If the Wordsmith Apprentice is the junior version of Wordsmith, then the Wordsmith Craftsman is the senior. Written for the young adult, it concentrates on making sure older students have the necessary communication and writing skills for their adult lives, no matter what occupation they enter. In three parts it covers the various aspects of writing they will need "out in the real world." In Part One, "Writing Every Day," taking notes, writing letters, constructing summaries and composing business reports are covered. Part Two, "Language Power" includes paragraphs, writing techniques, and developing a personal writing style. This all builds up to the grand finale, "The Essay," which covers topics, structure, and the step-by-step writing. Different types of essays are practiced: expository, narrative, descriptive, and persuasive. Answers are printed in the back of the book for some of exercises. This workbook has been revised and now includes updated information regarding e-mail communication and Internet research, additional examples, a brief discussion of research papers, and an added section on critical writing (reviews and critical essays). Very complete and informative, this is ideal for rounding out a high school writing program. - Jess
Written by a homeschooling mom, the presentation of topics and skills in this book is outstanding! Instructions are directed to the student and interesting assignments encourage even reluctant writers. Lessons build from focusing on interesting word usage to sentence construction, to scene-setting, characterization, and well-written dialogue, and culminate in the writing of a short story at the end. Students can complete the course in about a year, but you might want to alternate lessons with grammar instruction, other technical skills instruction, or other types of writing and "stretch out" the use of Wordsmith over a longer time period. The book allows ample room to write exercises in, but students can also use regular paper so that you can re-use with several children. This book has also been revised, and the new edition features additional exercises and examples, an expanded section on writing short stories, additional explanation and examples of revision, and review/practice quizzes. An inexpensive teacher's guide is available for parents who want the extra help in teaching creative writing and includes answers, lesson plans, teaching suggestions, and ideas for expanding the lessons. This guide has also been revised, and includes more explanation of the "philosophy" of writing, further tips on revising, and more ideas for additional writing assignments.
These materials contain both instruction and writing assignments but are not as broad in scope (types of writing) as the comprehensive programs.