Writing

  1. College-Bound with TLP

    I am often asked what titles a high school student should choose, but that answer depends on whether the student is seeking admission into a four-year university, a two-year junior college, a trade school or other option. This post is for college-bound young adults. Communicate with the universities in which your student is interested. My first recommendation is to ask...
  2. Tips for Working with Reluctant Writers

     Tip Four:  Read. How simple is this concept?  Writing and reading go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Skilled writers are readers.  It makes sense, doesn't it?  An artist learns to draw by first looking at pictures.  An aspiring musician listens to music.  Writers read.  How can you maximize reading to improve a child's writing? Become a reader yourself.  Let...
  3. Tip Three: Validate the Process

    Tip Three:      Validate the Process. We teach that writing is a process, then ask students to follow a five-step procedure.  They'd rather not complete those five steps.  They'd much prefer do it in one step and if all we, as teachers, are interested in is the final product, we've provided scarce motivation to follow the five steps (discuss and gather...
  4. Tip Two (For Reluctant Writers)

        Tip Two:  Discuss first. I remember sitting with a blank piece of paper in front of me, pen in hand, and feeling paralyzed.  There were ideas spinning in my head, but none worthy of a first sentence.  The ideas swam around, without coming close enough that I could reel them in. This is when a discussion helps.  Hashing...
  5. Tips for Working with Reluctant Writers

    Tips for Working with Reluctant Writers  Tip One:        Provide A Visual Reward Picture the struggling writer:  He sits at the table, a blank sheet of paper in front of him.  He swings his feet back and forth, taps the pencil on the table, rubs his head and sighs.  Because he is a compliant child, he sincerely tries to do his...
  6. Evaluating Writing

    Evaluating Writing As the parent or teacher, you already know to check your students' writing for quality of content and mechanics.  What else do you look for?  Is the writing concrete? Look for specific words ("farmer" rather than "man"; "raced" rather than "ran"). Is it clear? Are there ambiguities or inconsistencies in thought or expression? Is it concise? Check for...
  7. Writer's Planning Form

    I added a new, down-loadable "freebie" to help students with their writing projects.  The "Planning Form" can be accessed under the "Free Stuff" button. Many students like the structure the form provides.  It helps them organize their thoughts and gives direction for the writing process.  The first thing the form requests is a working title.  A working title can help...
  8. Writing is a Process

    Writing is a Process             Does your homeschool become a battlefield each time you assign a writing project?  Helping your child understand that writing is a process can diffuse some of the tension and produce better results.             I teach students to follow the Five-Step Process outlined below.  I also require them turn in all of their drafts, with the...
  9. Grading Essays

                Grading essays is often as hard on mom or the teacher as it is on the student.  Is there a way to diminish the pain and increase the reward for both?             I think so.  Regardless of the age of the student, adhere to the following steps for an almost pain-free, grading experience: Before allowing the essay to be...

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