Effective e-Course on Creative Writing!(Review)

Are you sure? How can an e-course help my child in creative writing?

Before attending any e-courses, I was skeptical of how effective one can learn via the internet until I enrolled for an e-course in Art of Education for my professional training. It had been worth every penny as the take away was far more beneficial than any lectures I have attended. This is due to the wealth of information that have been prepared and the tutorials that have been presented in a step by step procedure. Having such a wonderful experience, when I saw Hui Ing’s e-course on creative writing, I jumped at the opportunity and signed A up for it.

Before you shake your head and wonder why I am ‘stressing’ my P2 boy now, let me give you a sense of his background. Despite my years of inculcating the habit of reading in my kids, A has never been one to express himself in writing. The cards he writes throughout the years expanded only by one handful of fingers with a consistent greeting of the occasion. ‘Happy Mother’s Day.’ ‘I love you.’ to ‘ You are the best art teacher.’ That is his best expression by far at age 7. In school, he counts his words and ensures the shortest possible sentence formed so that he need not ‘waste’ effort in writing more than required.

For instance, his journal was to write 5 sentences.

  1. I want to be a policeman
  2. I like policeman
  3. I can catch bad guys
  4. I can run fast
  5. I can whistle

You get the idea. No matter how hard I try to motivate him, using the 5W and 1 H (Where, When, Why, What, Who and How), it will end up like the above. He will just answer At school, Daytime, Because etc. It makes me wonder very hard where did all the reading disappear to??? Like a blink of the eye, it is coming to mid 2016. I am aware that P3 there will be a jump in standards with creative writing as one major area and I am growing worried for A at the rate that he is going. I am unwilling to send him for tuition as many centres are mere imitations of ideas or jargon memorisation. Other factors include time and money that we cannot afford. As a trained educator ironically, I find myself helpless over this situation. I needed more concrete and specific guidelines that I can use to draw out my son’s imagination. My attitude is – if he is having real difficulty expressing in writing, the sooner we address it, the easier it will be for him to overcome this inertia of writing. We can still afford time to nurture slowly this interest and habit of writing before it becomes a burden in the upper Pri levels at this stage.

My main motivation is to cultivate a joy of writing now rather than fixing a writing problem or trying to score an Ace per say. I have always admired and respected Hui Ing’s professional opinion and value her sharing in Big IdeaZ Education. I was even tempted to let A participate in her School Holiday Workshops if not for the limited time and finance.

Imagine my delight and excitement when she began her Creative Writing Ecourse! I trust her ecourse would be aligned to my beliefs and address A’s issues.

Basically, I witnessed a Dramatic difference after A started using the specific guidelines and tips that was taught in the e-course.

Case 1: The lessons are broken up into clear and manageable segments. One key component is a Brainstorm list that was given and requiring us to contribute futher.

Brainstorm list of phrases to describe At the Beach

1.SEE

  • Children enjoying their picnic (A)
  • People jogging and strolling along the shore (Me)

2. HEAR

  • Shouts of excitement (Me)
  • Whirling sound of bladers (A)

3. SMELL

  • The smell of raw fish freshly caught (A)
  • The smell of stinky socks (Me)

4. TOUCH/FEEL

  • Cool calm sea. (Me)
  •  Perspiring bodies (A)

5. TASTE

  • Burnt bitter chicken wings (A)
  • Barbecue (Me)

This activity provided scaffolding in getting A to think and generate his own original ideas and content. It was challenging for him to do this alone, so we took turns to come up with the above. This is a far cry from what I have shared above! I was pleasantly surprised that he came up with whirling sound of bladers. When I heard that, I saw a glimmer of hope! As we press on in our weekly assignments, A grew more confident and willing to flex his brain muscles a bit harder. From a few sentences, he slowly built up to a full paragraph.

In lesson 6, he had to write a paragraph of about 50-60words to describe a problem/ conflict chosen from the brainstorm list. (Pls excuse his erm poor handwriting)

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When I saw what he wrote for this lesson, I was pleased with the effort he put into deciding on the character and describing a problem by showing instead of telling the problem. This goes to show that A had something, and this course aided me in drawing him out!

