Write With World
I met an Amish woman named Frannie (name changed to protect her true identity) in 1995. She lived just a few miles from me, and we became close friends. She was a lovely woman and very intelligent. Though many Amish shy away from outsiders, she welcomed me into her home and her life. Someday I will share more about our special friendship.
Frannie gave my husband and me our first magazine subscription to World, a news magazine. We were so impressed with this publication, that we re-subscribed year after year and told others about it too. It is a Christian news magazine and tells the current world news through a Christian perspective.
Of course, she did all of this quietly, and with her husband's approval. However, the Amish bishop and Amish church would have made her stop had they known about her activities. But it is one of the very qualities that attracted me to her. Unlike many Amish who are reserved, she was very outgoing. She spoke of the bible and her love for Jesus. She was interesting. She had a "mind of her own" so to speak.
Frannie and her husband did not shield themselves, or their children from the realities of the world. Instead they shared things like the World magazine with them, and taught them to view world events from a biblical perspective. Yes, Frannie also taught them to view the world with an Amish perspective too. I think that was an attempt to prevent them from being shunned should they ever decide to disagree with their church and culture in which they were raised. But her heart was to give them a bigger biblical perspective about world events. At the time I met her she was a young mother of 3 children. I was blessed to spend many years learning from her and gleaning wisdom she would share as I watched her raise those three, plus several more, children.
Now, here I am all these years later with my own family of six children. Like Frannie, I want my children to know what is happening in the world around them. I allow them to use the computers, electronic games, have magazine subscriptions, watch TV programs, and more. My oldest also reads the news online.
Given all this exposure, how will I teach my children to understand the world around them and know truth from fiction? How will I teach them to view the current events in the world from a biblical perspective? This is perhaps one of the strongest reasons that I choose to homeschool my kids. Not to hide them away, or shield them from truth. But rather, to safely expose them to world events, culture, etc, and show them the world in a Christ centered way, so they can learn to view the world through a biblical perspective rather than through a pop culture perspective.
I have researched resources to help me teach a Christian worldview to my children. There are many great curriculum products on the market to help with this. One thing I highly value in writing this website, is the opportunity to review Christian centered curriculum options and share what I have found with families who read this website.
Write with World
Recently, I was given a children's curriculum book called Write with World, produced by God's World Publications. Amazingly these are the same folks who wrote the World magazine my friend gave me and we have read now for so many years.
We had subscribed to the children's version of the news magazine called God's World News for a year several years ago. But due to finances, we let go of most of our subscriptions to magazines a few years ago. Knowing how well produced it was, made me even more interested to review this new curriculum product for homeschool families. Plus, my oldest son does not enjoy writing, and I am interested in trying different methods that encourage him to develop an interest and motivate him to want to write.
Write with World has a website at www.writewithworld.com where you can view their mission statement, download samples, and learn more about how this curriculum works. But here is my simplified explanation.
Write with World is RELEVANT for this generation.
Write with World is a two year writing curriculum for grades 6-9. It takes current events that are relevant for today and gets your kids interested in writing about them. It can be used alone, or used in conjunction with the God's World News or World magazines to further enhance the learning.
Year One / Book One uses a form of guided journaling with question and answer format to develop writing skills. It takes relevant subjects in our everyday lives and expands on the understanding of those subjects and incorporates writing in the process. For example: one of the first writing assignments is about the advertising campaign of Chick-Fil-A. It looks at why their advertising is successful. It looks at humor, and irony in the campaign. It compares that to marketing of other brands and household products too. It also looks at hidden suggestions in advertising and more.
By the time your student finishes unit one, they have journaled their way through 5 writing lessons (lessons are called capsules). By the time they finish their year one / book one of Write with World they have completed four of these units, 20 capsules or writing lessons, and learned to define 60 vocabulary words and how to use them in practical writing. They also learned to evaluate the world around them in the process. They have learned to write story board cards with post-it notes, and put together a fictional story too. Then they are ready to progress into Year Two /Book Two.
