Monday, June 30, 2014

Writing with Sharon Watson {Review}

I have thought about starting Justin on a writing curriculum quite a bit this last year. However it was really not in my budget this year. I had been looking around at various curriculums and knew I just couldn’t fit what I wanted in our budget for this school year.

I was so excited when the opportunity to review a new writing curriculum from Writing with Sharon Watson and Apologia! What a blessing to be provided with a curriculum that we really needed!

Since Justin is somewhat of a reluctant writer. I chose Jump In: A workbook for Reluctant and Eager Writers!

I am really happy with our choice! There are enough lesson included In Jump In for 2 years! (240 lessons) and the book is written to the student which Justin really likes! The lessons (labeled a skill)take the student anywhere  from 5-20 minutes each day.

At the end of some skills there are longer assignments that can take  from two to ten days to complete.  What I like about these longer assignments is they include a suggested writing schedule, making it easy for Justin to plan out his days work. I am working with him on planning out his school day and giving him more control and independence over his school assignments and these schedules help him plan how to use his time wisely.

The topics covered in Jump In are:

  • Prewriting Skills
  • Opinion
  • Persuasion
  • Exposition (which include Biography, Book Report, Newspaper Article, How-to, Compare and Contrast)
  • Description
  • Narration (Storytelling)
  • Poetry

The lessons are engaging and fun! Justin is enjoying them and is grasping the concepts as they are presented. The workbook is colorful and has small graphics on many of the pages but not enough to be distracting.

The student workbook is consumable with plenty of space to write. We are using a notebook since I am hoping to use this with Kaden in a couple of years!

From the lessons that Justin has done so far Jump In is helping him understand the reason behind why it is important to have good writing skills. Jump In his helping him to become a better writer! He is still not thrilled to be writing, but Jump In is making it more enjoyable for him. (and me!)


Sample pages available here.


The Lifeguard’s Locker is the parent/teacher manual that goes along with Jump In.  What an excellent resource this is! It is packed full of important information to help not only the parent but the student as well.

This manual is filled with tips and ideas to help a reluctant writer. There is a section on grading which I found very informative.

My favorite parts of the manual are the 10 minute writing plunges. If you have a reluctant writer the writing plunges are a gentle and easy way to introduce your student to writing using a writing prompt. Writing for such a short amount of time helps your student not to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of writing. The prompts encourage the student to think and help to spark ideas to express their thoughts!

There is a helpful grammar resource in this manual that I found very helpful!

The last section of the book has the answer key for Jump In.

Another point I want to mention about this writing curriculum is that it is very affordable. Jump In is a solid writing curriculum!

You can find sample pages here.

Jump In and The Lifeguard’s Locker can be purchased at Writing with Sharon Watson or Apologia. The books can be purchased together for $40 or individually: Jump In $30 and The Lifeguard’s Locker for $10.

You can read more reviews of Jump In and also other writing curriculum from Sharon Watson over at Home & School Mosaics!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Jump In and The Life Guard’s Locker in exchange of my honest opinion. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.



Corina said...

We did this last year and really liked it! We will be continuing with it this year, too!

Sharon Watson said...

Hi, Michele! Thanks for your review of Jump In. I love the photo of your son using it, and I love learning that he's becoming a better writer. Who knows what he'll write next year and way into the future?!

Enjoy your summer!