Thursday, October 9, 2014

Essay Rock Star Textual Analysis Writing Course by Fortuigence: A TOS Crew Review

Fortuigence Review
This is ideal for ages 12-18.  Cost: $57 per semester

Does teaching your teenage students to write well make you quiver in fear?  You don't have to worry anymore - they can become rockstars at writing, even if you have doubts about your writing ability.  Essay Rock Star Textual Analysis Writing Course from Fortuigence takes the fear out of writing at the upper levels.

Each semester long Essay Rock Star writing program has four writing units and takes about four weeks to complete.  The four semesters cover:
The author and founder, Lily Iatridis will become your teenager's guide through each step in the writing process.  This helps take the burden of being the one to critique your student's writing off of your shoulders, and we all know how much our teens LOVE our constructive feedback, right?
The Bentz Test Laboratory tester for this course was my 11th grade son.  He's a strong writer, due to plenty of positive teaching and encouragement from talented moms in our previous Co-op (thank you KCA!).  However, we just moved, and it's just us learning together again.  I was excited at the prospect of having someone to help guide us through this year's writing.
We choose the Essay Rock Star Textual Analysis Writing Course for our review.  What is "Textual Analysis"?  Well, "Whenever a student is told to write a review on someone else’s work, that is a textual analysis essay."   Most definitely, an essential skill for heading off to college level work! This course consists of 7 sequential lessons.  By the end of the course, your student will have .125 of composition credit for the completion of each of the four Rock Star courses -- a complete .5 credit in all.
Essay Rock Star courses are offered online so that your students can go at their own pace, work on the course at whatever time of day they want.  The best part of this method is that they are still able to get feedback and direct interaction with the instructor whenever they need it as well.  It's truly like having your own personal "on-demand" writing tutor.

It was very easy to set up.  All you need is a personal email address for your student (recommended that it's one you can monitor) and Essay Rock Star will set up their personal online classroom.    The online class room consists of video lessons, text, PDF printable pages, and assignments.  Their assignments are submitted online.  The instructor responds to their assignment personally via email within 24 hours, and then "unlocks" the next steps in the lesson.

My tester found it very easy to use.  I introduced him to it, and turned him loose.  If your student ever has a question about a lesson, all they have to do is click on the “Ask A Question of the Instructor” prompt - and they can correspond directly with the instructor.  This was great training for how college course are going to be managed. This was an added bonus lesson being learned by my tester in addition to improving his writing. 

Essay Rock Star courses follow a Five Step Writing Process:
  • Step 1: Brainstorming - different activities are used for each type of essay assignment,

  • Step 2: Organization - main and supporting ideas are chosen and organized into an outline,

  • Step 3: Free Writing - here students write their first free written draft with attention focused not on grammar but on explaining their thoughts and ideas,

  • Step 4: Revision - students do major structural revision to their essays as well as craft a thesis statement, introduction and conclusion, and

  • Step 5: Editing - we review grammar, punctuation, spelling and mechanics issues in detail until a finished product is complete.

I was genuinely impressed with the level of effort that my tester put forth.  He was eager to please the instructor, and to get positive feedback,  not something I always get from him.  Her feedback was very encouraging, and helpful.  I could tell by her comments that she was investing time on monitoring his personal progress - and not just putting in some "canned" type comments.  The instructor began by asking for a sample of my tester's writing.  Building from that she was able to guide him through the process to complete an AP worthy essay! 

We're looking forward to completing all of the Essay Rock Star courses this year.  I'm breathing a sigh of relief, and my tester is really excited to tackle some other writing challenges.

With their Guarantee - you have nothing to lose - I think you'll enjoy a break from shouldering the writing burden for awhile, and your teen will learn some valuable writing skills from a trusted teacher.
SP - ERS - Gold Guarantee Seal

"Our Guarantee - If you purchase the course and find it isn’t a good fit for your teen’s learning style, we’ll give you a full refund up to 14 days after they start the course. You can purchase the course now and start it when your schedule allows. Once your teen does begin, 14 days gives them enough time to do at least two lessons and get a good feel for our teaching method and online classroom system. On the other hand, if we discover that your teen isn’t ready to take the course yet, we will also give you a full refund or a full credit to take an Essay Rock Star course with us when they are ready."
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