I want to tell you how much we enjoy using Writing
Strands. I recently was just reading your book,
Evaluating Writing, and realized that you
suggest that Writing Strands
and Reading Strands be used together and
alternated weekly. I wish I had been aware of this last year.
If homeschooling parents want the full benefits of Mr. Marks' program for their children,
then they should listen to the author's recommendations of how to go about using it, and
make sure that they purchase a copy of Evaluating Writing. It
is a valuable teaching guide to the program, and an essential one. Parents have a remarkably
simple but complete Language Arts Program in their hands, and they need to know how to utilize
it to its full potential. Evaluating Writing oes this for
them. I highly recommend it as a homeschooling parent who uses it, and I feel fortunate to have
found the program!
Have a good day,
My daughter, Sarah, is about to complete Level Three in
Writing Strands. Send me an order form so I can place an order for level
Sarah's attitude about creative writing has totally changed
for the better since we began using Writing Strands. I really appreciate
your work and dedication to providing quality material for
Dear Mr. Dave,
I finished your book Dragonslaying is for Dreamers quite a
while ago, and I wanted to tell you what I thought about it. So I guess
I'll start off by telling you it was one of the best books I ever read. I
really liked the parts when Axel would make the dragons blow-up. Those
parts were really cool! Well, at least I thought so, I don't think my mom
an my sister were big fans of those parts! My favorite characters
were Axel, Thidney, Winthon and the King. I liked Winthon partly
because of his name, and partly because he was a nice donkey. I
liked Thidney because he's funny. I liked Axel because he was really
brave. And I liked the King because he was very nice. It was really
funny the way you took care of Axel's mother and Molly's dad so they could
get married! I think they would have had a bad time as married
people because they were both wanting to be in charge! What was your
favorite part to write?
Austin Canen Age 10
P.S. I'm really looking forward to reading your new book! I want to read the sequel to this!
Mr. Dave Marks,
Hi, my name is Josh Somerstein. I'm 16 and have just
finished reading your book Dragonslaying is for Dreamers. I really enjoyed
it, alot! I'm not one who just sits down and reads, but yours was
excellent. I couldn't put the book down! I enjoy things that I learn from,
one thing I learned in this book is how selfish I can be. In the story,
Axel was offered a lot of things, but didn't always take them. He was
humble and thought of others. I tried to put myself in Axel's place and
ask myself if I would have been greedy enough to take everything that was
offered to me. I also learned that if you have a goal in life, and
try everything to achieve it, then problems don't seem to bother you as
much; but if you don't have a goal, then problems begin to become a burden
to your life. Your book was phenomenal, and if you ever write any other
books, let me know, I can't wait to read them!
Your newest fan,
P.S. I was up till 4:00 am in the morning with a flashlight to finish your book!
Dear Mr. Marks,
I'm so impressed with the results that my daughter is
achieving in her writing skills after using your program I just had to
write and say thank you. I've been homeschooling my daughter,
Nicole, for 5 years. Her writing skills have been the most difficult to
develop. I've never felt confident with any of the curriculum I've used in
the past. This is our first year with Writing Strands. Right from
the beginning of the school year when we cracked open Writing
Strands Level 3 Nicole began to improve dramatically. It felt like we
unlocked a door we just couldn't get open until now. So, I
thank you, Mr. Marks, for putting together such a fine program.
My second grader just finished Writing Strands Level 2 and
my sixth grader just finished Writing Strands Level 3. At this time last
year, my then fifth grader was halfway through a ... grammar book. It was
terrible. Everyday grammar was a struggle for both of us. I thought,
"There has to be a better way!" I read about Writing Strands in a
homeschool magazine and immediately sent for more information. I then
purchased your curriculum. Later in June I was able to hear your
presentation at the LEAH Conference in Syracuse. It was a truly inspiring
presentation. Thank you so much for Writing Strands. I recommend it to
every homeschooler I meet.
Colorado Springs, CO
Thank you for your creativity and inspiration. We look
forward to a year of writing without the technical bondage of the "letter"
mechanics of English courses in diagramming sentences, etc... "The letter
kills, but the Spirit gives life."
Pat from Fort Worth Texas
We had an amazing breakthrough this year in
our writing assignments thanks to Writing Strands. My boys,
ages 10 and 13 hated writing and always became upset when asked to write
things. "I can't write, I don't know how to get started," was the
usual complaint. After using your material the change in attitude
was dramatic. Enclosed is my 13 year old's description of his back
yard at the end of the year. See and enjoy the results for
yourself. Please accept my heartfelt thank you for helping us into
the world of writing.
Mrs. Alan Stout
Dear Mr. Marks,
I recently received my writing books. They
are truly everything you claim. After the first few lessons my
kids (ages 9 and 11) were hooked, laughing, and asking for more.
Dear Mr. Marks,
My children love Writing Strands! So do I! Writing is no
longer a chore but something we all look forward to.
