Embracing a Healthy Family: Jump In, 2nd Edition by Writing with Sharon Watson: A Review

Jump In, 2nd Edition by Writing with Sharon Watson: A Review

I told my middle child that I wanted her try out Jump In, 2nd Edition by Writing with Sharon Watson and I was met with resistance as she's not the type that likes to write unless it's what she wants to write about. After getting her convinced that she might like it and should give it a try, she found she actually did like it. What makes Jump In, 2nd Edition so nice is it is as student directed as possible meaning she's able to complete her lessons on her own and I only have to check daily answers and utilize their new specific grading grid for her essay assignments if I prefer.

There is a choice to have either the physical copy or it can be downloaded.

Jump In, 2nd Edition is for grades 5-8 and has been utilized with homeschools, co-ops and Christian schools. The key to the course is to teach students to write in the four common modes of persuasion, exposition, description, and narration. 


The Teacher's Guide has a robust Table of Contents as this is a course designed to cover a four-year time period. The proposed schedules allow for parents/teachers to adjust to how they would like to utilize the course with their student(s). I like the flexibility as well as knowing that one course can be so versatile. We are going to use the two-year plan which guides us as follows:

  • First Year: Complete "Get Your Feet Wet" through "A Report."
  • Second Year: Finish "A Biography" through "Poetry."
  • Complete each end of chapter essay by first putting away the next chapter assignment. The suggestion is to allow the student to focus and not be rushed which I like AND she likes too!

Another key feature from the Teacher's Guide is the Teacher's Backpack full of tools to help teach the course and produce no tears or maybe less tears! From helping to teach them how to proofread to different modes of writing, it's all available to help the teacher teach. 

For the inexperienced teacher or even the reluctant teacher, as well as the seasoned teacher, it's a one source for teaching and grading the course. I even learned a lot from the Teacher's Guide and suggest reading ahead of every lesson to produce a confident approach with teaching. My girls look up to me so I have to make sure I seem confident with what I'm teaching and the Teacher's Guide provides everything I need.

The next section is called Sample Essay Evaluations which provides examples and guidance on how to grade your student's essays while still being encouraging. There are sample essays with a commentary as to why each one received a grade of A, B, C, D or F, respectively.

The next session, 10-Minute Writing Plunges Programs, contains enough Plunges (or prompts) that will last over the school year. They are to be used either to give the student a break from lessons or to be their own task. Some examples include: "I think the leader of my country should be..." and "Something good about me..."  These really were fun to do and did provide a needed break on days that she was not really feeling inspirational. I found that when I wrote my own responses and we read them to each other, she had more fun and enjoyed it.


The Student's Guide is easy to follow and literally jumps in with the lessons. The Table of Contents provides an easy reference for each chapter and name. What I find most relevant about this course is how it appeals to children and their thoughts. The very first paragraph reaffirmed to my child that Sharon Watson gets it. She understands how children think and can relate to them in a most sincere and productive way. As I mentioned above, my daughter was very reluctant to try another program but as I read the first paragraph to her, this hit a cord:

"Writing may send warm shivers of pleasure up your spine. Or you feel as though you are drowning in an angry, choppy, icy sea with nothing in sight but hungry, toothy sharks."

As soon as I finished that part, she lit up and I could see that she realized she was not alone and this book acknowledged her feelings. Her mood immediately changed and she was willing to give it a go. It also provided me better insight to how she felt about writing as I didn't know how to ask the questions that were presented to her. For example, in Get Your Feet Wet, she was asked in question one, "what types of writing assignments are difficult for you?" Due to her responses, I now know why she always grumbled over my request for book reports.

She moved through the skills or daily lessons three days a week and seemed to enjoy most of them. I did not have to remind her to complete her work as she was diligent in completing them Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


"The lessons are very short and easy to do. It usually takes about 20 minutes maxium to finish a lesson per day. Natually, I would complete more than what I was instructed to do because I enjoyed it. The directions can be difficult to understand sometimes for me but otherwise I really enjoy doing these. It helped me brainstorm ideas! I would write about anything for about 10 minutes and then fix what I might not like or did incorrectly afterwards. They teach to write first and go back and work on any issues afterwards."


I really liked how Jump In, 2nd Edition by Writing with Sharon Watson utilizes smaller lessons to teach over 98 different writing skills. The concept of teaching students to write paragraphs first and eventually essays is brilliant in starting smaller versus the whole paper. It's less intimidating and allows the students to just start writing without worrying about accuracy and it really appealed to my daughter. It allowed her to freely write without interruption as she knew she could return and correct. 

As I looked forward to future lessons, I can definitely see how they will aid in her being able to expand on her thinking processes and add more to what she's writing. For instance, Chapter 7 or titled Reports, expands on organizing by using the outline method. I'm also looking forward to the chapter called Narration as it goes through the methods from setting the scene, descriptions, dialog and more to encourage greater depth in writing by still using simple approaches that aren't intimidating. It becomes a fun way to teach and I expect she will continue to enjoy the lessons. I would recommend this course.                                                                                                                     



Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew, a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

Jump In, 2nd Edition {Writing with Sharon Watson Reviews}

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Sharon Watson said...

Judy, thank you for your review. I love that you respond to some of the writing prompts with your daughter. What a great way to encourage her! And thank you for including her review as well.

Embracing a Healthy Family said...

Thank you so much! I look forward to continuing on with the lessons as it's really ideal for her. She has difficulty at times and your book broke through to her!

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