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PowerHouse Writing Grades 4-8 Review by Renita Kuehner

Lisa Dettinger
PowerHouse Educational Resources

Do you have a student who is struggling with learning the proper mechanics of writing? Are you having trouble reaching your student? Lisa Dettinger of PowerHouse Educational Resources has created an innovative approach to help kids understand and learn to love writing.

PowerHouse Writing Grades 4-8 is a video-based learning approach to learning the mechanics of writing. Each video lesson runs 10-15 minutes with a short writing assignment that centers around the topic they were watching. Students can work alongside Lisa though as she is conducting the lesson.

In each video, Lisa draws the student’s attention with a fun hands-on approach to writing. She may keep their attention by looking at how to market products, and then have the kids create their own products to sell. There is a lesson on how to build simple sentences by using word cards that the student creates. She mixes up the activities to keep students drawn into their writing. Since Caty has learning disabilities, this breakdown has really helped her to understand lessons much better.

Students can work right along with the video in their workbook. They look at the same screens in their workbooks that Lisa is showing in the video. Depending on the lesson, Caty completed her work in under 30 minutes. This multi-sensory teaching style does not keep your student tied to just the video instruction. They are working along with the video, creating and writing. I liked that she was able to work independently, and I could just check in on her and her work daily.

PowerHouse Education Resources created a very user-friendly dashboard for the online classroom. It shows when a student has completed a lesson and those that they have yet to start. For a student who struggles in these areas, this made it easy for Caty to follow where she needed to click next. All the videos are embedded in the classroom, so there are no outside links.

Lisa does a wonderful job keeping the kids' attention. Caty loved the lesson where she opened a candy bar and was using it as a prop for a writing lesson. I liked that I was able to refer to that when I was reviewing her lesson later that day. Keeping the lesson simple and easily relatable for the students helps them to build confidence in their writing. The use of word cards to build sentences allowed it to click in Caty’s brain that sentences are just individual words that come together.

Written for grades 4 – 8, PowerHouse Writing hits the spot with our student. Writing is an area she struggles in and one of her goals is to write fan fiction. Lisa’s approach opened Caty’s eyes that writing is not something that only a professional can do. She has shown her that she CAN write! Her confidence has continued to grow with each lesson. If you have a struggling writer or you are just struggling yourself, please check out how PowerHouse Writing can help you out. You will not regret the decision.

-Product review by Renita Kuehner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2019