Here to Help Learning Review
Bookworm has been bitten by the writing bug.  Of course, as an English major, I’m glad to see this, and I’ve encouraged him to write.  But lately, he’s been asking for a more formal program, especially so he could learn to write essays.  We were delighted with the chance to review Here to Help Learning, a writing program for kids in 1st through 6th grade.

About Here to Help Learning

Here to Help Learning Review
Here to Help Learning is a writing program conducted by Ms. Mora.  We received the one year online subscription for this review, but you could also choose to order physical books and DVDs.

Here to Help Learning Review
Beth Mora, who has homeschooled for more than 18 years, created this course out of her desire to teach multiple children.  This program is ideal for the homeschool parent who is teaching a co-op writing course or who is teaching her own children writing at home.

The program has three different “flights” or tracks students can study.  Each “flight” will last one academic year and cover six writing projects.  Furthermore, each flight has two different levels.  One is for students just working at the paragraph level (1st – 3rd grade), and the other is for students writing at the essay level (4th – 6th grade).

Essay Writing Level

Bookworm decided on the essay level for Flight Two.  During this year of writing, he will be writing the following types of essays:

Project #1: Narrative Writing (writing about an event that happened to the student)

Project #2: Descriptive Writing (creating and describing a 3-D model)

Project #3: Persuasive Writing (writing to their Colonial times father telling him why they don’t want to be wig makers)

Project #4: Poetry (create five different types of poetry and evaluate five poems)

Project #5: Narrative Writing (write a Tall Tale)

Project #6: Narrative Writing (create an imaginative invention that can help mankind)

Students can begin with any one of the three flights, but Here to Help Learning recommends that Flight Three, which is writing a book, not be tackled until the student has at least covered Flight One or Two for essay writing.

Paragraph Writing Level

By contrast, those students who are doing the paragraph level of Flight Two will do the following assignments:

Project #1: Narrative Writing (writing about a family memory using the five senses)

Project #2: Descriptive Writing (creating and describing a potato friend)

Project #3: Persuasive Writing (organize and invite others to help them)

Project #4: Poetry (create five different types of poetry)

Project #5: Persuasive Writing (write to the U.S. President)

Project #6: Narrative Fiction (creating setting in writing)

Flights One, Two, or Three at the paragraph level can be tackled in any order.

There are five parts to every video lesson:

  1. Pre-flight Checklist,
  2. Flight Check-In,
  3. Take Off,
  4. Full Throttle,
  5. Flying Solo

In addition to the writing program, Here to Help Learning has just added a literature component with the study of Island of the Blue Dolphins.  I looked at this unit, which has five units of study and looks to be quite fun.  Bookworm and I would have used this, too, except Bookworm already read that book.

Our Experience Using Here to Help Learning

During our review period, Bookworm was able to cover 5 weeks’ worth of lessons, which was just enough to complete the first essay.

The pace of the program is quite manageable; the first day students watch the online program with Ms. Mora leading, and the second day, students do the writing assignment.

For an older child like Bookworm who enjoys writing, you could even increase this pace.  When we continue on with this program (and we do plan to use it for the rest of the year because we like it so much!), he may use it 3 to 4 times a week instead of twice.

Each flight covers 10 different techniques throughout the year.  Bookworm really enjoyed that Ms. Mora used a wheel like the Price Is Right Wheel to assign a Literary Technique for the unit.  (Mood was the technique he learned about in the first unit.)

IMG_7375Bookworm also enjoyed how Ms. Mora instructed students to make a folder for each essay.  They looked much more polished and professional this way, and they would work perfectly for those who have to keep portfolios.


What We Liked about Here to Help Learning

Ms. Mora is very engaging and entertaining.  Bookworm loved watching the videos each week.

In addition, the assignments were broken down into small, manageable chunks, and I didn’t feel like the workload was too heavy at all.  In fact, Bookworm would have preferred to have had more writing work to do.  As it is, if your child has a busy schedule, this writing program is perfect.

What We Disliked about Here to Help Learning

Overall, we really enjoyed this program and would highly recommend it.

The only thing I disliked is that the videos could be confusing at times.  For instance, for lesson one in Flight Two for essay writing, Ms. Mora demonstrated a writing warm up to a class on the video that we watched.  In Bookworm’s sheets for essay writing, he had a warm up exercise with a picture of kids playing soccer, but you couldn’t see their heads because they were covered with a large piece of fruit.  However, the picture that was used in the video was of a fox on a distant planet.  This made me think initially that I was doing something wrong or had printed off the wrong sheets to use for this lesson.

Once I understood that what she was modeling was not always going to be exactly on the same topic we were to use, I learned to just go with the flow.

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I was one of 100 reviewers of Here to Help Learning.  To read more reviews, click on the link below:

Here to Help Learning Review
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