How do you Illuminate? Writing

Which writing program to use??  That is the question of today’s blog.

Foundations to Writing (Learning Success)

ILU1 Foundations has both accelerated and standard plans. If choosing the accelerated plans, the program will be completed in a year; using the standard plans the program will be completed in ILU 2. In ILU2 Foundations can be completed in one year — there are not different tracks provided.  Foundations is not planned in ILU3.

This program is great for younger writers and reluctant writers.  The one thing that make this program a little different from others is the first semester is spent on visually and orally teaching kids to organize their thoughts.  The pencil is actually not used.  I know — a hard concept to understand– how do kids learn to write when they don’t pick up their pencils?  By using graphic organizers and different topics the student learns how to organize their thoughts.  The second semester then provides the students with cards that break down the steps of writing in the same format they did the first semester.  Illuminations provides lesson plans that give ideas on what to write about each week, in order to tie in studies from The Mystery of History and literature books.  (The yahoo group has photos of posterboards designed to go with this program.)

Write Shop

Lesson plans to complete Write Shop I in a year (spending 2 weeks on a lesson) are in ILU1 and ILU2.  In ILU3 the lesson plans only cover 1/2 of Write Shop I (spending 4 weeks on a lesson). Write Shop II lesson plans are provided in ILU3. Lesson plans to complete Write Shop I and II are in ILU1 High School, ILU2 High School, and ILU3 High School.

This program is geared toward the older student; recommended for sixth grades and up.  Lesson plans allow  the student to complete the program in 1 or 2 years.  This can also be completed on the high school level by completing I and II in a year.  Write Shop’s strong points include: check lists for the student and teachers; a grading rubric; and a useful and informative Teacher’s manual.  Lesson plans will provide ideas and links to help the lessons match the topics being studied in The Mystery of History and literature books.

Write Your Roots by Carole Thaxton (Konos)

These lesson plans are in ILU3 High School.

This description is taken directly from website:

The worktext is divided into 30 steps, which is designed for one step per week, which fulfills requirements for a full year of English composition. Students who have written their own novels through Learn to Write the Novel Way will fly through the “clean-up” of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, whereas less mature writers will need to progress more slowly and thoroughly.

Each step has three sections – Learn, Practice/Prepare, Apply. The Learn section is for you, as coach, to do WITH your student. The Practice/Prepare section is for the student to do independently, as reinforcement of what he learned. The Apply section is for him to apply what he has learned to his own book.

Once a week you, the coach, and your student meet to introduce the Learn section (1-2 hours). The student then does the assigned Practice and Apply sections (3-6 hours). When he has completed each activity, he checks the box next to the assignment. At the end of each week you and the student review and refine his work. When all the boxes of a step are checked, he is ready for the next step.

This is the only language arts curriculum necessary for the year. Continue vocabulary and spelling programs (only if needed).

Write Stuff Adventure by Dean Rea

ILU2 Write Stuff Adventure is used in the second semester (after completing Foundations), ILU1 High School, ILU2 High School,  ILU3 High School.

This book is a non-intimidating, user-friendly, curriculum that covers everything you need for a solid, one year writing course. The first section draws attention to basic punctuation and grammar through simple writing assignments. Then the lessons become more challenging, moving on through such activities as interviews, letters to the editor, essay writing, and even writing non-fiction articles. Write Stuff Adventure can be used from fifth grade through high school. In Illuminations, we have tweaked the contents depending on whether it is in our high school schedule or our 3rd-8th grade schedule.

Enjoying the homeschool adventure,


This post is part of a series by Stacey Lane on her experiences with Illuminations. For the first post in this series, click here!

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