One of the biggest challenges for me as I guide my children in their educational journey is writing. Writing is a powerful tool in communication and I desire for my children to thrive in this area. My oldest daughter loves to write and rarely turns down the opportunity to fine tune her skill. When I presented her with the opportunity to review a course from Fortuigence she did not hesitate. The hardest part was which of the four courses she wanted to complete. She finally settled on the Essay Rock Star: Expository Essay Writing Course.
Fortuigence is an online writing program started by Lily Iatridis. A former teacher in the traditional school setting, Mrs. Iatridis decided to take her skills in teaching writing to a broader audience. The online courses are well suited for middle school to high school levels of learning. The focus of Fortuigence writing courses are on mastery. With mastery as the goal, students can set their own pace as they work through the course.
Fortuigence offers four different Essay Rock Star courses:
- Essay Rock Star: Personal Statement
- Essay Rock Star: The Persuasive Essay
- Essay Rock Star: The Expository Essay
- Essay Rock Star: The Textual Analysis
Each Essay Rock Star course is available for $57.00.
Essay Rock Star: The Expository Essay
The Expository Essay writing course teaches one of the most common essays. From high school to the workplace, this form of writing is used to explain or inform about a certain topic or subject. This course walks your student through the various methods that can be used within the essay to express her views. Once your student has covered these different methods, it is her choice on which method works best for her topic.
The presentation of this course is very simple. My daughter logged in and began watching the first lesson. Within this course, there are seven lessons and each lesson has a series of assignments. The assignments are broken down so the tasks of writing an essay is not overwhelming. There are videos to watch for each lesson. The information covered in the video is also available to read. This is a plus for students who have different learning styles.
The first assignment my daughter had to complete was turning in a piece of her writing. For her this was a very simple task. There is no shortage of writing for her! Seeing a piece of writing from my daughter, allowed Mrs.Iatridis to gauge at what level my daughter was already writing. This really aids in keeping expectations of the student realistic.
Once the writing sample was received, Bekah began with the rest of the course. She watched the lessons, completed the assignments and submitted them online. Within twenty-four hours, Mrs. Iatridis would respond with corrections, edits, or the thumbs up to move ahead. This course is self-paced so Bekah had all the time she needed to complete each assignment.
Thoughts on Essay Rock Star: The Expository Essay
Through the Essay Rock Star series, Fortuigence is offering a valuable resource to homeschool families. For the parent, like me, who struggles with teaching and critiquing writing, having another person evaluating the writing is huge! With a self-motivated student, writing instruction was completely independent of me. Bekah handled all aspects of the course on her own. Even when she missed a step in submitting her work, she handled correcting it and communication with the teacher.
For the parent of a child who is not self-motivated, the parent would definitely have to take a more active role. With the self-pacing of the course, no due dates or deadlines, the unmotivated student could just stall out and not progress. The key is knowing your student and implementing whatever guidelines that were needed to make the course work in your home.
Since Bekah used this course independently, I felt it was important to share her thoughts/experience with the Expository Essay course. From Bekah:
The lessons were very easy to understand. I like being able to read over the information again after watching the videos. Submitting the assignments was easy and it was helpful to have links to example papers and such. You can’t move on until the teacher allows you to which I think is a good thing.
I don’t feel like I received helpful feedback on my writing. Maybe it was because I knew what I was doing from other writing courses I had taken? I didn’t like how there wasn’t a deadline. Not having a deadline makes it seem like it isn’t important to get the work done. Honestly, if this wasn’t a review, I might not have worked so hard to do the assignments. It would be very easy to not work on it since the parent doesn’t have to check it and the teacher doesn’t give a deadline.
Overall, I think the Essay Rock Star: Expository Essay course is a valuable resource. I think the key is knowing your student and how to make the course work for you. With an independent, motivated student, this course will flow well. If you have a student not quite as motivated, then you can easily set time requirements or goals. Using this course with other children in our home, I would definitely be a bit more involved in tracking progress.
See how other Crew members used Essay Rock Star!