How To Learn To Teach Writing >>> Need to learn?
How Do I Teach Writing? Help! >>>>
Teaching the Writing Process
Putting Pen to Paper:
Another month has slid by and mid-summer is upon us. The harder we try to
slow down our days and hold onto the months, the faster they seem to fly. Our
children say the same thing, so it’s not just because we are getting older!
We’re hearing from many of you that you are using the homeschool conferences
to your advantage to learn about, check out, and purchase curricula for
September. One subject that seems to provide angst for many families is
writing—those essays, compositions, and research papers that sometimes
intimidate you as much as they do your teens! We hope that our discussion of
this subject will bring you some relief and encouragement as you think about
including writing in your high school program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the questions we are often asked include:
•My child hates to write. How can I get him started?
•How do I teach writing? Help!
•How can I evaluate my teen’s writing ability?
•What kinds of papers should my teen write? How many?
•How do I grade writing assignments?
Are you encouraged already simply by the fact that you are not the only person
who has such questions? Before addressing them, it’s important to be reminded
that the ability to write will be used in all walks of life and is one of the marks of
a well-educated person.
In many ways, writing is truly an art. It is a way to craft and express ideas. It
teaches organizational skills especially by mentally ordering our thoughts so
these words and ideas flow in a systematic fashion to a conclusion. Your teens
can take numerous courses to learn the mechanics of writing; but if it is not
practiced, it won’t improve. There is much truth in the adage “practice makes
perfect” when applied to the art of writing.
Another reason to write is for memory’s sake. Putting experiences, feelings,
hopes or dreams down on paper not only cements them into our memory bank,
but allows opportunity to relive them at a later date.
Warning! As with all art forms, you may experience contention with your teen
over corrections, suggestions, and editing you do to your teen’s project,
especially if it is done with red ink. Something as simple as using another ink
color to edit may be helpful. And, by all means, turn the table and try your hand
at completing the same writing assignment that you give to your teen, asking
him to edit your work. Your teen will learn much as he searches for errors in
your writing and also provides suggestions for how you can improve your paper.
My Child Hates to Write. How Can I Get Him Started?
Writing is hard work, so some children will resist it. Take time to evaluate if the
dislike comes because of a learning issue that may easily be corrected. If you
are an HSLDA member, our learning specialists are always available to help you
diagnose if this is the case. You may find their newsletter, “Children Who Have
to Work too Hard to Learn,” informative and helpful.
It could be that your teens may just not want to put in the needed effort to
write. If so, you can give them practice putting their thoughts on paper by
writing short entries in a journal each day. Assure them that you will not read or
grade the journal. This will give them more freedom to say what they are
thinking in a variety of ways.
Sometimes the most difficult part of writing is getting started. Brainstorming
together can give your teen ideas which then can be organized in an outline for
the essay. Start with short essays on topics of interest to your teen or subjects
about which he or she is knowledgeable. This will provide interest and sufficient
material to use.
If you need ideas for writing prompts, try the Teacher’s Corner, which provides
prompts for each month of the year. Writing Fix also offers random writing
prompts at the click of a mouse.
How Do I Teach Writing? Help! >><>