Why Another Writing Curriculum?

By Dennis Celsor

Student excited about readingWriting never came easy for me. If I found a class was heavy on essays, I simply dropped the class. Maybe you can’t relate, but I was the guy who put off writing the essay until the night before it was due, then piled a bunch of books around me, slipped in the first sheet of typing paper (back in the day) and, with great dread, began slowly to peck away at the typewriter, only to rip a page out and start over.

My wife, on the other hand, loved writing essays. The difference? When Rebecca was in high school, her language arts teacher introduced the class to The Lively Art of Writing, by Lucille Vaughn Payne. First published in 1965, The Lively Art of Writing is still in print, indicating its primary tools have enduring excellence. In it, Payne introduces a 5 step process for writing essays.

Utilizing Payne’s process, Rebecca's teacher drilled the class on the fundamentals of essay writing. The light bulb was switched on! Following this system, Rebecca gained the tools to quickly organize and knock out quality essays in no time. As a result, writing college essays was a breeze.

So what about your family? Your schoolhouse probably isn’t trying to produce the next great American novelist, but you simply want your son or daughter to write a competent essay without another eruption of Mt. St. Helens. You may have never learned how to write an essay yourself, so teaching writing seems beyond your ability. Maybe you’ve tried and tried and still feel lost. Maybe you've been frustrated by another writing curriculum that seems impossible to follow. You want excellence without having to send your students off to an institute and without having to work for days to design lesson plans. This curriculum was written for students who don’t like to write. It has worked time and again both for struggling students and those who enjoy writing. It will work for you.