Essentials in Writing

I’d love to hear some thoughts about Essentials in Writing. I’m specifically looking for reviews on the high school levels, not younger grades. I did look at a sample video from their web site but would like to learn more about what you and your kids thought/liked/disliked about the program from those who have used it. I haven’t seen very much about this program “out there”! Thank you!

I haven’t used them personally (don’t you just love responses that start that way! lol) :wink: but if possible to attend a Homeschool Convention/Expo, I’d highly recommend it. EIW had a rep there that really went into detail with me about how the program worked, student samples and of course samples of all their products. It was extremely helpful. I’d love to see actual user responses too, so I’ll be looking for those on here. Good luck!

Essentials in Writing has worked well here. I’ve used levels 7-12 (but only a bit of 12).

Level 7 came out the year my oldest was in 9th–it was the highest level out that year, but Cathy Duffy’s review said it would work fine for high school, so I used it because my son really needed the approach. I wrote a review about doing that on my blog.

All of the likes that I wrote there apply to the high school levels as well. I haven’t had the sound quality issues since, so they have fixed that. This is an incremental approach, the author does a good job of modeling the writing process (including modeling the process of making mistakes or changing your mind as you write), and the videos are short–very doable in that way.

One dislike I would add–in level 11, I didn’t feel that the lesson on writing a literary essay properly prepared the student for writing any essay that wasn’t using the same device as the example given–I think that part needs work. (I suspect 12 is probably the same for that particular essay–we actually won’t get to that this year because we are only using 12 for this spring–my dd has used EiW for 5 years now, and we’ve done more writing across the curriculum and things like working on scholarship essays instead, so I’m just picking and choosing from the EiW assignments).

All in all though, it really helped us establish a solid writing base, especially for my oldest, and helped him succeed where other programs didn’t. (My youngest didn’t have the same struggles and probably would have done fine with any program). I even solidified a few comma-use rules for myself! He always starts off by working on sentences and clauses, then paragraphs, and then to essays and a research paper. We found that to be a very helpful progression.

HTH some!

1 Like

Thank you! I really appreciate the review, here and on your blog! This is helpful. My daughter is almost finished with Jump In this year and has surprisingly liked writing with this program. I bought Writing With Skill for next year but after being able to see it in person I don’t think it will be a good fit for her and I was leaning towards EIW. This sounds like it will better for her since it seems like it starts basic and grows from there. Thank you very much!

1 Like

Unfortunately, I would have to drive very far and stay in a hotel to attend a convention. Abeka comes every year, not a convention -just Abeka, to my area but I don’t use any of their materials! I wish homeschooling was so common that everyone had local stores where they could actually hold and see materials!! :heart_eyes:

1 Like

I hope it works out well for her!