And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, March 7, 2016

Online Elementary Writing Program #homeschoolwritingsuccess

We recently received a one year online subscription to Here to Help Learning to review for the Crew. Speedy has been diligently working on the Flight 3 Paragraph Writing program. This engaging homeschool writing curriculum uses a combination of online videos, games, and printouts to get your student on a path to writing success.

Here to Help Learning Review
The first thing you need to know about HTHL is it is FUN! Beth Mora (co-creator and instructor) is the type of exciting teacher that kids will love! Speedy thinks she is hilarious, and he stays glued to every video. Each week the student watches a video online and at the end is assigned tasks. The recommended schedule is to watch the video one day and do the tasks next. When I told Speedy he'd only be working on writing two times per week, he jumped for joy. Writing was not his favorite subject (but he likes it a lot more now!). 
Here to Help Learning Review
The website is easy to navigate and full of information. After logging on, you select your child's flight from a drop down menu. There is a guide to help you pick a place to start if you aren't sure. Then you click on the button for the correct lesson. Any printable pages you need for that lesson are included on the same page as the video for easy access. Most lessons have a couple of pages to print for the teacher and a page or two for the student. The videos are broken in 5 short sections. I've found most of the videos are 30 minutes or less. Every one we have watched has been very short and engaging. There are breaks in the sections for games (like Sentence or No Sentence), quick writing practice, and discussions. This is really set up for the teacher to sit with the student and help to engage them in the activities. 
To get started, I made sure we had 2 binders, dividers, and plenty of ink and paper for the printer. It is recommended you set up a student binder and a teacher's binder. There are several pages to print before you dig into the lessons. All of those steps are clearly laid out on the website. I went ahead and printed the worksheets and teacher's pages for several lessons before we got started. I like to be organized and have everything laid out. I will say I wish I had watched the first few videos before we got started. I think I would have understood the process better. Our first couple of lessons were a little confusing because I wasn't sure which parts she was doing on the video and which parts I was suppose to be doing with him. Also on the video, the class she is working with does a different writing warm up page than the one your student will receive. It made sense once I realized they were suppose to be different!

In Flight 3 Paragraph Writing, Speedy has been working on writing a letter to a business. Each week was a different step in the process. The focused steps have been great for him. He hasn't felt overwhelmed by the tasks each week. The tasks have taken him 30 minutes or less. An example of a task would be to write a list of ideas for the project or to write a first rough draft. He has also really enjoyed the games and writing warm ups on video days. This program is really designed to allow your student to move at their own pace with little pressure. They can dictate their writing to you if needed or they can write long paragraphs or short paragraphs. Speedy likes this program so much he wants to do it first on his writing days! I've really enjoyed seeing his enthusiasm over this program. 
Here to Help Learning offers 3 Flights in Paragraph Writing and 3 Flights in Essay Writing. Flight 3 Essay Writing helps your student write a book! Doesn't that sound like a fun way to work on writing skills? Each flight is broken into 32 lessons to equal a year's writing curriculum. The Paragraph Writing Flights are recommended for students in 1st-3rd grades and the Essay Writing Flights are aimed at students in 4th-6th grades. You can purchase a monthly subscription to the website and receive access to all 6 Flights for $6.99/ month. If you prefer print, they offer options for that as well. 
Elementary Writing Program
Speedy says, "I like the videos and the way the worksheets are split up. The writing projects are fun."
We use Chrome for our online access, and we never had any issues with the website. It was easy to log on and navigate. If you begin with the "Getting Started/ FAQS" button, it will walk you right through. This program has been very successful for us during the trial period. Speedy is an active child, and the fast paced videos drew him right in. I'm excited to see what finishing this whole program will do for his writing. I wish Beth Mora could just come over and teach the kids all of their subjects!

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! I wish I would have watched the video first, too, because I was so confused!! We paused the video several times in the wrong spot, ha-ha! By the second week, we had it figured out.


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