A few months ago the Growing With Grammar folks released their new writing program – Winning With Writing. Since Growing With Grammar has been such a success in our homeschool, effectively getting her grammar skills up very fast our first year, I was very anxious to start Winning With Writing. We haven’t found a writing program that we found both effective and easy to use until now with WWW. Satori’s writing skills have really blossomed this summer, and I know that WWW has played a large part.

The kind folks helped me select which level of book to start with and even sent me a free book to review. This does not affect my review however, and I am not affiliated with them other than this free book. I wanted to get through the program enough to be able to write an informative review, and we will be starting Lesson 14 next week, when we officially get back to serious schoolwork again. Although we have only three month’s worth of a very relaxed summer under our belt, this blog post will detail our initial thoughts and experience.  I definitely plan to blog again this fall once we’ve gotten more into the program.

What Is Winning With Writing?

The Winning With Writing (WWW) program is a complete writing program with 8 different levels, from Grade 1 through Grade 8 (named Levels so that students can work higher or lower without thinking they are behind/ahead). Each level has 36 lessons, which corresponds to a typical 36-week school year, with each lesson comprised of five days. The first day introduces the concept with a short exercise. The next days expand on the concept with more exercise work. Toward the end of the lesson, the student may be exploring and experimenting with their own writing. The books are divided up into two semesters – First Semester and Second Semester, dividing the books so they are easier to handle. All lessons and written work is included in these books, it is the ultimate open-and-go curriculum. They are spiral bound so they lie flat, which we like very much. The Complete Set, which is the best deal, is only $25.99 for the two semester workbooks and two semester answer keys.

Which Level?

I was up in the air about starting with either Level 3 or Level 4 though, but with the help of their customer service and the fact that Satori does not yet effectively write in paragraphs helped me solidify my choice – Level 3. Level 3 starts the student in Paragraphs by Lesson 13 in the First Semester and expands on various paragraph types throughout the Second Semester, expecting one paragraph work at that time. Level 4 assumes 3-paragraph work in which Satori would not be ready at this time.

A complete Winning With Writing Scope and Sequence can be found on their website to aid you in determining your child’s appropriate level.

Level 3 Table of Contents

(You can see the Table of Contents and Sample Lessons for any Level on their website)

What We’ve Learned So Far in Level 3

As Satori has an insatiable appetite for writing, so the first few lessons of Level 3 have been a review. Pretty much everything we’ve covered so far she has enjoyed learning and has consequently utilized the concepts in her independent writings. Shortly after learning the basics such as Word Order and Sentences, the program gets into helpful writing skills like descriptive verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Her writing is filled with such descriptive parts of speech, and I thank both Growing With Grammar (we also use Level 3) and Winning With Writing for that.

New for Satori that we haven’t learned in any other grammar or writing programs was learning about Similes and Metaphors. I’ve noticed she is now spicing up her writing by using such techniques.

Varying Sentences lesson has been helpful, as children at this age typically write short choppy sentences.  We learned that using different sentence lengths makes the story easier to read. She cannot stand to read early reader books as they have such short sentences, she calls it “bad literature”, lol. Even I’m learning to improve my own writing. 🙂 Satori’s own writings include a nice combination of long and short sentences, so I’d say she took these lessons to heart as well. For another peek into the program, you can see 18-pages of sample lessons.

As you can see, the lessons are short so reluctant writers shouldn’t have any problem getting the program done each day. Some “Days” only take us a few minutes however, so we’ve been doing 2-3 lessons each workday.

After every five Lessons, there is a 5-day Lesson review, covering the previous five lessons.

Best Deal – the Complete Package

If you get the Complete Package (adds $2 for both answer books) or order the Answer Keys separately ($3), you’ll get smaller spiral-bound books with the answers. Maybe in the early grades you may not need answers, but I find the Complete Package such a great deal that we will probably get the whole set going forward.

There are no tests included such as they offer in the GWG program, but it’s easy to see if concepts were indeed learned just by looking at my daughter’s writing.

Ending Thoughts

We really look forward this fall to continue using Winning With Writing – the only writing program we’ve found so easy to implement with its open-and-go ease! It’s very structured so age-appropriate writing skills are gained quickly. The lessons are all laid out so there’s no excuse not to get to writing each day. I think that this program could even possibly be used independently, perhaps Satori will use it that way at level 4. The price is great, their shipping fast, and the lessons absolutely painless to include everyday.

As mostly classical homeschoolers ourselves, writing is one subject we stray from the recommendations of just doing narration and dictation for writing for the grammar years (grade 1-4). Writing brings such pleasure to Satori that I am happy to help her along with the skills to write even more.