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Product Testimonials ▼

Cover Story ▼

The Co-op welcomes success stories that will help other homeschooling parents decide whether to add Cover Story to their home school curriculum. If you have used Cover Story and would like to contribute a testimonial, please click here.


”My son, 14, has received well-known, formal writing programs since 4th grade. His career will definitely not be in writing, but he used to love to write, read and journal. After those years of intensive writing classes, he now finds it boring and began to THOROUGHLY dislike writing or even reading a book. Because of this, I heavily researched other writing options for his 9th grade year, and God revealed Byline and Cover Story to me. Based on watching the online video samples and speaking to a Clear Water Press representative, I knew I found exactly what I was looking for! Reviewing both product offerings, we chose Cover Story for its animated, yet professional, instructional style. We're only two weeks into the program, but my son no longer has to be "pushed" to do his writing; he laughs at the videos, as well as listening intently. On day two, he actually "wished" he could finish reading the entire journal because he wanted to know how it ended! The lessons so far are short--just the right timeframe for introducing a new program. I've always been the kind of mom who participates in every subject and learns alongside my son, but this season of life is extremely busy and he is using it as it is designed to be as a 9th grader: independently. My job is to ensure he's doing it and will grade it once a month as suggested! I'm incredibly thankful for this approach for my "boy". If you have a reluctant writer because of other very good, but dry, writing programs, this is a great switch and a perfect fit for boys and those who have a good sense of humor. So far, so good! I definitely intend to continue using it and look forward to next year's Byline.”
Tracy Niess, Co-op Member
”We are really enjoying this program. My 13 year old son, who does not enjoy writing, actually wants to participate. It is still challenging while being fun. I am so glad that we chose Cover Story this year.”
L. SELLERS, Co-op Member
”My son looks forward to this every day. The videos are engaging and we are planning on doing the one year adventure novel next year from the same company.”
Francine, Co-op Member
”I got this for my Freshman in High School who is a reluctant writer. She and I bought felt the prospect of her making a magazine on the topic of her choice would make righting more fun.

It wasn't a total success but we aren't sorry we did this.

Part of the course is a journal (to more or less keep interest in writing and foster ideas) and the other is writing in various genres to produce a variety of material for the magazine.

My daughter was not interested in the journal writing at all. Actually, she didn't mind it TOO much, she just didn't want me reading or grading it. To have any success in the program, we stopped the Journal after the first Unit. We were still able to successfully complete the course.

The videos are entertaining and engaging. While my daughter is not a fan of poetry, she does write it wonderfully thanks to this course.

The end product was a beautiful, diverse magazine on Dragons. My daughter is very proud of her accomplishment and while she may not have been overjoyed with the lessons as she was doing them, she, and I, were quite pleased with the result.

A word of caution. The author of the program suggests that the coursework only be graded at the end of each unit. This was a mistake for us. Without regular grading of the work, my daughter slacked off and didn't (a) complete the assignments fully on the day assigned and (b) hurt her progress in multi-lesson assignments. The course felt that grading every assignment would stifle the creative process. We found the exact opposite. Without grading each assignment she didn't feel that it was important and with multi-lesson assignments, when the first one was graded and not quite right, the subsequent lessons suffered.

All and all a positive experience but highly tailored to meet our needs.”
Sue B., Co-op Member
”Byline is awesome! It is very creative and fun. Drawing students back into history is such a clever way to get kids to write and enjoy it. My son is enjoying the course more than I thought. He finds the stories intriguing, and has gone on to find out more about certain topics or people. He has always been a "history kid" and this course really helps to fuel that love.
The way Byline is presented is spectacular. The video lessons are fun, easy to follow, and engaging. They are of high quality and it is evident a lot of time and care has been put into them. I really couldn't recommend Byline enough. Being drawn into the 1930's as a newspaper reporter puts a unique angle on writing. I really feel this course would help any student, especially a reluctant writer. It is a fun and engaging way to learn to be a better writer.”
Yvonne Collins, Co-op Member
”We have only looked at the material but will be using it fully this week. My son, is so excited to get into cover story. We have friends that have started and their children are loving it. He is most excited to share his finished project with his friend.”
Francine, Co-op Member
”I am so glad we ordered Cover Story as our Middle School Language Arts Curriculum for our 12 year old son, it seems as if it were made just for him, and now that I think about it, it probably was! Every part of this course is so thoughtfully and carefully planned to make it interesting and do-able for the student and enjoyable and easy to present for the teacher. We start with watching about a 15min. video that introduces the days lesson that usually has some funny blooper at the end which my son waits for, then we open up the student workbook that reinforces the video lesson and gives an assignment typically to be done right on the pages that is an appropriately, bite-sized challenge for my son. There is a multiple-choice test to take at the end of each unit and plenty of tips for grading in the teacher book. There is also a beautifully bound, hard-cover journal that is part of this course with simple instructions on how to use it so that it isn't too abstract or overwhelming for a student who doesn't love to write, but gives space and direction for those that do. I love to show this curriculum to my friends when asked what I'm using for Language Arts and everyone is impressed with its look and lay-out for the student and teacher, and it's thorough covering of all important topics with related assignments that make your student look and feel successful!”
Amy Habrat, Co-op Member
”My 6th and 8th grader are using this program, and it's a little tough for my 6th grader, who just came from public school and isn't used to working independently and has learning difficulties, but my 8th grader absolutely loves it. She started with the assignments, and now carries a notebook everywhere with her to write stories and articles whenever she has an idea or a moment. I have seen this program unlock a spark and a joy for writing that I hadn't seen before.

