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7 Online Writing Classes for Homeschoolers — Guest Post

Editor’s note: Since this article was originally published, I’ve made changes over time because some of the original resources no longer exist. 

As many homeschooling parents know, writing can be a difficult subject to teach. Even if your student understands grammar and can write well, many children simply do not like writing, resulting in poor content and a lot of complaining. It can be hard to teach writing if your student does not like it, or if you do not enjoy the subject either, for that matter.

Grammar is a tedious but important subject. Why not hand over some of the responsibility to an online classroom where your students can engage in grammar and writing assignments and even take quizzes?

You can rest assured knowing they are learning grammar rules correctly. They might be more motivated when they have to turn in assignments to someone other than their parent.

While this is not a replacement for your teaching, it is a great supplement. Of course, checking their homework and adding any additional writing work you feel necessary is still required.

At Grammarly, where I work, we grammar check hundreds of documents of all types. I often look at online writing classes to see how they’re teaching. This helps me see how people best learn English so I can improve our product strategy.

I often see writing classes for homeschoolers that impress me. Here are some of the best I’ve come across:

Institute for Excellence in Writing

IEW is known for their robust writing curriculum. Many homeschooling families have used their textbooks and home videos to teach writing, grammar, structure, and style. Their online classes are taught by master teachers and are perfect for busy homeschooling families or parents who aren’t as confident teaching writing.

English Grammar 101

English Grammar 101 provides free online grammar lessons, with a special program tailored to homeschoolers. As the website says, “writing and grammar skills are essential in any line of work, at any age,” so help your students get started with the free lessons on English Grammar 101. For further instruction, the website offers teaching materials and an e-book.

Time 4 Learning

Time 4 Writing is a good source for busy homeschool parents. It has a variety of lessons, from beginning grammar to essay writing, and tailors to each grade. If you’re teaching students of multiple ages, this is a nice way to give each student the information and work he or she needs, so you have time to focus on answering questions and helping with homework.

Home 2 Teach

Home 2 Teach offers college-prep writing classes for students aged 8-18. Sessions are six weeks and offered four times per year. It is exclusively for homeschoolers, and students must submit a writing sample for placement. These courses are a great way to give your advanced writing student an edge.

Write Guide

Write Guide is a great online writing tool if your student wants a tailored program. Each course is individually designed, so you can pick the topics and areas that are most interesting to your students, or that they need the most help with. You can even incorporate your own projects and assignments, and have the teacher help you explain and grade them. While lessons are meant for individuals, students can share if they are at the same level. Certified teachers (most of whom are published authors and have years of experience) provide daily feedback.

San Diego Scribblers

San Diego Scribblers offers online classes for different age groups. These classes are not comprehensive but based on a theme. For grades four through eight, there is a short story writing class, and high school students can take a journalism class. The online courses do not teach grammar but are a fun addition to your writing curriculum. Assignments are given each week and teachers provide detailed critiques of each student’s work.

Harvard Extension School

Harvard Extension School is exactly what it sounds like—an extension of the Ivy League university. While this option is only for older students, it is a vigorous program that will set your child apart. Homeschool students can earn credits that will count toward high school graduation or an undergraduate degree. An online writing center is included, where students can attend virtual writing seminars and workshops.

nikolas-baron

Nikolas Baron discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to reunite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on this site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Wired Homeschool.

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By John Wilkerson

John Wilkerson combines over 20 years of professional experience in the computer industry with 17 years of homeschooling 7 children to give parents easy to understand advice on the application of technology in their homes.

21 replies on “7 Online Writing Classes for Homeschoolers — Guest Post”

We’ve used Time4Writing for at least three courses and my sons made huge jumps in their writing skills each time. Can’t recommend the program highly enough!

Hi John, I’m a bit of a proofreading geek. I wish there was a paying position for it. . Anyhow, may want to check your last paragraph on the Harvard class, last sentence and you’ll see where you’re missing a word in the sentence.

This was a great article for our use as high school homeschoolers.

The fact that it’s someone else grading besides myself. My sons take it far less personally that way! 😀 But also the strong feedback the teachers give following each assignment.

Haha…my boys do the same thing!! Funny if another person tells them , they are OK with it!

Great list of writing resources! My son has also taken a Time4Writing course, and not only did he come away from it feeling like he had improved upon his writing skills…he also enjoyed the course! 😉 It was a nice break for me, and it gave him an opportunity to be accountable to some one other than mom or dad for a change. He and I both would definitely recommend T4W. 🙂

We use Time4Writing for high school. I found I couldn’t teach writing. Even though the lessons were given by their curriculum, I had a hard time grading the assignments and offering feedback. My two girls had amazing teachers. They got feedback within 24 hours (unless it was a weekend). I’m definitely handing over writing for the rest of their high school years.

We used Time4writing a couple of times over our homeschool adventure:) I love it since I am not a strong writer and the boys had another teacher for this subject. I am planning around round of Time4writing courses for my boys after we take a short break for summer activities. I love that it is only a 8 week course so we can fit it into our homeschooling schedule:)

T4W is amazing! We are using it right now, and my highschool daughter is doing great! Love the feedback and the method!

We have use Write Guide and Home 2 Teach in the past and loved both. Write Guide was a little harder for me to get the hang of because we were trying to do our own thing instead of a structured writing course and that got confusing. The feedback and flexibility of the teacher we had was great and very helpful though. My daughter submitted an article to a magazine after that and they made no revisions–couldn’t find any mistakes. I am now looking to do another writing class on line and trying to chose which one. Thinking of trying Time4Writing just for something different but I’m also leaning towards WriteGuide. I want a lot of feedback and rewriting and not sure if Time4Writing will give us the level of feedback I want. I like the 8 week option better than the 1 month option though so still debating.

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