Made it! The first semester is done. I survived. I had a lot of fun. I just got four tickets in my Essentials class for four very short sentences! I learned a lot in Foundations this first semester, but I really took to Essentials. I knew going into this year that I was not as good a writer as I wanted— or needed— to be.
After going through the first semester, I believe the Essentials program is aptly named. It is essentially what I missed the first time and it is essential to be a good writer. It still is not easy, but I feel that writing is not so scary now. Microsoft Word does not give me the dreaded red line for “incomplete sentence” nearly as often as it used to, and when it does, I can figure out how to fix it. I spent the year writing by hand, then editing on the computer, and then rewriting by hand. The computer helped, since I did not have my Mom to help me. The hardest part of it was my hand strength. At the beginning of the year, I could not write for more than five minutes without needing a break. I made a decision to practice my handwriting by writing the paper by hand. I also, did not want to replace my ink cartridge.
Essentials taught me the 112 sentence types, how to spice up sentences, and how to rewrite a story to make it my own. It is helping me understand reading more, because I can see what writers are talking about more clearly. In my college writing classes I could not clearly see what writers were expressing, and it was because I did not understand writing as well as I would have liked.
I honestly believe that if Essentials was a high school level writing class in public schools, our populace would be much more educated and people would be able to read and write well and enjoy it. What a pleasure it is that your fourth through sixth grader has three years to take advantage of this great program.
Merry Christmas everyone!