I was recently provided free, in exchange for my honest review, a copy the first 15 lessons of The Write Foundation's Essay level course. The Write Foundation offers three levels of writing courses: sentence, paragraph, and essay. Sentence is recommended for ages 11-13, paragraph for ages 12-15, and essay for ages 14-17. Obviously, there is some overlap in the recommended ages since children vary in their writing ability.
My daughter is only nine, but after speaking extensively with the creator of The Write Foundation, she agreed with me that the essay level was right for her. Therese has had a lengthy writing background, probably because I write for a living. She is also a naturally gifted writer. One thing that The Write Foundation offers that Therese's other writing programs have thus far eschewed is a creative writing component. I appreciate the fact that, while they include this component, The Write Foundation still places its emphasis on formal writing. To help you decide where to place your own child in its program The Write Foundation provides this very helpful metric.
The Write Foundation's approach is not particularly intuitive. Although the methodology becomes clear if you just put your head down and proceed through the program, teachers (homeschool moms!) who really like to understand the ins and outs of a program before they dive in might have a little trouble with this one. Still, it is worth it to give yourself time on the learning curve to become adept with The Write Foundation. It borrows a very little from the classical Progymnasmata, but really creates its own methodology. If you are intrigued by Classical Writing, but don't want to invest the time in the program, The Write Foundation would be a very good alternative for you!
In order to determine if The Write Foundation Essay Level is a good fit for your family, take a look at the sample lesson provided on the website. For my daughter, I must confess that I have fallen in love with our current writing/language arts/grammar program, and I don't think that I would switch to any other program for anything. Having said that, though, if I ever considered a switch, The Write Foundation would be a serious contender. It is heads and shoulders above many other programs I have seen, primarily because it recognizes the primacy of the formal essay. Our children won't be using creative writing to get into college, to get out of college, or to find a great job: they'll be using their formal writing schools. All too many kids lack the fundamentals, and I can say with confidence that The Write Foundation will provide those fundamentals.
To find out more about The Write Foundation, visit their website here, or email the author of the program at bcelsor (at) sbcglobal (dot) net. You can also call her at 281-356-3556. She is extremely helpful at figuring out where to place your child! The Write Foundation has different pricing structures which can be seen on this page, but for the full Essay program, you can expect to pay $100, which, for what your receive, I think is very reasonable.
To see what other members of the Crew thought about The Write Foundation, visit the Crew blog here.