Thursday, March 29, 2018

Writing Fiction in High School (Blogging Through the Alphabet)

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Writing Fiction in High School (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 I'm looking ahead to a textbook we're going to be using next year - Writing Fiction [in High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life! by Sharon Watson.

So I've already gone on and on about Writing by Sharon Watson, because we reviewed The Power in Your Hands and then decided to use it in our homeschool co-op. In fact, some co-op parents wanted me to teach the class again next year, although I'm concerned there's not enough student turnover to do the same one two years in a row. Hmmm. And my daughter really wants to write fiction. Light bulb moment: I could teach Writing Fiction [in High School] next year! Kennady gets to do a credit class on fiction writing, and the co-op gets a writing class. Plus I get paid a little something to teach said class. Win - win - and more win!

I went ahead and ordered the books so I'd have them available for prospective students and parents to preview at our co-op open houses, and so that I could start getting familiar and lesson planning.

Writing Fiction in High School (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Kennady and I are excited. Of course it's still too early in the game to be able to give a full review of this curriculum, but I'm pretty confident it will get thumbs up. It's written in the same conversational and direct-to-the-student style as The Power in Your Hands, with grammar lessons and a bit of humor sprinkled among the solid teaching. The text covers:

Point of View
Fairy Tales
Characters and Characterization
Empathetic Lead
Character Motivation
The Antagonist
Character Arc
Connotations, Verb Tense, Parallelism
Narrative Summary
Mirror Scenes
Beginnings and Endings
Getting Published 

There are works of fiction read and discussed throughout the course, and there are several movies to watch as part of the lessons as well. I'm very excited about that, as the movies are some that are favorites already. One book, The Last Book In The Universe by Rodman Philbrick, is referred to often in the text so that one is recommended to purchase, but the others are fine to borrow from the library if we don't already own them. The text also offers a track for all writers to follow, and a manuscript track that is optional but is designed for students who have written a short story or novel or are working on one. The Teacher's Guide isn't as "full" as the one for The Power in Your Hands, and I am a little concerned about being able to grade fiction writing as easily. But overall, from what I've seen so far, the course will be easy to teach and follow, and I think it will be so much fun for all of us!

Kennady has already written quite a few short stories so she is interested in trying her hand at a longer work of fiction. Who knows? Anything is possible! And how fun if she winds up being published?!


I hope you'll check back in the next school year for some updates on how it's going!

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

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


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.

Read our full review of the non-fiction writing course here: The Power in Your Hands (A Schoolhouse Crew Review) and the update in the Blogging Through the Alphabet series here: The Power in Your Hands (Blogging Through the Alphabet).

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

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 23, Letter W.

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 Things; and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Joanne said...

That does sound like a great curriculum. We finally settled on Writeshop 1 for Freshman year; hopefully it goes well. Writing is the one subject all three of my boys balk at and hate the most.

Carlie Lake said...

Well, Kym, you got me thinking about yet another curriculum choice, and here I thought I had it all figured out. :) We've used Sharon Watson's Jump In before and really liked it. My daughter loves to write but struggles to actually finish the novel she sees in her head; this sounds like a great resource. Thanks for reviewing it.

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

This sounds very exciting!

Linda at Apron Strings & other things said...

I'm thinking this is what I need for my daughter for next year. Thank you for the recommendation!

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