Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Access! Writing Program




Essay writing is something that I would really like to work on with my kids.  It is essential that they are comfortable with essay writing when it comes time for SATs and college applications.  So, I was very happy that the next Homeschool Crew vendor I was asked to review was My Access Writing Program. 

This is an online program that is priced at $99.95 for up to 3 students, or $129.95 for up to 6 students.  The program is designed for ages 8 -18, with 3 different levels within. The way it is set up, the parent and each child have their own account.  The children log on to their account and choose from a variety of writing prompts.  You can assign a specific prompt or give them the choice of several or all.  Each prompt has a description of what they are writing about, what details need to be addressed, and what the writing style is.

Here is an example of one of the prompts :
"Writing Topic Ages 11-14
Favorite Hobby
Informative

Most of us have hobbies or activities that we enjoy. For example, some people play sports; some read books or comics; and others collect things such as coins, stamps, or cards. What is your favorite hobby? What do you enjoy about it?

Write an essay for kids your age who are looking for a new hobby. In your essay, describe your favorite hobby or activity and discuss what makes it enjoyable to you. Remember to make sure your readers have enough details about your hobby so they can understand it completely. "


Once they select a prompt, they begin a course on how to write an essay correctly.  The kids start by joining the Daily Access News Team.  They go through 'training' and learn about the writing process.  There are also a lot of pre-writing tools you can print them out to help in their essay planning.


Once their essay is complete it is submitted for scoring.  The program scores the writing on a number of categories.  They get an overall proficiency rating, as well as a proficiency score in each of the different categories.

Logan (12) went through the News Team training fairly quickly, wanting to finish this new writing program as fast as possible.  He rushed through  wrote his story and submitted it only to find himself just above proficiency.  This is the part of the program I think is interesting and extremely helpful.  Once he viewed the overall and the specific rating, he was able to begin the revision.  In the revision process, there is "My Tutor".  The "My Tutor" evaluates all of the specific categories and breaks them down into specific goals that Logan needs to address in the original essay.  Once he has revised it, he re-submits it to get a new score.

In your parent account, you will see the 'progress' of each child.  You are able to view the overall proficiency score, and see the more detailed score in each category.  You will not, however, be able to see the specific goals that need to be addressed in the revision process.

I have only used this with Logan, but I am looking forward to Isabel (10) incorporating it into her Language Arts.  It requires no preparation on my part, so it is very easy to add it into our regular lesson plans.


*Disclaimer* I have received this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.



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3 comments:

  1. Great review and I am your first follower!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the review. Oh good I can follow you now. :)

    ReplyDelete

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