I will continue to use this program with my younger children as they come up, and I will probably go through it again with my sixth grader in another year, when he's had a chance to settle in to learning without being spoon fed and working independently.”
Sonja Brow, Co-op Member
”We Love Cover Story!! Our son is in 7th grade. And even though we have only begun the program, he is already becoming a braver, more expressive writer. He looks forward to the videos, the workbook, AND the journal writing. He is facing daily writing with optimism for the first time...EVER. This program has been an amazing find!”
Malea D., Co-op Member
”This is a solid writing and grammar program, that is engaging! If your looking for a solid writing program but feel overwhelmed with IEW, I would high recommend.

My children have grown and really enjoy the program. I liked the fact I can do 6th and 9th grade together”
J. Carlin, Co-op Member
”Cover Story has been a life saver for me.

My boys (12 and14) have been very reluctant writers, they just have never enjoyed it. I've spent a lot of time trying to find something that would spark the creativity I knew they had and Cover Story has done just that.

The DVD is fun, and makes sense. The approach to writing is step by step with an explanation of why you need to do certain things to make your writing engaging to the reader. There is humor and definitely keeps my kids paying attention. The journal is so cool! You will find there is already something written in your students journal, it's up to your student whether or not to read it, but I would recommend they do as it is pretty entertaining. If your kids hate writing in a journal, they won't with this program. They start off by writing just 5 questions that pop into their head each day, then go one to more in depth things.

The one thing we all love about Cover Story is it emphasizes writing about something that interests the writer. That is the battle won right there!

