Have you ever struggled with teaching, evaluating, or grading your child's writing assignments? If so, then SoVerbose might be a good solution.
This online curriculum was recently reviewed by Homeschool Mosaics.
Check out what they had to say: http://homeschoolmosaics.com/so-verbose/
My oldest daughter is a voracious writer. She was the little girl who was always dreaming of what she wanted to be and do when she grew up. Now, she’s 19, and is often found either writing on her computer, or putting words to paper with a pen or pencil (she actually says she prefers this “old-fashioned” method). So, when her sister came along and complained about every. single. writing. assignment, I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. She’s my realist; and she has always struggled with writing.
A few years ago, someone turned me on to the writing materials by IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing). I must say, that program was our writing savior! Andrew Pudewa says that not all kids are ready for creative writing; and his methods totally ease children into the idea of writing on their own. It worked! From the time we introduced that program to her, Gracie never complained about writing.
So, this year, when I was offered the opportunity to have her try an online writing class through So Verbose, I thought the time might be right.
Before agreeing to the review, I discussed it with Gracie. She thought, too, that she might be ready for a more mature approach to writing. And, after perusing the list of available courses, we agreed upon Introduction to Essay 1.
As I write this, Gracie has completed five of the weekly assignments and is heading into week 6. I have had absolutely no complaints from her when I’ve reminded her to do her writing. In fact, I often don’t have to remind her – she takes the initiative and gets the assignments done on her own.
So how does the program work?
Classes are offered in Quarters. (Quarter 3 classes are now open for sign-ups, and will be open through January 21st, based on availability.)
There are classes available for students in grades 3 – 12. Some classes (like the II and III classes) are dependent upon having taken the previous courses in the series.
Classes run weekly (normally Monday – Monday, or Thursday – Thursday) with the instructor sending out the assignment one week and assignments being complete and turned back in (via e-mail) the next week.
What do we think?
I’ve been very pleased! I was very impressed the first week when Mrs. Grape sent back Gracie’s first assessment. She gave Gracie praise, while also pointing out the things that Gracie did wrong:
Your paragraphs are fairly good. You definitely understand the concept of focusing on a topic and keeping thoughts organized. You do have some spelling and structure mistakes which you can find in bold below.
The major mistake is that you didn’t follow the directions.
For paragraphs 1-3, you were supposed to highlight the topic sentence, underline the unnecessary sentence, and explain why that sentence was unnecessary.
For paragraphs 4-6, you were supposed to highlight the topic sentence in each.
This was not done.
I think it really impressed me because she knew that I would be writing a review on her program, yet graded Gracie just like she would any other student. Gracie took her words to heart, corrected her mistakes, resubmitted her work (for a new grade),and determined to do better the following week. I was pleased that she was fair in her grading.
Since that first week, Gracie has consistently done better. The second week, she got this grade back:
You did a great job with this assignment. You used some creative thoughts about your vision on 2065, but most importantly, you used excellent sentence structure and grammar. Furthermore, you met the word requirement and demonstrated good use of transition words.
Even though she has never had personal interaction with Mrs. Grape, she respects her and wants to do a good job for her. I love that she is writing and that I don’t have to try to subjectively grade her (sometimes I think that’s difficult when we are teaching our own children – especially if we are “teaching to excellence”).
Will we continue to use So Verbose?
Yes! I asked Gracie what she wanted to do for writing when she completed this course – if she would like to take the next course in the series, go back to more IEW, or find something else. She said – without hesitation – that she would like to continue with more courses from So Verbose.
At $45 per course, I think they are well-worth the price for the peace of mind it gives me as a homeschool mom and the feelings of success that it is offering my 12-year-old former reluctant writer. To me, that’s the best review!
You can learn more about So Verbose by visiting their website. If none of the classes offered seem “just right” for your child, feel free to contact them about individualized tutoring.