I clearly remember middle school and writing assignments. Back in the day, the teacher assigned a certain number of words for a writing assignment. I do not ever remember being taught the basic mechanics of writing. I do not ever remember being taught about the different styles of writing, how to brainstorm, how to construct a great topic sentence or thesis statement, how to write a teaser, how to tie everything together in a culminating paragraph, how to paint pictures with a story, how to draw a reader in, voice, flow… Do you?
I do remember counting every word and figuring out how many more and, but, so…I needed to push me closer to the finish line. I didn’t dare waste time focusing on what my story was about, or even if it was any good. I just knew I had better have all the words needed because that was stressed as being the most important aspect of the assignment. What a waste of my time. I wish my teacher had spent time coaching me in the fine art of story writing and the importance of correct structure and grammar. I was left with a distaste for writing, however with time, I taught myself about writing and began to enjoy the art. I seriously doubt very many kids today enjoy writing. I imagine they see it as torture, which is quite sad.
Writing is a very important skill for everyone, especially today. Writing is used in most all jobs in one form or another. Kids deserve to be taught how to effectively write, and they deserve to be allowed to discover the fun writing brings.
Do you flinch when it comes to teaching your child how to write? What about it causes anxiety? Is it sentence structure, paragraph writing, SAT essay writing skills, advanced essays, or something else? Some parents are just not comfortable teaching writing because they feel they were never properly taught how to write. A writing tutor can be helpful. But, if you are willing, you and your child can learn to write together. You might want to start by learning about the different styles of writing: narrative, expository, argumentative, persuasive, comparative, literary, and so on. Next, explore ways of organizing and making a rough draft. Move into editing and finally to the final copy. The five paragraph essay is a great next move since most kids will have to complete a writing portion on whatever standardized test they take. If grammar is a little shaky, brush up on sentence structure, paragraphs, usage, and mechanics first. Remember, this is not a race, so go slow and enjoy the process.