We've only had this for a few weeks and already I've seen a difference in the boys writing, I see their creativity successfully being transferred to paper and I see them looking forward to writing because it makes sense to them now.”
Denise G., Co-op Member
”My son and I are really enjoying Cover-Story. My son is 6th grade and he is learning a lot. He is a reluctant writer but this curriculum is fun and laid out in a gentle way. We are excited to see the end product of the magazine he is putting together. He is already excited about the One Year Adventure Novel when he is in high school! We have shared our excited with many other homeschoolers.”
Ana, Co-op Member
”My 7th grader has been enjoying Cover Story very much. He's a reluctant writer but Daniel's videos have a good mix of humor and writing instruction, so it makes writing more interesting for him. The assignments seem to be broken down into manageable parts, without being simplistic. My son is easily bored but the lessons are interesting and his writing skill is progressing very nicely. He had great fun with the poetry lessons! We will definitely be using this for my other kids, and looking into Mr. S's other curricula.”
Andrea L., Co-op Member
”My seventh grade student is enjoying Cover Story. He is learning how to write in different formats such as poems about Pokemon! :D I like that we don't argue about it being time to do a lesson.”
Lara Martin, Co-op Member
”My 6th grade son is really enjoying Cover Story. The videos are engaging and he is motivated to keep up with the schedule. There are a variety of writing projects, including daily journal writing and a workbook 3 times per week. Lots of room to be creative within guidelines. We recommend Cover Story!”
Wendy Y., Co-op Member
”Cover-Story is an answer to prayer. My son loves to read, but he struggles with writing. We had almost given up on finding a writing program that would work for him, until we found Cover Story. The video lessons are fun and intriguing. He has participated in the writing contests and webinars that are offered with the program, and there are no more tears over writing. More difficult/challenging assignments are spread out of the course of several weeks and allow time for him to work through the assignment step my step at a pace that works for him. He is actually proud of his work, and I am proud of his progress. I highly recommend Cover Story to every student, especially struggling writers and those that don't like to write.”
N. Pinkerton, Co-op Member
”We are using this program currently with our 13yos who has challenges with writing. He is finding the material engaging. He is more willing to work on his own and be accountable for his work. He has taken more thought and care about his assignments because he loves the idea of it becoming a magazine. I have shared my enthusiasim about cover story and will continue to use it. Middle school has been a transition for him and this is just what he needed. He LOVES it!”
Darla Gallew, Co-op Member
”We are about half way through this exceptional LA curriculum for middle schoolers, and I am most impressed! The daily video lesson (3x a week) is humorous and insightful, while the student lessons and writing assignments are engaging. Both my students and I really like that they will be producing a magazine over the course of a year, a magazine themed around a topic of their choice. Middle school is all about finding your passion, so learning to write about it is a great way to keep students interested.”
Talisha Cabral, Co-op Member
”Daniel Schwabauer's "Cover Story" curriculum is literally a God send. We have used a handful of different writing curricula in the past years. No matter what I looked for to help challenge and inspire my reluctant writers, writing time was often a time of drudgery, or even tears, for our children. Mr. Schwabauer's approach is fun, silly, even "cheesy" at times, which is perfect for our kids! Don't let that statement fool you though, my children have learned much in our first 3 weeks of the program, but even better, they have found joy in writing and are inspired to write and be creative. If you want a writing curriculum that will bring inspiration and joy into your children's writing time, then I highly recommend "Cover Story"! Even the grammar is enjoyable and Schwabauer not only instructs, but shows the "why" of grammar and writing. THANK YOU Mr. Schwabauer for making a normally tedious time of writing into something my kids actually look forward to each day!”
Laura G., Co-op Member
”My 11 year old son and I LOVE Cover Story. After completing a wonderful, rigorous 3-year IEW program, we wanted something to keep his skills up and broaden his creative skills. This was the perfect pick! The program is so easy to use, my son could do much of it independently, but the videos are so informative and entertaining that my daughter and I rarely let him view solo. He has written to and received a reply from a favorite author, and was a finalist in a limerick contest. The daily journal entries are a great way to make writing a positive habit. We are very thankful for Cover Story!”
Julia B., Co-op Member
”We bought this for our 11 year old son. It is one of the best investments we have made. He used to hate writing, but Daniel's witty and humorous style of teaching has won my son over. His writing has improved dramatically, and he now wants to be an author. Would highly recommend it. Only concern I ever had was that in Journeling section the lecture topic was a bit intense for any younger siblings that may be around. But I would still strongly recommend this product.”
B. OShea, Co-op Member
”I have great regard for the creator of Cover Story and love our new class with him! He has so much fun teaching about writing, and my dyslexic son hated to write before we began. He now writes the most creative sentences in small, easy-to-digest bits in the beautiful journal that comes with the program. He is learning grammar in an easy, common sense way, and it is beneficial for my student to be led into which theme he would like to write about, instead of giving him a theme. When he has ownership of his work, he works harder on it and enjoys it so much more. No whining!! We will definitely be using the write a novel in a year curriculum when we finish his magazine! Best writing program I've ever done with my child!”
G.White, Co-op Member
”Cover Story is an excellent writing program. My daughter enjoys the lessons. It really sparks their creativity.”
Sherry, Co-op Member
”My 12 year old son loathed writing anything more than a paragraph and it was a process akin to pulling teeth whenever it was requested that he become more descriptive in his writing. I sought out new curriculum each year and nothing seemed to stir him to want to write...UNTIL Cover Story!

Now, he requests that the first "class" he completes for the day be Cover Story. He actually looks forward to doing the assignments and he doesn't mind taking the extra time to be creative and descriptive. He actually shows off his completed assignments to friends and family! This curriculum has made a significant impact on his ability and desire to write.

