The search for the ‘perfect’ curriculum seems never ending sometimes.. I think I have math taken care of, science and language arts.. But writing? Goodness. I have tried so many things! There are books that I have gotten recently that I totally love…but they aren’t substantial enough to stand alone… Argh!!
So you can understand how excited I was when asked to review The Power in Your Hands. (Writing Nonfiction in High School) This is made for high school ages, around grades 9-12. We just started our school year in January this year, so Ryan was only a few months into grade 9.
I will start with the student book! (click here for a sample!) What I like about this book is that there are noted end points where to stop for each day. Oftentimes in a book like this, I just keep going until it feels time to stop. This book tells you when to stop!
The book starts with a little questionnaire to get a feel on how you feel about different areas in writing. Some may like reports, others stories…it also asks about writing utensils you prefer, and times of day for writing.. Very interesting reading the results from that!
It pretty much jumps right in with learning the structure of an essay and different ways to start and end an essay. Meanwhile it is asking for your opinion on a matter and asks you to brainstorm the idea…and then come up with a beginning…and an end… and eventually you are asked to write an opinion paper! Woah..that was fast, right? But not really, because each day you already had been working on little bits and pieces! I love that!!
Now, a little about the teacher book. (click here for a sample) This thing is pretty full of…stuff. It is hard to narrow down what is in it! The first 40+ pages give you hints on grading and proofreading. You would probably want to read that before starting these as it was very informative! Then it tells you what is going to be covered in the student book. After that is a section that includes 14-minute power surges. What in the world are those? Well, basically they are daily prompts…given Monday-Thursday. Write for 14 minutes, keep the work until Friday when you pick which paper you like best, complete it and turn it in Monday to be graded! They are listed by month and week, which is nice if you are like me and tend to lose your place on things like that. :nodding:
The rest of the teacher book pretty much goes over each lesson. If there are questions in the student book, the answers are in the teacher book. It is very helpful! You might be able to start seeing how having both books would come in handy!
The prices are really great too! $39.98 for the student book and $14.98 for the teacher book! The books are so thorough that I would have thought it would be double the price!
Now, how did our first essay go? Well, I involved all three kids in this first round just to see how it would work out. Which, my kids are almost 11, 12 and almost 15. The essay itself went great! I was very impressed with what they came up with! I know my youngest had a little help with her dad, which is totally fine as the subject was to explain why it is, or isn’t, a good idea for teens to have credit cards. She wasn’t sure about some things.
With that said, I think I may purchase the middle school version, Jump In and start with that. It will be nice to keep this high school one to use in a year or two.
I think it is definitely worth checking out both products, to fit in what age group you are working with! The author did such a great job with these books! The way she writes in the student books is like she is chatting to you in person, which makes it easy for independent work, or if you do like I did and read aloud. There are some Christian based content, so keep that in mind.
If you’d like to read other reviews of The Power in Your Hands or the other items for sale, click here!