. I found that to thoroughly teach a unit, I needed to add a day or two to the suggested 10 days per unit. The object of Write with the Best is mastery, not hurrying through the curriculum.
I highly recommend Write with the Best! When I compare it to other writing curriculums I find it to be affordable, well thought out, student friendly, and easy to teach. The only suggestion for improvement I have is that the answer key be presented in use order instead of alphabetical order. This is a minor inconvenience, not a major problem.
Visit the Diagnostic Prescriptive Services website at www.diagnosticprescriptive.com to purchase this curriculum.