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How To Learn To Teach Writing >>> Need to learn?

Posted by on Jul. 5, 2012 at 6:34 PM
  • 3 Replies

                        

                      How Do I Teach Writing? Help! >>>>

Teaching the Writing Process

                                      Putting Pen to Paper: 

  Dear Friends,

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:

•Why write?
•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.

Why Write?
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! >><>

by on Jul. 5, 2012 at 6:34 PM
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Replies (1-3):
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jul. 5, 2012 at 7:05 PM
Excellent idea Sonja! I'll add in my 2 cents. I hated writing ASSIGNMENTS as a child, but have discovered I love writing as an adult. I believe the main reason for this is that I have the freedom to express myself in writing that wasn't permitted in limited writing assignments when I was a child.


Why write?
Well, writing helps a child learn to express themselves and it help develop their language skills. If you think about it, a baby expresses themselves by crying and fidgeting. They do this for everything - whether happy, sad, hungry, etc. they understanding of expressing themselves and language is very limited. As they grow they pick up more language but some children retain a difficulty in expressing themselves long into childhood, some even into adulthood. If you think about it, people would have a lot less angst in their lives if they had varying ways of expressing and explaining themselves. Why? Because what they are thinking may not be translating to others. So writing helps develop these skills. It also helps a child organize their thoughts.

How to get the reluctant writer started?
Well, speaking from personal experience, I had to throw away all the specific assignments, and start with free writing. My eldest was a reluctant writer because he wasn't confident in his spelling and grammar and he's a perfectionist. So we started with writing game story boards. He took his favorite video game and wrote out the story lines. We then edited for spelling and grammar. Then he added new stories using the same characters and setting. From there he saw writing can be (dare I say it?) FUN! So when he read a book, he had no problem writing a paper about it - the plot, setting, what his likes & dislikes were, character development, etc. BTW, he'll be turning 11 in a couple of weeks.

How do I teach writing?
Hmm, this is a difficult question! I use a multi-pronged approach. We learn grammar through games and iPad apps and pointing out certain rules and such when we see them in a story. We also started our writing adventure by being voracious readers. I've been reading big chapter books to them at bedtime since they were babies. So they were familiar with fiction writing. From our gaming and book reports we moved onto some other types of writing, handling one every month or so, with no pressure, to learn to write biographies my kids interviewed their Vietnamn Vet grandfather. This fall we are making a newspaper in our co-op so they will be learning about investigative writing, etc.

How do I grade writing assignments?
I admit it, I never ever grade. IMO this reinforced negative self image in my kids, as they are super perfectionists. Instead our writing is always a work in progress. We start with outlines, then move through several editions after editing each one. If they are correcting mistakes then it would be impossible for me to put a grade to it. I think when they become high school level I'll change things up and start grading in preparation for college, but for now, we don't worry about it.

How many papers should a teen be writing?
Well that's really a personal choice. We always have at least one writing assignment ongoing. Usually coinciding with some other aspect of our HS - research for a history or science project, fiction story, etc. once they have their final edition we start the next project. I'd say, on average, we start a new writing project about every 6-8 weeks.

What types of writing should we be doing?
Well by about middle school a child should be becomming familiar with the different styles of writing - from different tones of voice, to research projects (citing references), to biographies, to book reports. I started introducing the different forms at about 4-5 grade.

 Home Educators Toolbox  / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks / Kickbuttmama's Home Education
Albert Einstein -- 
   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Jul. 5, 2012 at 7:18 PM

 Thanks Shannon. Keep adding your 2 cents worth. Your 2 cents worth is adding up rather nicely.  : )

Quoting KickButtMama:

Excellent idea Sonja! I'll add in my 2 cents. I hated writing ASSIGNMENTS as a child, but have discovered I love writing as an adult. I believe the main reason for this is that I have the freedom to express myself in writing that wasn't permitted in limited writing assignments when I was a child.


Why write?
Well, writing helps a child learn to express themselves and it help develop their language skills. If you think about it, a baby expresses themselves by crying and fidgeting. They do this for everything - whether happy, sad, hungry, etc. they understanding of expressing themselves and language is very limited. As they grow they pick up more language but some children retain a difficulty in expressing themselves long into childhood, some even into adulthood. If you think about it, people would have a lot less angst in their lives if they had varying ways of expressing and explaining themselves. Why? Because what they are thinking may not be translating to others. So writing helps develop these skills. It also helps a child organize their thoughts.

How to get the reluctant writer started?
Well, speaking from personal experience, I had to throw away all the specific assignments, and start with free writing. My eldest was a reluctant writer because he wasn't confident in his spelling and grammar and he's a perfectionist. So we started with writing game story boards. He took his favorite video game and wrote out the story lines. We then edited for spelling and grammar. Then he added new stories using the same characters and setting. From there he saw writing can be (dare I say it?) FUN! So when he read a book, he had no problem writing a paper about it - the plot, setting, what his likes & dislikes were, character development, etc. BTW, he'll be turning 11 in a couple of weeks.

How do I teach writing?
Hmm, this is a difficult question! I use a multi-pronged approach. We learn grammar through games and iPad apps and pointing out certain rules and such when we see them in a story. We also started our writing adventure by being voracious readers. I've been reading big chapter books to them at bedtime since they were babies. So they were familiar with fiction writing. From our gaming and book reports we moved onto some other types of writing, handling one every month or so, with no pressure, to learn to write biographies my kids interviewed their Vietnamn Vet grandfather. This fall we are making a newspaper in our co-op so they will be learning about investigative writing, etc.

How do I grade writing assignments?
I admit it, I never ever grade. IMO this reinforced negative self image in my kids, as they are super perfectionists. Instead our writing is always a work in progress. We start with outlines, then move through several editions after editing each one. If they are correcting mistakes then it would be impossible for me to put a grade to it. I think when they become high school level I'll change things up and start grading in preparation for college, but for now, we don't worry about it.

How many papers should a teen be writing?
Well that's really a personal choice. We always have at least one writing assignment ongoing. Usually coinciding with some other aspect of our HS - research for a history or science project, fiction story, etc. once they have their final edition we start the next project. I'd say, on average, we start a new writing project about every 6-8 weeks.

What types of writing should we be doing?
Well by about middle school a child should be becomming familiar with the different styles of writing - from different tones of voice, to research projects (citing references), to biographies, to book reports. I started introducing the different forms at about 4-5 grade.

 

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jul. 5, 2012 at 7:31 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting kirbymom:




I know...I don't seem to have an off button..lol
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