Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Power in Your Hands (Blogging Through the Alphabet)

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The Power in Your Hands (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

After so many years of homeschooling, I've had plenty of opportunities to try curriculum and explore all kinds of resources, so during this Blogging Through the Alphabet tour, I'm highlighting some of the many homeschooling resources that have been stand-outs. Sometimes it will be a walk down memory lane as I share something we enjoyed many years ago, and sometimes it will be something we're using currently. Sometimes I'll focus on a specific curriculum, and sometimes on a subject area. And I imagine I'll have to be a bit creative with a couple letters of the alphabet! This week it's one of our current textbooks, The Power in Your Hands.

A couple of years ago, we got to review The Power in Your Hands from Writing with Sharon Watson, and not only did it seem like a great fit for our homeschool, but I also realized it would be just about perfect for a high school co-op class. We originally thought we'd use it for Kennady's Grade 10 year, and did get started with it, but as soon as our plan for a high school co-op became a reality, we set it aside to save for that co-op class and for the Grade 11 year. So we are using it this year and are a bit more than halfway through.

Although the text is written directly to the student, and can be used quite independently, it's also very well suited to use in a class. Especially a co-op class, in which students are working on their own during the week and only meet for class for an hour or so each week. The lessons are written in a relaxed and sometimes humorous tone, guiding students through several types of persuasive essays, a biography, a literary analysis, a position paper, and more. Students should be well prepared for SAT essays and college writing upon completing the course.

Students are taught how to be their own editors, and reminders and encouragement to proofread and edit come in each of the assignments. The Teacher's Guide also gives instruction on proofreading marks and how to do the job of proofreading and editing well. 

The Teacher's Guide has a lot of helpful material beyond just the answers to the Practice assignments. There are grading templates for each chapter's writing assignment that make it easy to evaluate a student's writing. The templates show exactly what to look for and how many points to award for each element of the assignment. I absolutely LOVE the grading templates! A fun feature in the Teacher's Guide is the collection of 14-Minute Power Surges. These are writing prompts, some serious and some inventive or even fanciful, that students can use to spend 14 minutes free writing. These free write assignments are not intended to be handed in or graded, but do get students used to writing "on the fly" and just getting their ideas on paper. And of course these short essay starters may form the beginning of a longer essay at some point when a similar topic is assigned!

Sharon Watson is a veteran homeschool mom and co-op teacher of literature and composition that has been sharing her relaxed and conversational teaching style with homeschoolers through resources like The Power In Your Hands Jump In!Writing Fiction [In High School, and Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide. And we enjoy her style and courses so much that we just decided today that we are definitely going to do Writing Fiction [In High School next year! Kennady wants to do it for her own English credit next year, so we are also going to offer it through the co-op. 


The Power in Your Hands (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Read our full review here: The Power in Your Hands (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

The Power in Your Hands (Writing Non-Fiction in High School) from Writing with Sharon Watson - A Homeschool Coffee Break review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew on

Disclaimer: I am voluntarily providing this review and information about a product I have chosen to use. I received no compensation, nor was I required to write about or mention this product. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Blogging Through the Alphabet again? Yes, I'm taking the challenge, along with several other Crew members, including our three co-hosts for this round - Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool, DaLynn at Biblical Womanhood, and Kirsten at DoodleMom's Homeschooling Life. The link is open from Thursday to Wednesday each week, so join in if you'd like!

This post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet for Week 16, Letter P.

This post is part of a #breakthrulinkup at Breakthrough Homeschooling - Join us! This post is also linked at the Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop hosted by Apron Strings & Other Thingsat Homeschool Blog & Tell at The Homeschool Post; and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Kristen of A Mom's Quest to Teach said...

I love anything that helps students become their own editors. I was very fortunate that my high school English teacher instilled good editing skills in me (especially when I was on our school newspaper).

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