How to Teach Essay Writing
Are you a competent essay writer? Even if you know how to write an essay, chances are you are dreading the coming years of teaching homeschool writing just as much as your novice writer could be dreading learning how to write. Writing comes naturally for very few, but most view writing as an insurmountable abstract mountain. The Write Foundation writing curriculum is a divide and conquer method of teaching writing. Focusing on small portions of writing paragraphs and later five-paragraph college level essays, eventually you and your students will be able to use all the necessary writing skills to easily compose wonderfully crafted formal essays.
Start with a good foundation
That is, of course, what The Write Foundation teaches. Don’t just throw your homeschooled-child into the middle of essay crafting. Focus on sentence structure and basic paragraph composition before moving to more complicated formal essay composition. Learn to write essays one bite at a time. This helps students develop writing skills by using writing tools which helps them gain confidence and enables parents who are insecure about their own writing skills learn with their students.
Hold their hand as much as they need you hold their hand.
Share the experience with your homeschooler. Discuss writing blocks and ways to overcome them. Discuss the planning process and experience how it helps flesh out an essay. Walk them through each lesson making sure they complete each step successfully before attempting to move on in the writing process. Working side by side with your student also helps you become a better instructor by solidifying the lesson for yourself. As students gain confidence with their new skills they will need your help less and less so they will shoo you away as they learn writing is much easier using the complete writing process.
Use concrete assignments
Creative writing is very subjective, and it is also very abstract for a new writer. You need a writing curriculum which focuses on concrete assignments and provides a variety of writing topics that fit the type of writing being taught in that assignment. Give your students a structure to work into a paragraph using their creative information. Leaving several factors to the unknown, such as type of writing, structure, and so on, leaves more decisions that the novice writer is not ready to determine. An abstract assignment with limited instructions can appear quite daunting to a reluctant, struggling, or just new writer; tiny decisions can become writing blocks in a new writer’s mind. Even experienced writers face writer’s block. Students need to be given tools and taught skills that overcome “But, what do I write about?”
Know your audience
Let your child select from a list of possible writing topics that may be interesting to them. Your child may enjoy the experience more if he is writing about his favorite pastime instead of writing about your favorite pastime. Choosing topics about things that directly influence your child, such as different views about their favorite sport, the influence of network TV or political topics that hit close to home may open the doors for lively discussion and insight into your child’s mind.
Writing is a necessary life skill. When teaching writing remember you are not alone. If you are worried about teaching formal writing to your homeschooler, use the support system of The Write Foundation for any questions you may have through the process, and know that you are not alone. Look into a homeschool writing co-op in your area to lighten the burden and give new perspective on your child’s essay writing development. Use The Write Foundation and use a proven writing system.
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