I strongly recommend her e-course if you are like me, at a lost on how to coach or draw out your child in creative writing, tight for time and finance. I find this course very purposeful and insightful if we learn how to apply the principles given diligently. Hui Ing’s video presentation via PowerPoint is concise and easy to comprehend. Your child’s assignment is marked and returned after 3 days. You do not need to ferry your kid to another place for the course. Another aspect that I like is the attitude towards such writing. Hui Ing adopts the Process based approach while addressing the important components pertaining to the PSLE formats and requirements. The first draft is mostly never read-ready. It requires many drafts before a worthy essay can be produced. Isn’t that what adults do as well? She encourages the child to keep improving on drafts and therefore do not give a grade for the drafts. When the grades are omitted, the focus naturally shifts to the writing process. That is our ultimate goal-

To cultivate motivated writers for life. 

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This course in my opinion teaches us HOW TO FISH instead of providing us the fish which is common in the enrichment marketplace.

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I leave you with the candid e-mail feedback that I gave Hui Ing.

  • How has this eCourse been helpful for you and your child?
It opens my eyes to the technical details that we can look for and apply it in almost any kind of composition. My boy has never written beyond 5 short telling sentences. I also am clueless as to how to guide him and encourage story telling. Through these few sessions, we have all progressed well beyond my expectations! Both of us now have a specific goal and idea on what to write for the introduction. The brainstorm list is a good way to build his vocabulary of ideas for content. Now I know how to guide him purposefully in his writing. I also discovered surprising ideas from him as we discuss his content as well as brainstorm for more phrases! It is an exciting start of a mutual writing journey for both my son and I. Thank You so much for the heart and hard work! Your presentations are clear and simple enough for even my P2 schooler to comprehend despite being a tad too long for him (due to his age I deem). He looks forward to your remarks as he would often ask if you have- marked already?
  • Is the amount of writing assignments too much / too little / just right?

I find the assignments a bit too much for his stage. I think those older will be a breeze? : ) So far, I have to do on separate occasions like 2x a week to complete them as after the presentation i think it’s like a long lecture on note taking and he’s tired out already. BUT good training for him. If it gets too long, I will just stagger his work and hand in only fortnightly to keep his interest. : ) e.g. for assignment 4, he could only manage presentation and 1 setting writing which took 1 and a half hrs.

  • Are the writing assignments too simple / too difficult / just right?
The assignments so far are manageable with much probing and encouragement erm cum scolding too. : P  The last one on continue to complete the essay was a bit too overwhelming for him but he did it in the end. I find such broken up sections (setting only/intro with safe only) very good for his pace.
  • What do you wish to see more of in this eCourse?
My son noticed that you didn’t give him a grade. I am happy that way. As this will help him focus on the writing process rather than a grade per say.
With appreciation,
Angie
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Course Synopsis

The Composition Writing Made Simple eCourse is an 8-week course that provides a clear framework to guide Primary School students through the basics of writing a composition, from the introduction to the conclusion. Students will be given clear, actionable steps to write each part of a composition and learn writing techniques that are easy to remember and apply.

Each lesson consists of an instructional video, lesson notes and comprehensive weekly assignments. All assignments submitted will be personally marked and commented on by Hui Ing, a former MOE Primary School teacher.
The Composition Writing Made Simple eCourse is designed for Primary School students who are beginning to write compositions for examinations. It is targeted at Primary 3 and 4 students but is also suitable for more advanced Primary 2 students as well as Primary 5 students who are still struggling with the basics of composition writing. The course focuses on writing compositions based on the new (2015) PSLE format.

TOPICS COVERED

  1. How to Write a Captivating Introduction
  2. Simple Ways to Begin any Composition
  3. Describing the Events Leading to the Problem (Pre-Conflict) Describing the Problem (Conflict)
  4. How to Create Suspense
  5. Writing the Resolution /Solution
  6. How to Write a Great Conclusion
  7. Story Planning / Paragraphing
Course Duration
  • Next enrolment: 1 July 2016 to 31 August 2016
  • 8 Lessons over a period of 8 Weeks (or 2 months)
  • * Each enrolment is capped at a maximum of 10 students
Course Fees
  • $200 (for the entire 8-week course)

Hui Ing also has created this free video on HOW TO CREATE SUSPENSE IN YOUR WRITING for her mailing list subscribers. (Click on the blue link to sneak peek the e-course!)

This is a mid-course review of the e-learning journey. I will be doing a post course review in July which will also include TWO Giveaway for my readers to her September courses! You won’t want to miss this, so stay tune by entering your e-mail in the box on the top right side bar to receive notifications of new posts or join us at our FaceBook!

Disclaimer: This course is sponsored by Big Ideaz Education. No other compensation was made. All opinions are 100% genuine from the blogger.

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