This Online Writing Class Quickly Improved My Teen’s Confidence

If your teen lacks confidence in writing, this online writing class could be the perfect solution for you.

It completely changed my daughter’s attitude toward writing in just 8 weeks.

During the course, your teen will learn the basics of essay writing. They will have a personal coach who will guide them every step of the way, starting with choosing a topic, through editing and rewrites, to the final draft.

How would you like to see a major shift in your teen’s writing?

Teen girl holding a pencil writing in a lined notebook on a glass desk. The corner of a laptop is on her left and an external screen is in the top left of the picture, on with text on the screen.

I received this product for free to write about my experience and got compensated for my time. I was not required to post a positive review. These are my honest opinions. See my disclosure statement.

WriteAtHome – An Online Writing Class for Homeschoolers

Writing is one area where my teen has struggled. She gets overwhelmed while writing the paper and the editing process is a nightmare. It was so frustrating for both of us that I rarely assigned her papers, but I knew that had to change.

The ability to write well in a variety of formats is an important skill to have, plus, we both knew that she needed to become more comfortable with writing before she got to college English.

Thankfully, we decided to try something new this semester and gave WriteAtHome a try. In just one course, her confidence and writing skills have skyrocketed.

Keep reading to see how it can benefit your older kids.

Essay Writing for Homeschoolers

WriteAtHome offers a large number of courses for both middle and high school students, and we choose the High School Essay Writing 1 Workshop. Since my daughter isn’t a confident writer, I wanted her to spend time mastering the types of papers she would encounter in a college English Comp class.

We felt that the 8-week workshop format was perfect for trying out this new course. It would give her enough time to build up her skills, but wasn’t so long that she would get bored if she didn’t like the class.

During the workshop, students write two different papers. While it sounds like a lot of writing, it actually works quite well. Having two different topics to think about helps with the burnout that often comes with writing and the step-by-step approach they take makes the process less overwhelming for kids.

During this course, my daughter wrote two essays – The Silent Power of an Introvert and Are Standardized Tests Actually Beneficial?

Is Your Teen Struggling with Writing?

Most kids don’t like writing for two reasons.

  1. It’s overwhelming to begin
    • Too often we tell them, this week you need to write a paper, so choose something to write about and get started. They end up staring at a blank piece of paper because they don’t have a step-by-step process to follow.
  2. Rewriting is a struggle
    • We know editing is an important part of the writing process, but for some students, the criticism crushes them and they think they’re a horrible writer.

This workshop actually took care of both of these issues for my struggling writer and I know it can do the same for yours.

How WriteAtHome Works

The system this program uses is fairly simple. Every other Thursday, a new lesson is released and students log onto the Canvas platform to read it. Unlike other online courses, kids aren’t tied to a set day or time for the lessons. After they’re posted, they’re free to complete it whenever, making it flexible for homeschooling families.

Each week is dedicated to a different part of the writing process.

For example, one week teens write their thesis statement along with three points that support it and three that are against it. These later become the topics of their individual paragraphs.

If your child struggles to come up with subjects for their essays, don’t worry. Coaches freely give suggestions when students can’t think of something to write about. They’ll give them a list of 10 things to help spark ideas.

All of this helps make the writing process quick and easy because students aren’t staring at a blank page when they begin writing the bulk of the essay.

The following week, teens write their opening and closing paragraphs along with the rest of the essay, and come up with a title.

Then it’s time to edit. Instead of just randomly editing the entire essay, the coaches teach them a systematic approach to editing their work, which makes the process less overwhelming for most teens.

WriteAtHome tells students exactly what they need for an effective essay. Students are given a list of things to look at while revising their papers.

Things like:

  • Is the content good?
  • Are you using effective persuasion?
  • How is your organization of ideas?
  • Do any sections need further elaboration?
  • Does your writing remain focused on the thesis?
  • Are you using the correct voice in your writing?
  • Is the essay coherent?

While this may seem like a daunting list, my daughter broke it down while editing her papers. Instead of trying to check them all at once, she chose one or two of them at a time and went through the essay, paragraph by paragraph. Then she chose another one or two and repeated the process.

