Our newest homeschool review is The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School 2nd Edition by Sharon Watson, from Writing with Sharon Watson. As you can see by the title this is a course to improve your high schooler's nonfiction writing assignments and reports.
I received both the student book The Power in Your Hands and the Teacher's Guide. The course is really a blessing in that it is easy for my daughter to work through on her own. She does not require a lot of oversight. The Teacher's Guide itself is full of helpful information on grading your students writing assignments. I like that they have included the Proofreading Marks Chart. This chart not only shows you the different marks, but they also give examples so you know how to use them properly when grading a report. This makes it so much easier now to read through, correct the papers and of course give a grade. The Teacher's Guide has been a BIG help, and I feel that I even learned a few new things.
Now for the student book, I like that the very first lesson has the student answer some questions about their own writing. The second lessons helps them with getting started, planning and choosing a topic. Once they are through these two lessons, the work begins. The lessons are sort of labeled by Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Writers, in that some of the beginning lessons will be easy for those who are intermediate or advanced writers. The workbook itself will teach your student how to put together a well written assignment. They will learn the best ways to put across their ideas, arguments and beliefs. They will be able to construct sentences and paragraphs with proper grammar and form. They will have a well rounded idea of nonfiction writing. I know my daughter is going to be interested in the section on newspaper writing when we get to it as she presently has a blog where she and her sister do interviews of christians writers, missionaries and southern gospel singers.
Here are a just few of the section titles:
Thinking and Planning
Persuasion (There are actually several sections on different types of persuasion.)
Common Grammar Mistakes
And many more.
The Power in Your Hands is very well written and easy for M to understand. The book is over 400 pages in length and is extremely thorough. She has not had any problems thus far and I highly recommend this homeschool writing program to my homeschooling neighbors here. Your student should be able to produce a well written nonfiction report once they have finished this course.
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Please take a moment to read what other TOS Crew members had to say about their experiences with The Power in Your Hands as well as some reviewers received 21 Grading Grids for Popular High School Essays and a Position Paper.