Here is the table of contents for books one and two (taken from their website):
Table of Contents:
YEAR ONE CURRICULUM
UNIT #1: DEVELOPING CRITICAL READERS
Lesson 1: Reading Images and Advertisements
Lesson 2: Comparative Reading: Sentences
Lesson 3: Comparative and Critical Reading: Paragraphs
Lesson 4: Critical Reading: Essays
UNIT#2: DEVELOPING WRITERS: BUILDING BLOCKS AND BIOGRAPHY
Lesson 1: The Paragraph
Lesson 2: Composing and Linking Sentences
Lesson 3: Creating Focus and Arranging Ideas
Lesson 4: Linking Paragraphs: Transitions and Logic
UNIT #3: WRITING AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Lesson 1: Reporting Facts
Lesson 2: Creating Character
Lesson 3: Developing Ideas with Specificity
Lesson 4: Writing Autobiography
UNIT #4: CRAFTING NARRATIVES
Lesson 1: Developing a Point of View
Lesson 2: Showing vs. Telling
Lesson 3: Narrative with a Purpose
Lesson 4: Writing a Fictional Narrative
YEAR TWO CURRICULUM
UNIT #1: REPORTING AND INTERPRETING: MAKING NEWS
Lesson 1: Working with Controversy
Lesson 2: Conducting Interviews
Lesson 3: Reporting a Story
Lesson 4: Developing a Feature
UNIT #2: REVIEWING TEXTS
Lesson 1: Good or Bad, Like or Dislike: Working with Criteria
Lesson 2: Evaluating a Current Event
Lesson 3: Reporting on a Book
Lesson 4: Writing about controversy
UNIT #3: CRAFTING AN OPINION: JOINING A CONVERSATION
Lesson 1: Reading as a Believer and as a Doubter
Lesson 2: Critiquing an Opinion Statement
Lesson 3: Responding to Opinion: Your Voice
Lesson 4: Your Opinion: a Response
UNIT #4: THE ESSAY
Lesson 1: Opportunity, Material, and Reasons
Lesson 2: Writing the Short Essay
Lesson 3: Revealing your thinking and addressing audience concerns
Lesson 4: Writing your Essay
Our opinion about this curriculum.
I really like this product. It is colorful, interesting, and relevant. It takes something that most kids find boring and rote, and makes it interesting.
Up till now, my sons have not enjoyed writing. I usually get lots of groans when I ask them to write out their ideas, write vocabulary words, or write a story. I don't know why writing is such a struggle. Here in this picture, my son is demonstrating his feelings about writing; "A big snore!"
But he is enjoying this curriculum, it is engaging and I am excited to use it with him.
I think any parent can use this in a flexible way with their kids and use it for more than the suggested ages. I personally think it is a great curriculum for adults too. My children and I will continue to learn with Write With World during the coming months and I hope to be ready for book two soon.
I hope working with this curriculum will develop a love of writing for my children. I want them to be able to communicate their ideas in oral and written form. Up till now, I haven't pushed a lot of writing activities. I didn't want my sons to resent writing. I encouraged them, but I stopped short of pushing it. This curriculum seems to have the interest level to encourage writing about interesting subjects my children will enjoy. More importantly, I hope it will also strengthen their Christian worldview and help them to be critical thinkers and able to analyze what is going on around them.
Since working with Write with World, everywhere I go lately, I am drawn to the advertising on billboards and paying attention to the message it is sending. On the way to Winston Salem NC a few weeks ago, we spotted several Chick-Fil-A signs along the highway and we discussed the message, humor, irony, and the goal of the ads. The kids were proud of themselves for learning to see things in a whole new way.
The Write with World curriculum can be ordered at their website here and they have more products coming soon. In addition to the middle school curriculum, they are also producing a future highschool curriculum which will be on the market next year to continue the learning.
While you are checking things out, be sure to check out their wonderful news magazines. World News Magazine is the publication for adults that we have subscribed to for many years, and God's World News is the publication for children full of current events and activities.
Read what others on the TOS Homeschool Crew had to say here .
I was sent pilot editions of the teachers book and student workbook (of book one/year one) for the purpose of writing an honest review.