Because she followed their instructions and worked in small manageable steps, she stayed focused and didn’t get overwhelmed by the editing process.

Grammar isn’t focused on until the last revision which is smart because it doesn’t make sense to fix grammar issues until you know what’s in the final draft.

Teens are given a week to finish each assignment. Their coach will review it and then send it back to them with their notes and suggestions.

Students write each paper, revise them both twice, and then turn in the final draft for a grade.

Lessons Taught Through WriteAtHome Essay Course

Throughout the course, students learn the basics of writing. They’re taught:

  • The point of the essay.
  • Where the 5 paragraph essay came from.
  • The difference between compare/contrast and analytical styles.
  • What a thesis statement is and how to write one.
  • How to write like a funnel. At the beginning of the essay, they use broad statements and gradually narrow their points down as they move toward their thesis statement. Then, they use the same process, in the opposite direction, for the closing paragraph.
Teen girl's hand holding a red pencil, editing a paper on a glass desk. A computer with editing notes is in the background.

Building Confidence in Writing

If your children lack confidence in their writing, WriteAtHome helps with this. As I said before, my teen’s essay writing confidence skyrocketed in just 8 weeks. There are a few reasons for this, but I think the biggest one is how they handle criticism and rewrites.

My daughter is extremely sensitive, so whenever I would point out things in her writing, she felt like I was criticizing her. During the workshop, however, she didn’t seem to take their suggestions personally, so she didn’t get stuck in the process.

Instead of feeling like she failed, she looked at the corrections and said, oh, I can fix that.

So what’s special about their critiques?

When students are given editing suggestions, they’re sandwiched in between praise. Plus, they don’t just say, oh, good job, and other platitudes. Instead, they point out specific things they liked about their writing.

Since the papers don’t come back from the coaches full of negatives, students feel like the changes needed are manageable.

Also, instead of telling students to go and fix this, coaches offer suggestions and say, think about trying this instead.

When the coach sees something is off, they’ll point it out once and give the students ideas on how to fix it. They’ll tell them to find similar instances in the paper and do the same thing.

They give concrete ideas and instead of spoon-feeding students, they let them do the work.

Writing Curriculum for Reluctant Writers

I’m glad we gave WriteAtHome a try this semester and I would encourage you to check it out for your homeschooler.

Here are 5 things my reluctant writer loved about the Essay Writing Workshop.

  • The assignments included easy, manageable steps, that didn’t take hours to complete.
  • She never felt like she was stuck for ideas.
  • She was encouraged to choose topics she knew a lot about so she didn’t have to do any research for the papers. She loved having one less thing to worry about doing.
  • The flexibility was important to her. She likes controlling her homeschooling schedule, so she appreciated the fact that she could complete the lessons anytime after they were posted.
  • She appreciated the fact that her coach was eager to help her and was easy to reach if she needed additional assistance.

One drawback for my daughter was that she couldn’t work ahead. There are times when she finishes school before the end of the week because she needs time off for activities. Because the lessons are only released on Thursday, some weeks she had less time to do the work.

As a homeschooling mom, here are 4 of my favorite things about this program:

  • Teens can do this course independently. The lessons are already prepared for them and they have a coach readily available to help them with any issues.
  • I wasn’t responsible for assigning, reviewing, or grading the papers.
  • Kids start writing immediately, so no time is wasted.
  • It definitely helps teens who are frustrated with the writing process. It builds their confidence in a short amount of time.

Even though she loves to read and we were a part of a book club for years, language arts regularly overwhelmed my teen. She got flustered with the pace of most of the curriculum we used and was anxious whenever she started a new writing assignment.

I have to say that she honestly loves this course. The way they release new lessons and handle the writing process encourages and engages her instead of discouraging her.

That’s why I’ve already paid for her to take another workshop. She’s never asked to continue with a writing curriculum, so when she asked, I signed her up immediately.

So, if you’re looking for a writing program for your teen, I would highly encourage you to give WriteAtHome a try. It’s been a game-changer in our homeschool.

Which WriteAtHome course do you think your teen would enjoy?

Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

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