Writing programs are everywhere. Finding one that fits your child can sometimes be difficult. For the Past 6 weeks Popper has been using Flight 1 Paragraph writing from Here to Help Learning. We used the online program. However, there is a physical product available for purchase.
There are 6 levels of content available to chose from:
Flight 1 Paragraph (Popper's level)
Flight 2 Paragraph
Flight 3 Paragraph
Flight 1 Essay
Flight 2 Essay
Flight 3 Essay
I was really excited to try this program. Not only is Here to Help Biblically based, it also has great success stories for people with dyslexia along with other special needs. I was beyond hopeful that this would help Popper learn about the writing process and really enjoy it.
Before you begin the program there are books that need to be printed, both a teacher's book and a student book. Also, before each 'flight' there are worksheets for both the teacher and student that you will need to print. The teacher sheet really walk you through the instruction process. The students sheets include a memory verse, Take-off Game, Writing Warm-up, The Writing Process, and Full-Throttle.
We chose to not participate in the memory verse because we had a memory verse for church that we were working on together. The game and warm-up were to be done together and the full-throttle is for the student to work on alone.
My main advice is to watch at least the 1st video before you show your child. It can be confusing. There are times when you have to pause the video and work through something, play a game, or have a discussion with your child. Watching it first can remove the confusion and help you become more familiar with the way the program works.
Here to Help Learning suggests using the program 2 days a week. Day 1 is to watch videos and work through activities, games, and discussions together. Day 2 is for the students complete the "Flying Solo" assignment. We tried it this way at first. However, we found that completing it all in one day worked better for our learning style. With the information fresh, Popper was able to better complete the assignment.
All 3 kiddos really enjoyed the videos and playing 'Sentence, No Sentence." We used this game to help us really understand what parts are needed to make a complete sentence. It was a great refresher for Popper and learning time for Brother Bear and Sister. They loved that the host, Ms. Beth, dressed up in costumes and really acted the part of each lesson. She brought the lessons to life in a fun interactive way. It made the instructions more memorable. It placed this program right into our fun-schooling category!
Each lesson has a 'Writing Warm-up.' There is a worksheet to print out that has a picture, a word box, and a space to write your story. The pictures are always very random and funny. In the one above it is a picture of a penguin with pom poms on a killer whale. The giggles that followed the picture reveal were priceless! The kiddos couldn't wait to see the new picture each week!
Some days Popper had a harder time with writing than others. On those days we would work through the process together. I would put the word box on the white board as the kiddos called out words that described the picture. With the fun pictures there were always more words than box. Then we would work together taking those words and creating a story about the picture. I really tried to focus on complete thoughts and sentences.
I believe that practice was important even on those harder days. I would have Popper copy 6 of the words onto the actual worksheet and copy one sentence from the story. It worked much better this way. Not only did we avoid major meltdowns and tears, but the littles got to be involved more in the learning process. I believe that they were better able to process the information in the a fun playful way through this program.
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