My 7-year-old son, Leo, is a writer. In fact, his blog predates my own by several months. Leo has always been drawn to pencil and paper, and he taught himself to read through his writing.
However, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the process is not always easy.
The physical act of writing can be difficult.
He has so many ideas that he gets overwhelmed and gives up.
He has difficulty organizing his ideas on paper.
He has so many projects started in his bedroom that many end up lost or damaged.
Sometimes, the blank page intimidates him and his mind goes blank.
I always wonder whether I should look into web-based tools to help the process along, but the idea stays right there on my mental to-do list and I never get around to taking action.
But then I was introduced to WriteWell.
*Disclosure: I received WriteWell at no cost and was compensated for my time. I was not required to write a positive review. As always, I only share products that I feel are of value to my readers, and products that I would use with my own family.
HOMESCHOOLING WITH WRITEWELL
WriteWell is a web-based tool that guides writers through the process, for students in grades 4 – 12. We have been using WriteWell in our homeschool for a few weeks now and I’m happy with the results. I love to incorporate writing into our homeschool routine and family life, but sometimes the mechanics and organization of writing can be challenging for Leo. WriteWell has helped him with the aspects of writing that are harder for him.
As a homeschooling parent, here are some of the things I like about WriteWell:
- It is a fantastic tool for visual learners, as it is colorful and visually appealing.
- WriteWell is a great way to overcome your fear of the blank page, as there are multiple templates and prompts from which to choose.
- WriteWell makes the process of writing less overwhelming, as it presents material in smaller chunks. This is perfect for students with attention difficulties.
- As the parent of a child who struggles with executive functioning, I love how WriteWell shows students the steps toward organization.
- WriteWell is a good tool for kids who have oodles and oodles of ideas but don’t know what to do with them. It’s perfect for use while brainstorming, or for use as a brain dump!
- WriteWell is essentially teaching my son the concept of outlining, without direct instruction. I think this will make outlining easier to learn when we get to that point.
HOW WE HAVE USED WRITEWELL IN OUR HOMESCHOOL:
We have been experimenting with WriteWell over the past month or so, and we have enjoyed it quite a bit! Sometimes, Leo uses WriteWell independently, and other times he dictates his many ideas to me and I type them into the program.
Here are some examples of how Leo has used the program:
- As a place to have a brain dump of current worries
- To draft a letter to a pen pal
- To store ideas for an upcoming blog post
- As a space to brainstorm questions for an upcoming interview
I’m toying with the idea of using WriteWell for some of my own blog planning, too, because I’ve seen how well it works for Leo when he needs to store and organize his ideas.
HOW WRITEWELL WORKS:
1. Start with Templates
Choose from a library of common writing styles, in the following categories: college, high school, middle school, elementary, and blogging.
Examples of elementary school templates include:
Compare and Contrast Essay
Science Lab Report
I love that WriteWell has templates because my son is able to see the difference between different types of writing projects, and also to have some guidance while still allowing for creativity.
2. Write in Chunks
Write into “chunked-up” bubbles to keep your story organized.
My son is highly distractible and he is easily overwhelmed by multi-step tasks. I appreciate that WriteWell breaks writing tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks. This helps to improve focus and attention.
And, for those who prefer to see the whole document, you can also view your work in full view:
3. Follow Prompts
Follow prompts to guide you through the writing process.
My son, Leo, is super creative and is full of ideas and yet, when it comes time to write them down I hear, “I don’t know what to write!” or, “I don’t know how to start!!” WriteWell’s prompts help him to understand where to put each idea and that makes it easier for him to tie it all together at the end.
4. Stay Organized
Leo is a kid who can lose a pencil while he’s using it. I love how WriteWell forces him to be organized. He can’t lose any written work because it’s safely in WriteWell. In the future, when we use sources, I like that there is a place to put them, as you can see here:
5. Save Securely
I have found WriteWell to be easy to use, and it’s simple to convert files to Word, Google Drive, or PDFs.
6. Access Anywhere
All you need is your computer and an Internet connection.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING, FOLKS
Sometimes, Leo can write beautifully formed letters and numerals. His handwriting can be truly extraordinary. Other times, it’s a complete disaster. WriteWell helps him to stay organized and on track when he’s just… not. We’re all familiar with the expression A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, let me show you two pictures today.
HOW TO PURCHASE (WITH DISCOUNT AND A GIVEAWAY!)
WriteWell offers the following packages:
Use coupon BTS20 for 20% off
WriteWell is giving away 15 Pro Memberships. The giveaway ends on October 21st at 11:00 pm EST so be sure to enter now!
Now, it’s your turn! Tell me, do you have a child who struggles with the mechanical and organizational aspects of writing? Have you tried online resources? Share your stories here.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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