We will continue to use Cover Story and any subsequent curriculum produced!”
D. Lindsay, Co-op Member
”We are so happy with Cover Story. My son is a very reluctant writer, so this is perfect for him. Our whole family enjoys watching the videos and my son doesn't complain about doing the workbook lessons. This is HUGE for us. The humor is just right and perfect for him (and me). I get no complaints about doing our writing lessons and think that slowly, perhaps, writing might become something he can consider at least a little enjoyable. Thank you!”
Diane Ball, Co-op Member
”Cover Story is a love, love curriculum! I love it because I don't have to "teach". The kids love it because it is cool and different and fun! I highly recommend this to everyone.”
Rhonda Hopper, Co-op Member
”We are just finishing up this program for my 12 year old 7th grade daughter. Wow! We LOVED this program. There is no other curriculum, for any subject, that we have enjoyed more than Cover Story.

First I much appreciated the DVD instruction. This left my tween to be more independent which we both appreciated. The lectures are long but even with her mild ADHD, she sat through without complaint. She was engaged.

Second, it was brilliant to have the child pick their own theme for the magazine they create with this program. My daughter tends to get very excited about a topic and then lose interest in it soon after once she's discovered another interesting topic. But she loves horses and by picking horses to be her topic for her magazine it has kept her interest all year. She's already decided on next year's topic as she wants to repeat the program!

Once last year they had a live program where we got to see and interact with the teacher and his wife. My daughter had a blast and wished they could do this more often.

I felt that the writing techniques taught were very clever. It included ideas I never learned in school and even college. My daughter's writing has improved in leaps and bounds this year.

This is an excellent creative writing program that allows a child who enjoys to write to continue to improve without being bogged down by boring rules that are unclear about how to incorporate. The techniques taught here are presented so well that my daughter is eager to try them.

This is not a comprehensive writing program. It lacks expository instruction, note taking and outlining. Nor does it go into revision and editing for every piece of work that is done. There is a grammar section that we will review when we're done with the program. We will look elsewhere for expository writing.

The grading was a little confusing. I think it's mostly that how things are labelled in the grading section for the parent does not match what is in the student book. Once I figured that out it's fine but a bit annoying.

I do not enjoy grading the work! Thankfully the teacher books gives clear instruction on how to grade but I really dislike doing this. I can't see how to get around this without hiring a teacher to do it for you. It's necessary and not difficult. I just don't like doing it. My comments to my daughter lie mostly with her needing to slow down and be more thorough in her work and do revision and editing. The actual creative work she has done has been excellent.

I am thankful we found this program. My daughter was at a point where writing was becoming boring. This program reignited her enjoyment of writing and improved it at the same time.”
G Thomas, Co-op Member
”My 11 year old daughter loves this program! She finds the videos and assignments to be entertaining and inspirational. The program is very well organized and easy to use. It's been helping her to write more often and in different styles (short stories, reviews, poems, etc.).”
Amy D., Co-op Member
”Cover Story is a great combination of fun and learning. I have my two middle school children doing the curriculum together and I feel like they're both learning a lot from it.”
Jenny Robertson, Co-op Member
”My 13 year old son has loved the interesting, engaging videos. I don't have to stay on him to do his language arts anymore. Writing is still not his favorite subject, but he's far more thoughtful about his work now since he gets to follow the instructions of one of his favorite authors!

We will complete this curriculum this year and I will keep it to use with my other children as they get old enough. I plan to order "The One Year Adventure Novel" for my son next year since he is enjoying this curriculum so much.

We've told others about it and have encouraged people who need to shake up their language arts somehow. This curriculum makes the student interested in completing language arts lessons by presenting it as a intriguing, personal-interest-led writing piece with grammar and writing skills snuck in!”
Bonnie White, Co-op Member
”This program is everything I hoped for it to be. It is FUN. My children love it and willingly participate every day. The best part is I already see them starting to think and produce more like writers. They love the journal and don't mind writing in it every day. This a huge change in how they used to approach writing.

I'm using it with a 12 year old and a 9 year old. I help the 9 year old out a bit but he understands the lessons and that is the main thing that's important to me. He's my writer with novels galore inside of him, so I welcome the writing structure this is introducing into his imaginative brain. Just like training young fingers with instrument practice to create a future musician, I feel that we can do the same for a future writer by using a curriculum like this. The kids have the imagination and motivation and we just need to provide the structure that helps them learn how to get their message out into the world.

I wanted a program that really captures a love of writing and that teaches the reason for writing. This is exactly that. If you are looking for a technical writing curriculum steeped in grammar rules then this isn't what you are looking for. If you are looking to channel your child's energy and imagination into a form of written expression, in a fun and engaging way, then this is the program for you.”
C. Bryant, Co-op Member
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