Cover Story Middle School Writing Curriculum Review



Affiliate links may have been used in this post. To read our full disclaimer, click here.

I am so excited to share this review with you. It is the first of many {I hope} that my daughter and I both write together! In case you are wondering without having to read it all, we LOVE it!


For Sample Lessons & Lesson Topics, Click here. To learn more about Cover Story, click here.


Cover Story Middle School Writing Curriculum includes:
– DVD set
– Student Book
– Teacher’s Guide
– The Remarkable Journal of Professor Von Steuben
– Plus a separate (optional) Grammar Component
  Price for the whole set: $149



Review by Carrie Fernandez & Isabella Fernandez (12 years old/8th Grade)


Since my daughter Isabella began 6th grade, I have been eagerly waiting
for her to reach high school so we could use One Year Adventure Novel (and
that is the ONLY reason!) Imagine my excitement last year when I learned that
a middle school curriculum was going to be released called Cover Story
by the same company who makes One Year Adventure Novel! I admit to being
much more excited than my daughter, but, then again, I do have a thing about curriculum.

When Cover Story arrived in our mailbox, I couldn’t wait to put everyone to bed so I could dig into it. First I looked over the Teacher’s Guide, which initially overwhelmed me because it seemed too big for an independent curriculum. Then I realized that much of the bulk was assigned reading texts. Whew!

What I like best about the Teacher’s Guide is that it clearly explains how to teach the course and grade your student’s work. It eliminates those guessing games that often arise while you are still trying to figure out how to use a new curriculum. In fact, Isabella already finished lesson 11, and I haven’t had to return to the Teacher’s Guide even once. The author recommends that you review your student’s work after lesson 12 and encourages you to set aside 1-2 hours to go over everything after each unit (every 12 lessons.) The guide contains answers to the worksheet questions and the rubrics for each writing assignment, as well as a one-page overview of each lesson.

After I read through the Teacher’s Guide, I popped in the disc. I watched the “How to use Cover Story,” “For Parents and Teachers,” and then decided to watch the first lesson to see if I thought my daughter would like it (plus I needed to write a review!) After watching lesson one, I wanted to watch lesson two, three, and four – all in a row. I thought they were fun, engaging, and entertaining. Honestly, they made me want to do Cover Story myself! (I wish that I could have done something like this when I was in middle school.) The only thing that bugged me was when, during the occasional close-up camera shots, the teacher, Mr. Daniel Schwabauer, still looked toward the other camera, so he didn’t appear to be looking directly at “you.” However, it doesn’t seem to bother my daughter at all.

I thought it would be fun for her to write her own review of Cover Story. We have tried DVD curricula in the past, but she couldn’t get past the corny instructions and dry, boring teachers. Writing has always been her strongest subject, so I was desperately hoping that this would work well for her.

Review by Isabella, 12 years old, 8th grade:

I like this curriculum a lot because it lets me be completely creative in making my own magazine. It’s a DVD curriculum, which typically has never worked well for me and I love it now! My teacher, Mr. Daniel Schwabauer, is funny but also tries to be understanding in how most kids don’t typically like grammar. I really recommend that if you are planning on using this curriculum to have already done basic grammar before, but if you haven’t there is an extra DVD that teaches some basic grammar skills.

There’s also a student book, and just in case you didn’t fully comprehend the lesson all the way, there’s a tad bit of reading and explaining about the lesson (about a paragraphs size.) The student book has some questions that go along with each video lesson.

Last but not least, there’s also a journal called “The Remarkable Journal of Professor Gunther von Steuben.” After a little reading of his journal, you fill in the missing pieces (you will learn more about Mr. von Steuben in one of the DVD lessons.) You are assigned to write a few questions Monday-Friday and read when needed. Although you will be writing in the journal Monday-Friday, Cover Story is a three-day-a-week curriculum.

Here are some questions my daughter answered for you:

What does a typical lesson/day consist of for you? Usually, (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) I watch one video each day and do the work in my student book. Then I write down a few questions that I’m curious about in everyday life in the accompanying journal.

How long does writing take on average per day? On average, writing takes about 30 minutes a day so far, but I haven’t started longer writing assignments yet. Each video lesson is around 10-15 minutes long.

Explain why a DVD curriculum hasn’t worked well for you in the past and why this is different: I personally think that in the past the main reason I never liked DVD curriculum before is because most of the teachers were boring and cheesy, but I like this teacher a lot. He is funny, but not dorky and annoying. He doesn’t talk to “us” like we are little kids either.

Why you like Cover Story: I have always been really good when it comes to writing, but I particularly like this curriculum because I get to be creative, give multiple answers, and express myself. Most writing curriculum I have done has been very structured and directed me in what I had to write.