I have to tell you that as a former high school English teacher, I am
very impressed with the Writing Strands texts. I find them far
superior to any writing textbook I have ever encountered. My
philosophy of teaching writing has always been that one learns to write by
writing, not by memorizing rules of grammar. Your texts use that
philosophy. I was unable to teach my 8th grade son how to write. We
tried absolutely everything. Thank God I discovered your
books. You are a genius. And I believe that genius lies in you
being able to speak to kids on their level. What you say makes sense
to kids. What you say has meaning for kids, otherwise they would not
be motivated to complete the assignments.
Judith A. Gilbert
I have a son who has mild cerebral palsy. Although he is of average
intelligence, he has great difficulty with communicating his thoughts into
words, and especially on paper. I heard about Writing Strands from a
friend and decided to try it with him. At the beginning of the year, he
was 12, he had a difficult time just writing anything, much less
sentences. We started with Level Two. "It is a pencil." I could see light
beginning to dawn on him as we progressed through the lesson. He was so
proud when he looked at his 1st finished sentences. He had done it! By the
end of six months he had progressed from that simple sentence, to a page
and a half essay on an experience he had during an imaginary summer
vacation. I can't say enough about how great I think this program is!
I just want to let you know how much my twin boys age 15 and
I appreciate Writing Strands. We have already gone through Levels 3, 4 and
5 and are using Level 6. I thought earlier in this year that we could just
get by with using the public school Eng. textbook. Boy, was I wrong! We
did nothing but spin around in tight little circles. I tried other books
and pamphlets on how to write an essay -- finally we now know how to write
an essay using Writing Strands Level 6. Thank you, Thank You!
Two Harbors, MN
Dear Mr. Marks:
We have been using your Writing Strands materials in our
home school since September of last year. My fifth and eight grades
regarded writing as a chore, a disturbing and counter productive
development. I have a degree in English from UCLA, with an emphasis in
literary criticism, but I was at a loss as to how to stimulate their
creative juices. We started with Levels 3 and 5. the guffaws filtering out
of the schoolroom were promising: Abel, the 5th grader, particularly
relates to the wit of the instructions. The work they have done is a
revelation of creativity and -- even more exciting to me -- logic and
organization. Hanna, my 8th grader, relates to every exercise with a fresh
insight. They seem to engage her imagination in a way that our previous
program did not. Thank you for the fine materials.
Crystal Lake, IL
Dear Mr. Marks,
I would like to express my thanks and relief for Writing
Strands. Firstly, I must confess I was skeptical anything so simple would
work. The first week of homeschool we trudged through nouns: common,
proper, collective, concrete and abstract ...Z Z Z! Need I say more?
Somehow I felt we weren't learning language unless we were taking
sentences apart. Today I took the plunge--out came Book Two. Day one was
pure joy for us! Thank you for breaking the units into days and at very
sensible places. Sara was actually laughing during certain portions of the
lesson! Again, many thanks for these delightful materials!
Sebago Lake, ME
To Whom It May Concern,
As a homeschool educator I was introduced to the Writing
Strands program at a convention last spring. I was impressed with the
presentation and purchased level 3 to use with my two children. The
quality of work that has been produced by my children is remarkable. I
have taught writing in both the public and private schools using other
materials and I have not been as impressed with the outcome. My children
are certainly no more intelligent than the many others I have instructed.
I must conclude that is the material that has produced the exciting
I am thrilled to tell you that both of my children love to
do the assignments. My daughter, 13, has always enjoyed writing but not so
my son. He now enjoys the results of his work. He is eleven and wonder if
he might just be a future writer. I find it amazing the enthusiasm both
children have to find out what we are going to do in the next lesson.
My son really enjoyed your Dragonslaying is for Dreamers. He
usually only likes Star Wars books. I liked the parent's manual--it was
great. I wish I had it twenty years ago when I was in school and
college. Last month, I ordered Axel and the Blue Men. My son is very
disappointed that he must wait until the end of this month to read
it. He wants me to tell you that you absolutely must
write more books.
Thanks for the great books,
Anonymous Mom of a 12 year old in Virginia
We have just completed reading Dragonslaying is For Dreamers. It didn't take us
long. My daughter, 13 and son, 11, and I couldn't stop reading
it. We took turns reading out loud so we didn't have to put the book
My son, Kevin, surprised me! This child finds every excuse there is not
to read. (There aren't actually very many excuses) He was always
picking it up wanting to read more than was planned to read that
My daughter, Erin, is the opposite. I actually have to tell her to 'put
the book down.' Don't worry, I don't tell her that too often but when she is brushing
her teeth, making her bed or we're eating dinner, I do have to make her stop
reading. She has read many, many books in her 12 years! She
honestly said that Dragonslaying Is For Dreamers is her
favorite. She could have read it in one day and continually
reminded me of that but I insisted that we stop from time to time to
have a discussion.
We are happy that the author has a heart and has chosen to not destroy the
egg. Axel obviously was not entirely thrilled about the death of the
dragons even though the payment, honor and glory were rewarding. The author
found it in his heart to keep the dragon fantasy alive for all the young dreamers
out there who want to be dragonslayers when they grow up and for all of those who
want to dream along with them as they read aloud with their children.