Writing is one of those subjects that many homeschoolers get nervous about teaching. Teaching the hows and whys of writing can be daunting. We were recently given the opportunity to review Here to Help Learning to see how teaching writing can be simplified in your homeschool. This gave us the opportunity to review the Here to Help Learning essay writing Flight with out 5th grade daughter.
Ms. Mora is a homeschool mom who developed Here to Help Learning to assist parents and co-op teachers with teaching children to write beginning with paragraph writing and working up to essay writing.
We received a one-year subscription to the Here to Help Learning modules. There are 2 tracks in the Here to Help Learning system – paragraph writing and essay writing. We began with the essay writing Flight. Paragraph writing is intended for approximately grades 1 through 3 and the Paragraph Writing module is geared toward 4th through 6th grade. The program features 3 flights per track. Each flight is intended to take approximately one school year to complete. Flight 1 and 2 work on essay writing and Flight 3 works on writing a book so this is for the most advanced writers. There are 32 lessons in a Flight, making this a one-year writing program.
Each lesson includes 5 parts and runs approximately 30 minutes. With pauses to do the exercises, the lessons can take approximately 1 hour to complete, depending upon your child. Students are expected to do the lessons at least 2 days a week: one to watch the lesson and one to do the assignment. The five parts of each lesson includes:
- Pre-Flight Check List
- Flight CheckIn
- Take Off
- Full Throttle
- Flying Solo
Here to Help Learning has also recently put out a literature study program with their first literature study being over Island of the Blue Dolphins. This study has 5 lessons in it. We did not review this product but I thought it seemed worth mentioning.
The lessons are very animated. Now I don’t mean they are animation, they are video lessons with Ms. Mora as the teacher and lots of graphics. She is clear on what you need to print before class and very detailed in how to organize your student binder. She walks you and/or your student through setting up the binder in the first lesson. You, as the parent, can put the worksheets into the binder and Ms. Mora explains where they should move their completed work and what section to search for resources in during the lesson. If you set it up the right way, the class is easy for the student to maneuver through.
So, back to being animated. Ms. Mora is very animated in her teaching. She is smiling and excited and it seems to keep the student engaged. She explains the steps she uses to remember how to move through writing an essay. She even gives hand movements to help the student remember them – this is very helpful to many types of learns.
The initial lesson is a little long in my opinion. There are breaks built it where Ms. Mora tells the student to pause the video and work on the task assigned as she helps the student work through the assignment. However, with the breaks, this writing lesson is a big time commitment. When we went through the first lesson it was almost a solid hour of working. However, we split the lesson in half the next time and did it 3 times in the week with half the video lesson the first day, the second half of the video lesson the 2nd day, and the writing assignment the 3rd day. This was still time consuming, and a little difficult because we had to remember where we left off in the middle of the lesson, but it was a little more managable time-wise for my daughter. So, really it’s up to your child and how they work. A 60 minute lesson may be no big deal for some kids but it’s ideal for mine.
My daughter enjoys writing overall and she seems to enjoy Ms. Mora and the kids that are part of the videos.
Overall we liked the concept of Here to Help Learning and are enjoying using it. I think it would be a great fit for many families and the students seem to like Ms. Mora and the way she presents the materials. She does it a very thorough and meticulous manner, but without making it dry and boring.
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/HereToHelpLearning
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