Is there anything you DONT like about it? Be honest. I do not like reading the existing entries in “The Remarkable Journal of Professor Gunther von Steuben,” but I like writing the few questions daily.

Do you look forward to doing the high school curriculum One Year Adventure Novel? Yes!

Final thoughts from Isabella, 12 years old, 8th grade: I enjoy Cover Story a lot and hope you will too!

My final thoughts:
I am very impressed with the quality of the video lessons. My husband is a techie and dabbles in video, so I tend to be critical of production quality. In my opinion, Cover Story appears to be produced by professionals—not in someone’s basement! The DVD lessons are very high quality, and I found them to be entertaining, as did my daughter. Mr. Schwaubauer has a gentle way of explaining the methods used and employs fun examples to reiterate his points. The lessons do not lose my daughter’s focused attention because they are too long, which seems to be a problem with other subjects. She looks forward to writing and usually chooses to work on this curriculum first.

I am so pleased with Cover Story. I cannot wait to see her finished product at the end of the year! I am even more thrilled about using One Year Adventure Novel now in high school (probably 10th grade) and feel like this was a great introduction to Mr. Schwaubauer’s teaching methods. I give Cover Story a 15 out of 10!! Way to go!

Written by Carrie

Carrie

Carrie is the owner & operator of Homeschool Giveaways. She is also the Operations Manager for Build Your Bundle – a once a year HUGE homeschooling sale. She has been homeschooling for ten years, has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.

Opt In Image
Join our growing list of 120,000 homeschoolers who LOVE free stuff!

Is my email safe and will I get junk? Click here for info.

Similar Posts You Might Like:


Need An Affordable Approach to Learning?
Save time, money and stress with our award-winning online homeschool curriculum!

Free and Cheap Kindle Kids Books

Kindle Books for Kids   Please remember, Amazon prices can change quickly. The books below were free at the time this post went live, but may only be so for a limited time. Please double check the price before purchasing any of the books below.       Grimm House {2.99} - When Hadley's parents leave on a cruise and…

How to Make Your Own Liquid Soap for Just $4

I run through liquid soap like crazy at my house. I've got a bottle at my kitchen sink and at three bathroom sinks. Cost alone is reason enough to make my own liquid soap. But, now that winter is in full-force, my hands have a tendency to crack and bleed from…

FREE & CHEAP Kindle Books to Organize your Home, Finances, & Health

Please note: The following Kindle books were discounted at the time of posting, but likely will only be so for a limited time. Prices can change quickly. Please verify the price before purchasing.   Read these books on your Kindle or free Kindle  Reading App, available for your smart phone,…

8 Free and Cheap Kindle Books for Bloggers

FREE  and Cheap Kindle Books for Bloggers Please remember, Amazon prices can change quickly. The books below were free at the time this post went live, but may only be so for a limited time. Please double check the price before purchasing any of the books below.    30 Marketing Strategies for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram {2.99} - There is…

FREE Printable Healthy Food Coupons

We are all trying to feed our families healthy food on a budget. This seems like a lofty goal when flyers and coupons for BOGO Pop Tarts or Lunchables abound. Here are some coupons for natural or healthy foods. Although they may not do everything perfectly, many of these foods are…

DIY Comfort Spray

Do you struggle with bedtimes at your house? Sometimes it can be such a chore to try to get your children to fall asleep, to stay in their room and to stay asleep! I feel like I have tried everything to get my kids to just go to sleep. I…

FREE Printable No Soliciting Sign

Depending on your neighborhood, you may have several salespeople knocking on your door several times a week. It goes in spurts at my house, but there are times I can hardly get a break from the solicitors at my door! And, yet, I don't mind having a friendly neighbor stop…

15 Car Cleaning Hacks for Moms

I often call my car "The Annex" because that's what it feels like. The kids and I spend so much time running to music lessons, co-ops, the grocery store, church activities, birthday parties, and - as you well know - the list goes on. To say that my vehicle looks…

FREE Printable Vintage Paper Placemats

Whether you're having a ladies' luncheon or perhaps an afternoon snack with your daughter, these free, printable Vintage Paper Placemats are sure to make your guests feel special! They would also look lovely placed under plates of sweets and finger foods. It will definitely display your food items in a lovely manner.Click…

How to Make Homemade Pedialyte

The next time your child is sick and dehydrated, stir up some Homemade Pedialyte. It will save you money and a trip to the store! There are three different recipes, and chances are that you already have the ingredients sitting in your kitchen!Click here to make homemade Pedialyte!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL NEW POSTS

Notebooking Pages Free Resources