Suggested Age Levels for Homeschool Writing

Mom’s work load, presenting lesson information and grading, is light when students are working on the right level.

The Write Foundation writing lessons develop formal writing skills using creative writing with a wide selection of fun, interesting topics, while teaching organization using the writing process and writing structure. Because they will have the necessary writing skills, your students will become competent, confident writers, who will not shrink from more difficult advanced level writing.

Proper placement in The Write Foundation homeschool writing curriculum depends on the students’ writing readiness: maturity, writing experience, and interest in writing. Every student learns more when they are working on their instruction level which means they experience success and minimum frustration. Mom’s work load, presenting lesson information and grading, is light when students are working on the right level.

Read the following guidelines and try the free sample lessons before you purchase the curriculum to help determine which level is right for your students.

Entry Level: Creating Sentences Ages 8 – 12 (3rd grade – 6th grade age students)

At this level, students learn how to write descriptive informative sentences from basic sentences. This is an introduction to formal writing and works on overcoming errors students commonly make when writing formal papers. Is writing the dreaded subject that provokes moaning and few written words? Do your students struggle to put their thoughts on paper?

Consider using Entry Level Creating Sentences, if your students fit any of the following criteria:

  • Can follow a short series of instructions.
  • Have little or no writing experience of any kind.
  • Write simple sentences.
  • Struggle to write a sentence that tells you something interesting.
  • Write run-on or incomplete sentences often if writing.
  • Do not automatically start sentences with a capital letter and end with punctuation.
  • Hate writing.

Level 1: Sentence to Paragraph Writing Ages 11 - 14 (5th grade – 9th grade age students)

At this level, students continue to develop more complex sentences and write basic 1 and 2-paragraph compositions using the writing process with a variety of brainstorm techniques and outlines. Does your student tackle writing with confidence using the writing process to successfully write a paragraph?

Consider using Level 1 Sentence to Paragraph Writing if your students fit any of the following criteria:

  • Can follow a series of instructions fairly easily.
  • Have little paragraph writing experience and struggle to write a paragraph.
  • Write paragraphs with inconsistent verb tenses.
  • Primarily write simple sentences which sound like a 1st or 2nd grade reader.
  • Write run-on or incomplete sentences often.
  • Struggle to stay on topic.
  • Have little or no experience using the writing process (brainstorm, outline, rough draft, edit, final copy).

Level 2: Paragraph Writing Ages 12 - 16 (7th grade – 10th grade age students)

If a student is 13 or older, they may be able to begin with Paragraph Writing, but this depends on their maturity and writing experience. Paragraph Writing students improve their writing skills, while being challenged to quickly grasp more pieces of the writing puzzle, and advancing to a basic 5-paragraph college-level essay. Your students may be able to write decent paragraphs, but does their writing meet high school formal writing standards?

Consider using Level 2 Paragraph Writing if your students already:

  • Have some writing experience, but little or no formal writing experience.
  • Have a basic understanding and use the writing process (brainstorm, outline, rough draft, edit, final copy) for 1-paragraph papers.
  • Use correct and more mature sentence structure.
  • Write descriptive sentences, which include adjectives, adverbs and participles.
  • Use descriptive language to engage their audience.
  • Have very few or preferably no run-on or incomplete sentences.
  • Have the maturity to follow more complicated directions independently.
  • Need you to severely edit their paragraph writing to get their writing up to required standards.

Level 3: Essay Writing Ages 14 - 18 (9th grade – 12th grade age students)

If students are very mature in their ability to grasp abstract concepts, but they do not have a solid foundation of the writing process and writing structure, only then should they begin with Essay Writing. A well written essay takes complicated subject information and makes it easy to understand. Can your students take any topic and successfully write a college level essay independently? If not, they need Essay Writing.

Consider using Level 3 Essay Writing if your students already:

  • Have no incomplete sentences and no run-on sentences.
  • Have been introduced to transitions.
  • Are familiar with writing in 3rd person only.
  • Use a variety of words and minimize repetition.
  • Can create and use basic figures of speech creating simple word pictures that engage their audience.
  • Understand and effectively use the writing process: brainstorm, outline, write a rough draft, edit and write the final copy.
  • Know how to write a proper, standard outline for a 3-4 paragraph paper.
  • Know how to write concisely, stay on topic, and get their message across.
  • Utilize organization skills so they write easy-to-understand papers.
  • Organize their information where it flows and is easy to comprehend.

Students should find the independent work in the first 2 lessons in each level fairly easy to complete with minimal help from you. Each lesson builds on previous lessons as writing skills are added. You will need to teach each lesson, but students should be able to complete their independent work assignment with little extra assistance from you.

General Guidelines

  • If students do not need any teacher instruction taught from a lesson to successfully complete the student independent work assignment, then consider a more advanced level.
  • If after you teach a lesson, the independent work assignment is within your students capabilities, they are not overwhelmed or frustrated and do not need much extra help, that level is probably right for them.
  • If the lesson is intense and students need you to hold their hands and take them step-by-step for most of their independent work assignment, consider an easier level or plan on taking that level very slowly. Each level can easily be adapted to a 2-year format.
  • If your student hates writing, if you fight him to get him to follow directions, start him at the level where he is in the upper end of the suggested ages.
  • If your student loves to write and is craving guidance to learn how to write better, then start him at the level where he is in the younger end of the suggested ages.
  • Most boys are not ready in their physical development to seriously start learning paragraph composition until they are around 12 years old.

Try the free sample lessons before you purchase the curriculum to help determine which level is right for your students.

Contact rebecca@thewritefoundation.org for a free consultation if you have questions.