*Disclosure: I received a complimentary subscription to Here to Help Learning. I was not required to review or write about this product, and I certainly wasn’t expected to write positively about it. All opinions are my own.
Homeschooling the Struggling Learner: Writing
My kids did not inherit my love of writing. This has made it challenging for me to choose a writing curriculum for my daughters, and especially for my struggling learner. She has very specific needs when it comes to her lessons. I look for her curriculum to do the following things:
- Be a good fit for her learning style. She relies heavily on visual input and hands-on learning experiences.
- Be easy to modify and adjust to her needs.
- Include repetition of concepts in a way that doesn’t make her (and me) crazy.
- Be flexible. I don’t need something that’s going to completely fall apart if we have to go out-of-town to an emergency specialist appointment (like we did last week).
- Be encouraging. I want a curriculum that is going to encourage her where she is and inspire her to keep moving forward. I don’t need something that will make her feel bad about where she is in comparison to other kids her age. I try to keep the focus on progress, not “doing it right.”
- Uses multisensory teaching techniques. The more senses that are involved, the better my daughter learns!
It is very difficult to find a language arts program that meets these criteria. Writing, in particular, often involves little more than a pencil and some paper, with the occasional writing prompt thrown in.
This is not the case with Here to Help Learning, which is the program we’ve used since last year. Here to Help Learning addresses everything I listed above, plus some!
Why Here to Help Learning?
Here to Help Learning lessons are in video form, so they meet my daughter’s need for visual input. The lessons involve games, doing hand motions and sounds as mnemonic devices for the parts of the writing process, and the act of writing itself. It is definitely multisensory and fits her learning style well.
As far as being easy to modify and adjust to fit her needs, Beth Mora actually suggests modifications for different ability levels in the videos. You don’t even have to come up with the ideas yourself! It doesn’t get any easier than that.
While kids need repetition, and kids who struggle or have special needs need even more repetition of concepts so they can learn them, I have found that the kids who need repetition the most also hate it. They can make life miserable for themselves and their teachers with all the griping and groaning. Fortunately, Here to Help Learning lessons provide lots of practice and repetition while making it look slightly different—and fun! This makes life easier for everyone!
Here to Help Learning is flexible too. While it’s designed for the student to complete one lesson a week over two different sessions, you can really use it however you want. Because life is crazy at my house during certain seasons, we have actually had to set it aside (while still doing basic grammar using another resource) for weeks at a time. When we come back to it, it’s always easy to jump back in and get started again.
As far as encouraging, you won’t find a more positive, enthusiastic, and encouraging person than Beth Mora. I met her in person once and have spoken to her on the phone several times. She is exactly who you see in the video lessons. She is passionate about helping kids learn and helps them celebrate little successes along the way. There is no “right” way to use Here to Help Learning either. She realizes that every family and every situation is different, and she wants families to do what works for their children!
What features are most important for your child’s writing program?
Want to read more about teaching writing to a child with special needs? Check out Beth Mora’s post: 15 Must-Have Features for Your Special Needs Writing Program