Just Write, a Creative Writing Program
“Just Write” is a writing program for the elementary years. There are four levels taught. Each level is taught over one year. It is a workbook type program. It is a creative writing program that is easy to teach program with very little preparation. This is one program my children have truly enjoyed. This program does not kill the joy of writing as some programs can do. For my own children it has ignited a love for writing. When I started homeschooling I had researched many writing programs to fit our style and needs. This program has been a great fit for us.
In the first level there are the two books to choose from. One is called “Write About Me” and the other is called “Write About My World“. The publisher sells this book for the first grade level. In my opinion, it is for an advance first grader who is able to read and write or it is for a second grader. This book helps the beginner writer to understand how take his thoughts and put them into writing. This was one of my absolute favorite curriculums I have used with my own children. It is a book that you will keep as a keepsake for many years. With my children, I had used the book “Write About Me“. The book consists of daily writing exercises that are fun and easy to do at this level. The children will write about their family, friends, past experiences, and even their dreams. The writing exercises are cleverly done so the child does not have to write a lot but just enough to enjoy the exercise. The children can add photos to the book with some of the writing exercises. I truly believe this book helped my own daughter to love to write.
The second year is called “Just Write 1“. This is when the child starts a more formal writing program. In the beginning, the lessons encourage the child to just write without worrying about all the rules. This may be hard for the classical minded homeschooler but if you stick with the program it works! In later lessons the child will learn about capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and paragraphs. There are chapters that teach how to use creative words, descriptive passages, and comparisons. There are lessons on how to edit your writing and make a final copy. The child learns how to brainstorm, create characters, and develop a story.
The third year is called “Just Write 2“. This is for 3rd to 4th graders. With each year of “Just Write” the writing lessons are becoming more focused. In this year the student will begin with a review of basic grammar, punctuation and capitalization. From there the student will learn how to construct and write a good paragraph. There are lessons using comparisons and overused words. Then the student starts leaning skills to write a story. They start with story planning, creating characters and creating a plot. The child learns how to write and use dialogue. There are lessons on writing from different points of view. The child continues to learn how to edit and make a final story.
The fourth year, “Just Write 3” is the final book in the series. It is for 4th to 5th graders. In this final book the student continues to perfect the skills he learned in the previous books. Now the student is introduced to the four types of writing; narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive. The student develops his reasons for writing such as what is the purpose of his paper and who is the audience he is trying to reach. The student learns how to construct a multi-paragraph paper. The student is taught how to research a paper and gather information. My favorite part is the lessons on learning to write a persuasive paper. My son wrote a paper on why it is important to put your dog on a leash. It was a typical persuasive paper. Then my son had to write the same report but to a different audience. This time he wrote it as if his audience were dogs. His paper was hilarious and well written. This last book is a great stepping stone to higher level writing programs.
What are the pros? Many of the lessons are fun. It really helps to foster the love of writing yet it helps your student develop excellent writing skills. Even though this is a workbook program I think the Charlotte Mason homeschooler will love how it allows the child to write from his heart. They will love how the lessons are short and to the point. For the classical minded folks, I think it will please them since it teaches grammar and well structured papers. It is affordable, the workbooks are around $10-$12. The teacher manuals are small, simple to use, and are also very affordable. It is so easy to teach! There isn’t any preparation, just open and go.
What are the cons? It is a workbook and that can be a turn off for some people. My daughter hates workbook type of learning but she has never complained about doing her writing assignments in “Just Write“.
There are few cons for me to give because I have loved using this program for our family.
Written by Korey
Here is a link if you would like more information regarding this curriculum: