Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
My daughter has a rather complicated relationship with writing. She loves the idea and is even working on writing a book. However, she dislikes writing assignments and has complained about writing programs. When the opportunity came to review the Cover Story Cloud Set by Clear Water Press, It seemed like it would be a great fit.
I showed it to my daughter because I knew I would need her buy-in for it to be successful. She loved the idea of writing on her chosen topics and having her magazine at the end of the course.
What is Cover Story?
This set includes Cloud Access to the Video lessons and physical copies of:
- The Teacher’s Guide
- The Student Book
- The Journal
The course is twenty-four weeks of video lessons plus an additional twelve weeks of optional grammar videos. There are three lessons each week plus five journal entries per week. In addition, there are six unit tests throughout the course.
The videos are about ten to twenty minutes long, and we found them both informative and engaging.
In the journal, they are given a specific task for each day. For example, in the beginning, they are to write five curious questions each day. The video lessons explain what that means. Another section works on details and another on sentences about people, etc.
The course aims to help students in grades 6-9 create the content for their own magazine, including short stories, articles, poems, letters, blog posts, and reviews. The lessons primarily focus on the magazine’s content, not the pictures and layout, and those items are addressed briefly at the end of the course.
The Teacher’s Guide is a great resource. It contains lesson plans so the parent can easily follow each week’s lesson, scoring rubrics, examples, answer keys, and pages to track scoring.
What Did My Daughter Think?
“I like the writing program. The teacher is easy to understand and funny. The workbook is easy to understand and follow. I like how his lessons are easily accessible and are not scattered around. For example, if you are doing week 1, you go and click on week one, and right under it, you get all three lessons for week one, making it easy to find what you need. The lessons are around 10-15 minutes each.”
What Did I Think?
I have enjoyed having a writing program that my daughter seemed to enjoy completing. I appreciated that Cover Story was designed to make it very easy on the parent. My only significant contribution to the program is grading completed work and ensuring my daughter stays on track.
I was particularly grateful that one of the early lessons worked on passive verbs/voice. Passive voice is something that I have always struggled with, and many programs do not address it.
While this program is billed as a middle grades curriculum, I feel it is rigorous enough for my daughter’s freshman year in high school. I hope it will give her the skills and strategies needed to take her writing to the next level.
I am hopeful that I will even be able to publish some of her writing on the blog soon!
Cover Story is a great writing program for middle and early high school students. This might be a great fit if you have a child that needs assignments to have more of a purpose. It is also helpful for parents that want the instruction to be more independent because of the videos.
My daughter plans to continue to work on this program through the summer slowly and then pick back up with a more regular pace in the fall to complete the course. I encourage you to check out the Cover Story Cloud Set website and click on the graphic below to read more reviews!