3rd grade Writing Curriculum (not IEW)

My dd (almost 8) loves the idea of writing stories, but she struggles with what to write. I want to help her. For 3rd grade (in the fall), I want to add a writing curriculum. I love the look of IEW, but the investment of both time and money is a bit too much right now. I will reconsider it for next year. I am looking for suggestions on what to use this year. I want to work on teaching correct structure for writing letters, book reports, short stories, … I’d also like to spend less than $100. Thoughts?

I’m in a smilar boat, so I’ve been researching writing and grammar programs for next year for my kids who will be 4th and 2nd graders. I’m thinking about going with Essentials in Writing. There is a DVD where the teacher goes through the lessons and an accompanying workbook for the student. This makes it an activity the students can largely due independently with the parent advising and grading,if your student doesn’t have too hard of a time with writing. It goes from 1st-12th grades. It is $67 if you get the dvd and the workbook, $87 if you get the dvd, workbooks and a PDF of the workbook which would enable you to print additional copies of the workbook if you will have younger siblings and want to reuse. They have some other pricing options as well. They have sample videos online, which my kids really enjoyed, and you can see lots of samples. It seems really solid and I like that it teaches age appropriate grammar and structure along with the writing, so I won’t have to also get a separate grammar program. Here’s the link to 3rd Grade: http://essentialsinwriting.com/level-3/
Just sharing an option I’m also considering, not affiliated with the company or getting paid to share the information.

I’ll be interested to see what other people suggest too before I make my final decision. I would also love to hear from anyone who has used this program.


I have used WriteShop Junior for my daughter. We started using it last year when my daughter was in 3rd grade. She loves it. It does a great job of coaching the student how to write about different topics. It’s fairly inexpensive as well.

I have used Essentials in Writing too, I like it and it’s inexpensive in comparison to other programs. The only thing to be aware of (which I wasn’t) is the fact that the first half of the program is grammar, the second half is writing. We sped through those lessons as we already knew/understood a lot of the grammar and we slowed down for the writing lessons which take a little more time. We are going to try IEW this year but if that doesn’t work out, I know the fall back will be EIW.

@clwho just a side note about the grammar. If does have grammar but I would say the grammar is very gentle in approach, we were able to do multiple lessons a day sometimes. Depending on what you are looking for in grammar, it may or may not be enough. Also as I mentioned above the first half is grammar, it is not necessarily integrated throughout the whole program.

I think I will look into Essentials in Writing a bit more. I appreciate the suggestions.

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Thank you for letting me know about the grammar. I didn’t realize that. I’m not sure if it’s a deal breaker for us or not, but certainly something I need to consider.

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@melissabell0205 I’m not sure if you are still looking into writing curriculum for the fall, but I recently came across Treasured Conversations which is a writing through guided analysis curriculum for grades 3-5. The cost is affordable at only $30 for the teacher and student book (both are pdf downloads so also reusable). It might be worth looking into :slight_smile: Here is the link: http://www.treasuredconversations.com/

Thank you. I decided to go with BJU English. I like the easy lessons, and they alternate chapters of writing, grammar, writing …