{Review} Writing Fiction, by Sharon Watson

Who agrees to review a writing curriculum in the final weeks of her child’s high school graduation? This silly blonde of course!

Why?Writing Fiction

Because it’s about writing fiction! Isn’t that wonderful?

Plus, it’s written by a dear woman that I’ve had the pleasure to work with for the past couple of years. How could I resist?

Writing Fiction [In High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life!

  • A two-semester course for English credit
  • No prerequisites needed
  • 13 fact-filled chapters, approximately 300 pages
  • Practical lessons and approximately 100 interesting assignments
  • One of only a few fiction texts uniquely designed for high school teens
  • Written to the student in a conversational tone
  • Hundreds of age-appropriate fiction examples from classics to recent novels
  • Optional manuscript track for teens who have already written a story

Not surprisingly, we didn’t get too far into the curriculum before the whirlwind of graduation came down upon us. But, we delved in far enough for me to share how much we loved it!

Here are my top reasons why:

First, Sharon does a great job of laying the foundation for writing before jumping in too deep. With lots of great examples, students are exposed to important concepts such as the important hook in the first sentence, where story ideas come from, and the characters’  point of view. While some students may be chomping at the bit to start writing novels, the curriculum starts at a slow pace with a strong foundation.

Second, the curriculum is flexible. Designed to be used with a group for a full year, it is easily adaptable for different situations. Some lessons are shorter than others meaning that some students or groups may be able to move quickly at different points if desired. There are multiple writing actives, including the manuscript track, for students who want to dig in even deeper.

Third, the supplemental materials and resources are fun for students and easily accessible for mom. From writing their own life story as a fairy tale, to watching The Princess Bride or Sense and Sensibility. Sharon utilizes stories that many students are already familiar with to teach them story structure and theme. By analyzing movies and other materials that they already enjoy, students are more open to the critique process as they work through their own stories.

Fourth… Ooops! I really was only going to give you my top three, since the curriculum has taught us the importance of ‘threes’. But I couldn’t help pointing out… the price! For less than $40 you have a full year’s writing curriculum. For high school curriculum, this is a bargain!

Will this curriculum be perfect for you and your student?

Maybe. I should point out that what I saw as a positive, some families may consider a negative. I LOVED the flexibility of how the lessons and activities were set-up, allowing you to move at the pace of your student and your group. But I know that some families desire a structured lesson plan, with a daily checklist of what to do next. You will not find a daily lesson plan in this curriculum. But to be clear, writing doesn’t work that way.

One of the first things Sharon shares in the book is that every writer’s process is different. And to pull a quote she includes in the student book, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.” –Somerset Maugham, author of Of Human Bondage



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Mosaics Reviews: Ancient History Go Fish Game

Every kid loves to play Go Fish… even high school kids. And if you are going to play Go Fish, imagine a fun way to sneak in a little extra learning at the same time.

{Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for this review.}

Ancient History Go Fish Game

Four games in one:
A. Go Fish
B. Collect the Cards
C. Chronology
D. Continents

This one deck of 50 cards with the answer key teaches the following skills through four fun games: Basic historical facts, Chronology, Geography, Association, and Social Skills required to follow the rules and play games with others.


This game is designed for kids ages 6 and up. Even for older kids, it’s a simple way to review history and have fun at the same time. The ability to play four different games with the same deck is a nice feature. The cards are great quality, with nice graphics and detailed information. Learn about the Roman Republic by matching a card about the Circus Maximus to a car about Denarius. Learn about Prehistory with Stonehenge, cave paintings, hunting mammoths and a celtic village.

We have always loved educational games in our house, and sometimes even the simplest games provide great learning opportunities. This is one of those games. The people behind The Classical Historian have created a wonderful learning tool with this game. My 17 year-old daughter and I had enjoyed it!

Also Available:

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Mosaics Review: MyHomeSchoolGrades.com

Grades and transcripts.

Homeschool moms… do those words make you shudder?

No worries. Check out MyHomeSchoolGrades.com.

{As a member of the Mosaics Review team, I received a free subscription for the online use of this program in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Full disclosure below.}

My Home School Grades is an online program for managing your student’s grades, curriculum, lesson plans, extra curricular activities and high school transcripts. Designed by a homeschool father the program is intuitive and simple to use. It is not platform specific which means anyone can use it regardless of your system. I LOVE the fact that the program is online, meaning you’ll always be connected to the latest version and all updates are automatic.

The program is designed for parents to easily add multiple students. Many popular homeschool curriculum choices are already loaded into the program, simply click your publisher and program. Classes from previous years can be added as well, parents have control over which year’s information flows to the transcript. There is so much to love about the ease of using this program. Put in as little or as much grade information as you want. You’ll find the program easy to use and the people behind the program are wonderful to work with. Many upgrades are on their way… but you won’t find the product lacking.

MyHomeSchoolGrades.com offers a 14 day free trial. Once you start, you’ll be hooked. Full pricing is only $49.99 for a lifetime membership. (Seriously. LIFETIME membership!)

If you’ve tried other transcript programs before and found them to be frustrating I highly recommend MyHomeSchoolGrades.com. You’ll quickly find a world of difference!

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