Age Appropriate Levels of Curriculum
Proper placement depends on the students’ maturity, writing experience, and interest in writing. A common mistake is to put student(s) in more advanced writing instruction than what is best for them. There is a big difference between, “I think my students could do this,” and “Is this the level where they will learn and benefit the most, because they will retain the information without a major struggle?” Your students may be able to write decent paragraphs, but does their writing meet higher level formal writing standards? Do they have a solid writing foundation in organization, writing process, writing structure, and technical skills? When working on the
wrong level, the teacher (mom or dad or grandma…) and the students will probably feel overwhelmed. Working on the correct level makes a difference between throwing your hands up in frustration and quitting, or breezing through with seemingly a small amount of effort, yet looking back and seeing vast writing improvement over the year.
A solid foundation in organization, writing process, writing structure and technical skills are taught and developed in The Write Foundation. You must determine what your students need to learn. Are you just trying to get them to write better sentences and learn the core basics of writing simple paragraphs? If so, use Sentence to Paragraph Level 1. Are you trying to improve their writing because they write decently, but need to develop the habit of using the writing process, need some organization and structure skills, and need more technical writing skills? If so, use Paragraph Writing Level 2. Are you trying to fine tune and develop mature writing skills, so they can easily write a multiple paragraph college level essay? If so, use Essay Writing Level 3.
Try the free sample lessons before you purchase the curriculum to help determine which level is right for your students. The first couple of lessons in each level are intentionally easy, but each lesson builds on the previous lesson throughout the curriculum. The teacher needs to teach the lesson, but the students should be able to complete the assignment independently. If after the lesson is taught your students find the assignment independent work easy, because they are not overwhelmed and do not need much if any extra help, that is a good indication that level is right for them. If they need you to hold their hand and take them step-by-step for a good-sized part of their assignment independent work, you might want to back up a level or plan on taking that level real slow.
- 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 composition until they are around 12 years old.
Appropriate Age Levels
Level 1 Sentence to Paragraph Writing:
A few are ready by age 10, more by age 11, many at ages 12 and 13, but some need to begin at age 14 or even 15. They should be mature enough to begin learning how to organize abstract thoughts in writing at the level dealt with in Sentence to Paragraph. At this level, students write basic one and two-paragraph compositions using a variety of brainstorm techniques and outlines, while using the writing process to organize their writing.
- If your student has any run ons or incomplete sentences when he writes on his own.
- If your student hates writing.
- If your student primarily writes simple sentences.
Level 2 Paragraph Writing:
A few are ready by age 12, more at age 13 and many at age 14, but struggling students may need to be 15 or even 16. If a student is 14 or older, they may be able to begin with Paragraph Writing, but again this depends on their maturity and writing experience. This level helps students improve their writing skills, challenging them to quickly grasp pieces of the writing puzzle, while advancing to a 5-paragraph college-level essay.
- If your student understands the writing process of basic brainstorm, outline, rough draft, edit, final copy.
- If your student usually writes descriptive sentences, which includes adjectives, adverbs and participles.
- If your student can follow directions.
Level 3 Essay Writing:
It is better for many older students to start with Paragraph Writing. A very few age 15 and a few 16 and 17 year old students could possibly begin at Essay Writing. If students are very mature in their ability to grasp abstract concepts, but the teacher feels they do not have a solid foundation of the writing process and writing structure, only then should they begin with Essay Writing. Essay Writing assumes students know how to brainstorm, write a standard outline and follow basic writing rules such as no incomplete sentences and no run-on sentences.
- If your student understands and knows how to effectively use the writing process of brainstorm, outline, rough draft, edit, final copy.
- If your student knows how to write a proper, standard outline for a 3-4 paragraph paper.
- If your student uses a variety of words and minimizes repetition.
- If your student has been introduced to transitions.
- If your student is familiar with basic figures of speech.
- If your student is familiar with writing in third person only.
The Write Foundation develops formal writing skills. Creative writing is used to develop formal writing skills. A common mistake is to assume that, since students can write decent creative or informative paragraphs, they are prepared to write higher level papers. The result is choosing a level of curriculum that is too difficult. Mastering fundamental writing skills and techniques results in a competent, confident writer, who enjoys composition and does not shrink from more difficult assignments.
Daily Schedules for 1 or 2 year format:
Depending on your home situation or the workload of your student, you may desire to complete a level of curriculum over a 2-year time period. Also, if a student begins a level at the first age recommended or younger, then consider taking 2 years to complete the level instead of 1 year.