I love math. I’ve found some great tools for helping me teach math. I don’t love writing. Yes, I see the irony in that statement. She has a blog, she writes reviews, but she doesn’t love writing? I like teaching writing even less than I like formal academic writing. Maybe it’s because I lack confidence in my own ability to write or maybe it’s just that formal writing is much more intimidating than informal writing for fun. I want my daughters to be able to communicate their thoughts in writing. I want them to be prepared for college writing. I know they need to be able to write formal academic papers if for no other reason than they need that skill for college.
Fortuigence, founded by Lily Iatridis, offers online writing courses that prep students for high school and college writing. Ms. Iatridis is a former classroom teacher with a heart for homeschoolers. Fortuigence currently offers a FREE course for parents, Top Reach, as well as full 1/2 credit course for high school students, Essay Rock Star.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew could choose from any of the four short courses that are part of Essay Rock Star. I let Turtlegirl choose which one interested her the most. She chose Essay Rock Star Persuasive Essay Writing Course. I think they all look interesting: Personal Statement, Expository Essay, and Textual Analysis.
The goal of each course is to teach mastery of skills. These skills are taught in 5 steps through 7 Lessons. These lessons move at the pace of the student so length of course will vary from student to student but many students will finish in about 4 weeks or 1/2 of a quarter.
Since Turtlegirl took the course (and completed it!), I asked her to write up a description of the program and how it works. She also shared her opinion.
Begin Turtlegirl’s Words:
Rock Star Essay Online Course utilizes a virtual classroom, comprised of two parts. The first part is the lesson itself. It includes a video, along with explanations and examples of what's being covered. For example, there are examples of a completed free draft in the free draft lesson (Note: you have to click on a link that will take you to another page that has the example. The example, as well as the outlines, are available as a pdf download for the students to have on their computer for future writing projects.)
How it Works:
First, I would log in and click on ‘classroom’. Then I would watch the short video which summarized the lesson. Then I would actually read through the lesson. When I came across an example, or template, I would save it to my ‘Rock Star Journal’ for use with later writing projects. After I looked at the examples, I would do work on the project part. I would write it out on my computer in my document writer program and then I would copy/paste it into the allotted space in the ‘submit assignment’ area. If I had the right document type, I could’ve simply uploaded the document. In order for the assignment to be sent to the teacher for feedback, I had to check the box marked ‘Finish’ and click Save/Submit.
I could not move on until the teacher had looked over my work, determined if and what I needed to work on before moving on, and then send me an email. Most of the time, I was simply told ‘Good job!’ and then some specific details on what I had done well. Then I was told ‘Go ahead and move on to the next lesson’. Another time, I was told “You’re doing really well, but you need to flesh out your main points’. I could not move on until I had worked on fleshing out my main points, and then submitting that ‘edited’ assignment. After I submitted it again, I had to wait for another email telling me that I had done the work to the teacher’s satisfaction. Then the teacher would tell me ‘OK, now you can move on.’
One of my biggest weaknesses is confidence. The method of feedback my instructor used did a lot to boost my confidence. Before I was told what I needed to fix, or change, I was told what I did well. And that was very important and helpful for me.
I also learned a better method for writing papers. Before, I thought I had to do the paragraphs in order. This course taught me that the paper turned out better and stronger when I did the body paragraphs before the introduction and conclusion.
End Turtlegirl’s Words
Turtlegirl was this close to mastering persuasive essay writing. She was able to obtain mastery with this course. She and I are both confident that she can write well. We’ll be taking those skills she has learned and applying them to other essay types. I love that she gained so much confidence in her own writing ability.
- The Vendor: Fortuigence
- The Product: Essay Rock Star Persuasive Essay Writing Course
- Format: Online Class
- Age Range: Ideal for ages 12-18
- Price: Individual Short Course is $57
Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about Essay Rock Star Writing Courses from Fortuigence.
You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.