The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, 2nd Edition - Review

 Are you stressing about teaching writing to your high school student?  I really understand how you feel my oldest daughter is just starting high school and I've been busy making plans.

 I'm loving the new high school writing program The Power in Your Hands! Easy to use self guided program that's making our homeschool high school English easy to teach.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links my full disclosure can be read here.

Teaching writing is something that I've stopped stressing about. I've found a wonderful tool in Power in The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, 2nd Edition from Writing with Sharon Watson.

 Easy high school writing program

What is The Power in Your Hands?

The Power in Your Hands is a writing curriculum for high school students.  Its focus is helping students learn how to write nonfiction reports and essays.

It is available in both print and as a digital PDF file.  I received the digital versions of both the student textbook and the teacher guide.

 Teacher guide for high school non fiction writing

The Power in Your Hands contains over 100 daily lessons and step by step instructions for completing 21 essay and reports.  This is also a self-guided program although t includes teachers guide your student can easily work through this program on their own.

Have a look at what is covered in this writing program, very thorough!

Table of Contents

  1. Thinking & Planning

  2. Opinions

  3. Persuasion Essentials

  4. Persuasion - Next Level

  5. Persuasion - Logical

  6. Persuasion - Compare and Contrast

  7. Persuasion - Moral/Ethical

  8. Persuasion - Emotional Appeal

  9. Proofreading

  10. Common Grammar Mistakes

  11. Letters & E-mails

  12. Process Writing (How -to)

  13. The Position Paper and Documentation

  14. A Devotional

  15. Newspaper Writing

  16. Biographies

  17. Compare and Contrast

  18. Literary Analysis

  19. The Definition Essay

  20. Descriptive Essays

  21. Personal Testimony or Spiritual Journey

  22. Interview into Narrative

  23. Personal Narrative

How We Are Using The Power in Your Hands

The Power in Your Hands is very different from most writing programs I've tried before.  Right from the start student are engaged with a self-test.  They are shown a list of questions about writing and asked to check any that apply to themselves.

Some of these are questions about if they find writing easy or difficult and if they have trouble coming up with ideas to write about.

This makes a great tool to see how your child feels about their writing.  Do they need some training or encouragement, maybe they need more guidance on how to come up with topics etc.

Since I'm using this with my 14-year old who will soon be starting high school I've chosen to take the lessons nice and slow.  She struggles with dyslexia and this can make reading and writing difficult at times so I wasn't sure how this program would work for us.

I was really happy to see that she's really enjoying it!  We've been aiming to finish 1 chapter a week so we spend about 2 hours a day working on this writing program.  If it starts to be a little overwhelming for her then we just slow down a little and split a chapter over 2 weeks.

Although this is a self-guided program I've found it very helpful to work together on the writing lessons.  I've been printing the lessons off one chapter at a time.  Then we sit together and I read the lesson aloud and we discuss it.  Then we work on the exercises together on our white board or verbally.

Each lesson has a writing topic that is suggested but it's also very easy to substitute your own topic! We've been enjoying a mixture of both.  Sometimes we use the suggested writing topic and sometimes I pick one from our history or science lessons.  This is working very well for us!

I love it when a curriculum is so easy to adapt to your student's needs, The Power in Your Hands has been a wonderful addition to our writing lessons.

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