My daughter loves learning about English grammar so she (literally) jumped at the chance to review How to Write a Paragraph by The Crafty Classroom, and I was happy to have a little help in this area.
Learning how to write, and write correctly, is a very valuable skill to have in life. With so much of our lives now online we must always put our best foot forward. Others may judge us from the way that we compose our thoughts even before they meet us. It’s a frightening thought at times!
Of course, the way we speak when sending a text message may be vastly different than when filling out a job application or writing an essay at university, but it’s never too early to learn; and in fact, it’s probably easier to learn this skill at a younger age.
How To Write a Paragraph comes as a PDF download which is convenient and easy to print from. The program is aimed at children from kindergarten to grade 2 and is based on a 4-day week. Each week has a focus and each week’s lessons build upon what was learned the previous week so it all comes together smoothly.
The lessons begin simply with learning about nouns and verbs; what they are and how to find them in a sentence. Then the lessons move on to learning how to use adjectives and stronger, more descriptive words to build stronger sentences, and thus, stronger paragraphs.
As Kallista and I were working on these, Tristan’s ears perked up and he listened in as the course he’s currently doing in grammar and creative writing also focuses on using strong adjectives and verbs so the cogs were ticking over for him as he picked up ways to make his own work better! He’s two years older than Kallista, but you’re never too old to learn more about grammar.
There are several full-colour posters to print out and use for this class. For a while I had them in a folder that we would take back and forth with us to the library before I had them hung up. However, as nice as they are hanging up, I’m tempted to take them down again because it made it easier for us to have a lesson when we weren’t at home. I’m still on the fence here, but they will be up on the wall after the class is done because both of my children refer to them almost daily.
Each week is clearly laid out for us parents. There’s a page each week that is broken down by days and tells us:
- the week’s goals
- verbal reminders for our children
- the charts that will be needed
- a suggested outline for each day
For the students, they have a page a day to complete, and their sheets may contain:
- reminders of what they have learned
- any terms they need to know
- instructions for each day’s lesson, with check boxes to tick when complete
Each day’s lesson starts with a review of the posters that will pertain to the day’s work before moving on to any new posters/concepts. Then there is something for Kallista and I to do together to get her brain in the zone. Then it’s up to her to start the day’s assignment.
Each day’s lesson doesn’t take too long to complete. We started off taking about 5-10 minutes per lesson as verbs and nouns were more of a review for Kallista so we moved through those first couple of weeks at a quicker speed and doubled up on the lessons (at Kallista’s request as she was enjoying them so much she wanted to keep going). We’re currently on lesson 7 and the lessons are now more involved, for example:
- Monday: brainstorming
- Tuesday: Working on an introductory sentence, two descriptive sentences, a conclusion, a title, and a picture
- Wednesday: Editing and re-writing the work done on Tuesday
- Thursday: Writing the final copy
So far this has been a fun program for Kallista, and she had fun writing a story about her teacher. I was a little nervous with this one; how does she really see me? But it turned out very accurate; yes, I do love to brainstorm!
We’re now arriving at a point that requires a little more work, and a little more brain power which provides a challenge, but Kallista is up for that and is working very hard at it because she does enjoy grammar and she has a vivid imagination!
My children see that grammar is important in everyday life and how brainstorming and editing fit in with blogging. Now they find it fun when they see my notebook full of lists and ideas and the first rough drafts. Then they see me typing my first draft in the blog, then editing and moving things around. Finally they tell me with glee when they see a silly error in the title of a post after it’s been published! Thankfully with that one, I had enough time to fix it before it was sent out via email. I cannot wait until my children are able to proof read my work before it is published, and neither can they!
Learning How To Write a Paragraph using this program isn’t dry and boring as I recall from my days in school. This is more about creative writing and learning to be descriptive and imaginative in a way that makes sense to a reader. I know this program is working as my children are using new words to describe things, and Kallista comments when I use a descriptive verb or adjective, “Mom, that’s a very strong word, good job!”
We are all looking forward to seeing how Kallista (and Tristan) progress over the next 5 weeks as they learn more abut how to write a paragraph to the best of their abilities.
To read more reviews about The Crafty Classroom by the Homeschool Review Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions. You will find 80 honest reviews by the Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow The Crafty Classroom you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.