Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Writing Tales


GOD's timing is ALWAYS perfect!  I never cease to be amazed at how HE always knows just what we need -- and sends it right to us!  We started off this school year KNOWING that we needed to focus heavily on writing skills for the younger two McBlessings.  I also had a strong desire to make school a more joyful time, i.e. FUN. Writing Tales came at just the right time to help me accomplish both goals!

I LOVE Writing Tales!  I LOVE the classical approach to writing -- and even better, MY CHILDREN LOVE IT, too!  We are studying Greek history and I have spent time each day reading aloud Greek classics to all four of my kids.  How perfect is it that Writing Tales uses a comprehensive approach to teaching writing while also incorporating grammar, spelling, vocabulary and handwriting through a study of classic fables, tales and fairy tales just like the early Greeks did?

Based on the Greek progymnasmata teaching style, Writing Tales teaches writing through the study and re-writing of 15 classical stories over 30 lessons.  Each lesson takes about one week to finish and ends with the student having written a final draft of the story studied.  Students personalize their stories by adding creative details and learn grammatical concepts along the way.  The Writing Tales Teacher's Guide gives step-by-step instructions for each lesson and truly makes teaching writing easy.  You can read a detailed description of the program HERE and check out the full Scope and Sequence HERE.


Writing Tales Level One is recommended for 3rd - 4th graders.  The spiral-bound book has 180 pages of adventure and writing.   I used it with my 9-year-old Princess who has just learned to read this year.  She was hooked on Writing Tales from the very beginning page where the author, Amy Hastings Olsen, invited her on a journey to "encounter princes, princesses, talking animals, archery experts, and even Julius Caesar!"

Because my Princess has struggled so with reading and handwriting, the short, focused lessons have been perfect for her.  She has felt so incredibly proud of herself because she can READ the stories and the instructions for herself.  The large spaces between lines on the written work in each lesson have made it easier for her to use her "best handwriting" and have allowed her a great sense of accomplishment when she doesn't have to re-do her work.  Because she is very much a hands-on learner, the cut and paste activities were wonderful learning tools for her.   All they way around, this has been a PERFECT fit for my Princess!


Writing Tales Level Two is written for 4th - 5th graders, but my 6th grade All-Boy thought it was MOST WONDERFUL!  The 286 page, spiral-bound Student Workbook introduces students to "war heroes, honest wood cutters, fairies, kings and queens" and can be used as a follow-up to Level One or as a stand-alone curriculum.

For some reason, getting the All-Boy to write has always been EXTREMELY difficult.  But with  Writing Tales, he asked me to do "writing class" every day.  The stories held his interest and he has enjoyed marking up the rough drafts with different colored pencils as he worked to make his story perfect.  I am impressed with the vocabulary and grammar review in each lesson -- thrilled to see him studying Sir Walter Raleigh AND coding parts of speech without complaint.  Although Level Two is recommended for 4th-5th graders, I think 6th, 7th and even 8th graders can use it to great advantage.  It's definitely been a winner for my reluctant writer!

For a great writing curriculum that's easy to teach, I recommend that you check out Writing Tales and look at the Sample Lessons available from both Level One and Level Two.  Both Student and Teacher's Books for Level One and Level Two can be ordered HERE.   The Level One Student Workbook is $19.95 and the Teacher's Guide is $24.95.  The Level Two Student Workbook is $24.95 and the Teacher's Guide is $32.95.  You will want to buy both the Student Workbook and the Teacher's Guide for ease in teaching and (even better) ease in learning.  Writing Tales has been a HUGE hit at my house and we think you'll find it a great fit for your house as well.  There are even lesson plans and games for co-op teaching.

If you order next week (May 2 - May 9), you can get 20% off AND FREE SHIPPING!  That's a great deal -- I KNOW you won't regret this purchase.  We LOVE Writing Tales!


~~I was given the opportunity to use and review Writing Tales as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you.  I encourage you to check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew thought of  Writing Tales HERE .~~ Pin It Now!


  1. Great review! I have been considering this for my girls next year. And thank you for sharing the sale next week. Is there a discount code or anything I need?

  2. I think your girls would really enjoy it, Melissa -- and get so much out of it! The sale is great! There's no code needed if you order next week. Enjoy!


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