Write Source 2012 Edition
Write Source - its very name emphasizes what has always been true of this program. It's a cohesive and tightly woven spiral of writing instruction. Starting in grade one and continuing through grade twelve, the writing process along with the various forms of writing are presented, modeled, illustrated, taught, utilized and expanded. Thoroughly integrated with the writing instruction is an exhaustive (but not exhausting) examination of grammar usage. The graphical presentation is organized, colorful, energetic, and very pleasing to the eye. Whether you classify this program as "English" or "Language Arts", it's comprehensive and thorough and, if utilizing just some of the literature suggestions, would be beyond "enough" and into the realm of "amazing."
It's hard to know how much information to give concerning the scope and sequence of these courses. The writing process (prewriting, writing, revising, editing, and publishing) and how it applies to all forms of writing (descriptive, narrative, expository, persuasive, response to literature, creative, research) is central to all of the courses. Although the individual writing assignments vary from grade to grade, there is a broad representation of the different forms of writing at each level. Integration across the curriculum includes assignments and activities that apply the various writing forms to major content areas (science, social studies, math, and the arts). Multimedia reports, email communications, planning personal websites, and up-to-date information on citing electronic sources are integrated with more traditional writing expectations
As part of the revising and editing process, there is extensive coverage of the six traits of writing (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions) as well as thorough coverage of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Well-developed evaluation rubrics based on these traits keep students on track during writing and help them evaluate their finished pieces. There are lots of writing samples, sometimes used as illustrations and sometimes analyzed for writing content and style. Graphic organizers are also used liberally at every level giving students powerful tools for the organization of their ideas. In addition to the central units on writing process and forms, there are sections on writing as it relates to other areas of learning - i.e. taking notes, summarizing and paraphrasing, keeping journals and learning logs, and giving speeches. Each course concludes with two sections that are part resource, part instruction and easily findable by their color-coded pages. A Writer's Resource contains tips and guidelines to help the student complete any writing assignment creatively and effectively. The Proofreader's Guide collects the rules for language and grammar usage interspersed with practice exercises.
Course components include a Student Edition, a Teacher's Edition, an Assessment Book, the SkillsBook, the SkillsBook Teacher, and the Daily Language Workout.
Past editions were organized around student handbooks such as Writer's INC that were used for several grade levels. These handbooks have morphed into the grade-specific Student Editions with much of the writing assignments and samples previously found only in the teacher's material now included in these student books, making them valuable as a teaching/instruction vehicle rather than "only" a reference book. The Student Editions are very user-friendly (and homeschool-friendly). I really can't emphasize this enough. To give you an idea of the difference in the two books, consider that the cause/effect essay is covered in three pages in Writer's INC - one page for outlining the step-by-step process for writing it and two pages giving an annotated sample. In the Grade 11 Write Source Student Book, there are almost 40 pages of detailed instruction on this type of essay, which includes specific assignments completing various parts of the whole and a number of annotated samples. Each step of the writing process is carefully laid out with multiple assignments. At the revising stage the student reviews their composition in light of the six writing traits with each trait given a two-page treatment including an across-the-top rubric. The revising and editing steps alone contain 15 sub-assignments (and four exercises). There is less reliance on peer review (usually not very helpful and sometimes difficult for homeschoolers) and much more emphasis on self review and evaluation (much more valuable as a skill and in terms of homeschool use). For a junior or senior high student they could be almost self-instructional, though any student will benefit from teacher/parent interaction particularly in terms of writing practice and instruction. Although the lower levels will require more interaction, there is little teacher prep.
That brings us to the wraparound Teacher's Editions. Because the instruction is so complete in the Student Editions, the TEs are not absolutely necessary (in my opinion). However, they are quite valuable, and the answers to the exercises (usually grammatical information) and the comprehension questions (usually thinking skills) are only available there. The TE also includes suggested integration schedules for both the Skillsbook and the Daily Language Workout. Teacher helps surround the edges of the reduced copies of the student book and include learning objectives, topic definitions, and suggestions for fleshing out the student book instruction (i.e. provide newspaper articles or "suggest student select a controversial topic that will potentially affect them" - in the persuasive writing section). There are also special instructions for English language learners, struggling learners, and advanced learners. There are specific teaching instructions for each student page (particularly helpful in the lower levels). The answers, of course, are most helpful at the upper levels, but in reality, even there the answers constitute only a small percentage of the overall course. There is helpful information in the introductions - yearly timetables, a scope and sequence, and getting started activities. There is also a large section of reproducible helps in the back of each teacher book. These include graphic organizers, grading rubrics (very helpful - ranging from four to six points for each of the writing forms) and benchmark papers (strong and weak examples with rubric checklists and comments). Please note that the 2012 teacher's editions occasionally mention optional "Write Source Online" resources, which do not appear to be accessible to homeschool parents.
The Skillsbooks and Daily Language Workouts are largely unchanged from previous editions and provide for both systematic (Skillsbooks - grammar, usage, and mechanics practice) and daily (Workouts - editing and proofreading) practice. The majority of the content is the same from the previous edition, so earlier edition components can work together, with some adaptation (newer content added to the 2012 Skillsbook would not have correlating answers). The SkillsBook Teacher's Edition is an answer key. The Assessment book provides a pretest, progress tests, and a post-test (answers included).
We currently are selling Homeschool Bundles and individual student components for the 2012 edition. Bundles include a hardcover student edition, spiral-bound teacher edition, and paperback assessment book. ~ Janice