An article by Melanie Sevcik at homeschoolingteens4success.com
Writing is a form of communication and an essential life skill for your student as they head off to college or work after graduation. Sadly, however, this important life skill has deteriorated among American students over the last 50 years.
As homeschoolers, we have the opportunity to change this trend. Writing is essential and an integral part of life. It needs to be an integral part of the education you provide. Furthermore, by helping our students become strong writers, the competition may help push the quality of writing in traditional schools.
Why learning to write well is so important
Writing in itself is important for without it we would not have historical understanding.
Writing is essential because through it we communicate events, ideas, thoughts and feelings with other human beings.
You see, we are living in a story- we are meant for story, and what happens each day is part of that bigger story. Without anything in written form, we would have to rely on oral history to be handed down from one generation to the next.
Have you ever played the game of Whisper Down the Lane or Telephone? I think we all know how well facts would hold together over time! Each retelling will be subject to the teller’s bias.
Since written material is important to the human race, learning to do it well stands as our best way to communicate with each other, but even more importantly, future generations.
How to get better at writing
Some erroneously believe we are either born with the ability to put words together…or we aren’t… and to not have that intuitive skill means you will never get it. This is far from the truth.
First, practice, practice, practice! Much like the piano player, even those with talent will not improve if they do not regularly spend time practicing. Giving your students time and many opportunities to work on writing will help them improve immensely.
Second, allow your students to learn from their mistakes. Let them revise their own work multiple times if necessary. Teach them how to incorporate your revisions with their own revisions to continually increase the quality of their work.
What is the best way to teach writing?
Taking advantage of the age of your middle school and high school teens is key. Kids love stories and they tend to be quite dramatic and full of hyperbole at this age. What a great time to start teaching creative writing!
Creative writing can begin by writing short stories. By now, they have likely read or listened to hundreds of books. Think through with them what types of reading is their favorite and start with something similar.
Don’t worry of their stories sound strangely familiar to their favorites either. They are just getting the hang of it and it takes time.
Once they get creative writing down and as they get older, you can introduce them to other types of writing that they will need for college and/or work. Creative writing is the best point of entry because it is by far the most fun!
Good writing is essential! We need good story tellers, good non-fiction writers, good journalists. In business, we need good copywriters. Writing is everywhere and in all of life!
As homeschoolers, the best thing we can do for our students is to encourage writing and give them many opportunities to do it. Not only will this effort help our students in their studies and their careers, helping them develop strong writing abilities will help move a generation forward.
HomeschoolingTeens4success.com is here to serve, support, and encourage you as you do the same for your teens. Whether you are a veteran homeschooler or considering homeschooling your teens for the first time, my goal is to give you what you need to relax and enjoy the journey.
I went to public school and then on to public universities where I earned my Master's degree in Labor Relations. I worked in Human Resources and then as an HR consultant before getting married and having a family. Homeschooling has been a decision I never regretted- I love the time with my kids. There is a lot to it but there are so many options available now! My joy is to help you as you make this journey for your own family. Come visit me at www.homeschoolingteens4success.com!