When you mention writing paragraphs in your homeschool, are you met with groans and tears? That was certainly the response in our house from my second grader until we reviewed Flight 2 Paragraph Writing from Here to Help Learning, a homeschool writing program. Here to Help Learning has changed the groans and tears in our house to this direct quote from my second grade daughter: "A paragraph? That is at least 3-5 sentences. I can do that." This program has changed my daughter's whole attitude about writing from something dreaded to something achievable and we have no more tears about writing in our house.
For this review, we received an online membership to the Here to Help Learning website to review Flight 2 Paragraph Writing. The Here to Help Learning website is packed full of lessons, resources, and helpful information. Prior to this review, we have worked on writing with my daughter and she knows the basics of writing, but I still felt she was in the beginning stages of writing paragraphs. She knew what they were and that she had to write them, but she had troubles coming up with content for the paragraphs and the flow of the paragraph. That is where she would end up in tears and the frustration would start. The lessons on Here to Help Learning are actually called "Flights" and presented by video which completely captured my daughter's attention. I started her on Flight 2 for Paragraph Writing. They also have a Flight 1 and a Flight 3 and each Flight has an area for Paragraph Writing geared toward grades 1-3 and Essay Writing geared towards grades 4-6.
I decided the best place for us to start was to just jump on board and get started. We started at the very beginning of Flight 2 Paragraph Writing with lesson one. I printed off the accompanying worksheets, which are very organized, easy to use, and detailed. I knew exactly what my daughter was expected to be able to do after the first lesson just by reading through the overview. (Don't worry though, there is a teacher's guide too that is fantastic and has even more details in it that explains the information given in the overview.) Each video is broken down into manageable sections that include the Pre-Flight Checklist, Flight Check-In, Take Off, Full Throttle, Flying Solo. My daughter sat down to watch her video. She loved the characters in the videos like Mrs. Mora. My daughter found Mrs. Mora to be very clear and easy to understand. The video did an excellent job of walking her through exactly what would be happening and then working through each step. It tells the student where they should pause and work on exercises, what game they should play ("Sentence, No Sentence" is a favorite in our house now), and even how long they had to set the timer for to write or brainstorm, etc. It is suggested that the student watches the video one day and then on the second day the student completes the assignments for the Flying Solo portion. This schedule worked perfectly for us.
After my daughter watched the video she was very excited about playing the game and starting the worksheets. The game was "Sentence/No Sentence" and she had a lot of fun playing it (even my son jumped in and played). Then came the worksheets. The worksheets feature a picture and then a place to list some ideas of what is happening in the picture. After she did that, she was super excited for me to set the timer so she could do her writing about the picture using the ideas she had listed. Then we began on the Full Throttle portion of the lesson. I love that the worksheets include the teacher prompts and how I can guide her through the lesson. It makes it very easy for me and I don't have to spend a lot of extra time planning it all out which if you homeschool more than one student, you know what a blessing not having extra planning is. After we worked through the Full Throttle portion of the lesson, it was on to Flying Solo. My daughter did her assignment and she did very well on it. What were the results of just one lesson with Here to Help Learning for us? I saw improved writing confidence from my daughter, I saw her really sit down and think about her next writing assignment and she didn't just rush through, and the major breakthrough for us from just one lesson was I saw a shift in attitude about writing. She didn't dread it or burst into tears the next time I asked her to write. She thought back to the video she watched, the steps she learned, and she started applying it. So of course we have worked through several more lessons of Flight 2 and with each lesson I am seeing improvement with my daughter's writing. I can tell you I am extremely pleased with this program and the results we have gotten so far. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to review it.
We will be continuing to use the Here to Help Learning online program and continue to build my daughter's writing skills. I can't wait to see where she is when she finishes all the lessons in Flight 2 Paragraph Writing. I feel like this program builds a great foundation for writing step by step. I really like that they have not only the online portion, but you can purchase physical kits with the videos and worksheets too. I love all the resources on the site that you have access to once you become a member. These resources include printables for the lessons, a language helps workbook, a writing warm-up gallery with images for prompts, printable writing paper, the teacher's guide, and more. Here to Help Learning has also recently put together a unit for Literature that I am really excited to check out too. In my opinion, Here to Help Learning is a top notch website for teaching your child how to master paragraph and essay writing. I truly hope you will check out their website for yourself and see how it can help your family. I would definitely recommend it and you can also learn who Captain Knucklehead is and why my daughter looks for him in every video.
You can connect with Here to Help Learning in many ways. They have their website, a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Please also check out what my other blogging friends at the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about Here to Help Learning by clicking on the picture below.