Do you have a student who isn’t overly impressed with learning about the writing process? I do! Our over-active 8 year old wants to do anything and everything but sit and write! However, we had the opportunity to review Flight 1 Paragraph Writing from Here to Help Learning as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
What we reviewed was all online, but there are physical copies you can purchase if you would prefer to go that route. If so, what we are reviewing here would be Teacher’s Kit Flight 1 Paragraph Writing. A lot of times I prefer physical copies but I must say that doing this online wasn’t bad at all! This program is broken down into the following: Flight 1, 2, 3 Paragraph Writing [for grades 1-3] and Flights, 1, 2, 3 Essay Writing [appropriate for grades 4-6]. You can find out about their system requirements by clicking HERE.
Here to Help Learning is a program that brings God – as well as fun – to the “learning to write” process – something my son seriously dislikes. Let me tell you a little about the owners – Forrest and Beth Mora are homeschool parents of eight children. They have been homeschooling for twenty years and have one child left at home. God is intertwined throughout this program (which is something we especially love!). You can ready about what they believe HERE.
This program has only one login (not one for the teacher and one for the student) which is not a problem since, in all honesty, this isn’t really something I think my 8 year old son could do alone. Once you login you are taken to the members page and you click on “Writing” in the top menu. Then you choose “Level 1, 2 or 3”. We are using / reviewing / talking about Level 1 here.
After logging in and clicking “writing” then “Flight 1,” this is what you see (below). You actually have access to both the Paragraph Writing and the Essay Writing but we haven’t looked at the Essay Writing – so I have no idea what it is. There are other reviewers on The Crew reviewing that though so you can check out their reviews if you are interested in that (click link below). So, back to our stuff…
Once here you click on the appropriate box under the appropriate lesson. As I am writing this review, after several weeks of being able to use this product, I realize we have only but just begun! WOW! There is A LOT covered here! Even though they all aren’t shown in the picture below, there are 32 lessons available.
[One thing I do wish this program had was tracking of what you have completed and what you have not. Online programs without this option make it more difficult to know where we left off and where we need to start. I think us homeschooling moms (some of us working too) have a lot on our plates and it just makes it much more user friendly if tracking is offered. ANYWAY, I suppose in the big scheme of things this isn’t that big of a deal … just something to mention.]
Now, it is recommended that you work through each lesson using two days a week, one lesson per week. We actually found it worked best for us to go ahead and do the entire lesson at one time.
Once you click on the box, you are taken to a screen that looks like this – so far every lesson has this exact same look. This is nice because I don’t have to go searching and looking all over for anything, I know right where it is. The links on the right of the top picture are the videos available for this lesson. They are: Pre-Flight Checklist, Flight Check-In, Take Off, Full Throttle and Flying Solo. These are the same for each lesson but the Full Throttle and Flying Solo change as the lessons progress.
The videos for the lesson are at the top. The pages needed to print are at the bottom. I did have some confusion as to where each sheet was supposed to go so I got to where I only printed the one or two pages that were actually needed instead of all the pages available. This was helpful for our printer ink purposes as well. [As a side note, the videos watched can be increased so they take over the entire screen, if you prefer (which we did / do).]
We did have a bit of difficulty with Lesson 1 as we weren’t sure how the program worked and the information in the video (that the kids use) is different than what your student will use – but once we figured that out we were good to go.
We really appreciated how the owner (Beth Mora) dresses up and “plays the different parts” of different things throughout the lessons. This helped bring humor and interest to the writing process.
Okay, so the program we used is about the writing process:
- Make a List
- First Rough Draft
- First Input
- Second Rough Draft
- Second Input
- Final Recopy
Part of what the student does during the warm-up phase of the lessons is use a word box (as shown below). I think this is one of the best things this program had to offer for Philip – it really helped him to narrow down some ideas and then use those to write about.
As animal lovers, we enjoyed having the flight captain being a basset hound! His name is “Captain Knucklehead” which we have to chuckle every time we hear that too. You will find him at the “Flying Solo” parts of the lessons.
Below is part of the work we did. It is shared in the program that the students writing ability will determine whether they write it or dictate the information. Philip is NOT a writer … he never has been. So, he dictates and I write. Eventually, as time goes, I will have him write more and more. As it says at the top left, this is the “make a list” part of the writing process.
During this review period we were able to complete an entire writing project (six lessons). Now that we have made it through the first project, I am starting to understand how the program works and will be more able to guide Philip through the remaining 25-ish lessons. This is definitely a program I intend to continue using!
Although there as been some confusion with different aspects of the program, we absolutely LOVE the way the program works. (And works it does!)
As a last note, in general I get the idea / feeling that this program was originally more geared toward a co-op setting for using it in more of a classroom setting which makes is a little more difficult to understand the flow as someone who is using it with just one student but in general it didn’t affect our usage of this program.
Ways to keep up with Here to Help Learning:
Now hop over and read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew! (Keep in mind that reviews will be posted any time between 3/7 and 3/9 so make sure to come back and see them all!)
Here’s praying you have fun learning!