"Writing went pretty well until 9th grade English, but now its just a C
with no suggestions. The last idea here, I recognize from my son's 5th
grade class. They wrote to a candy company, and my son even received a bag
of candy from the company for his effort (Smarties). He still remembers
that assignment!! The best assignment all year just came out, a review of
the Hunger Games. I wish there was more of that creativity and less
emphasis on achieving an unspoken standard.
"Wow! I was just reading what passes as good writing by my middle schooler
and was feeling dismayed. I understand that there is no structured
instruction provided in the classroom and I struggle to determine what to
do. I have given up on my high schooler and will be hiring a tutor as his
expression is terrible. Public schooling has been an up and down and
sometimes a major disappointment and I live in a high achieving district.
Forget it if your child needs direct instruction - it is not in the
teachers tool kit.
"Thanks! This article re-inspired me as a parent.
"Nice article. BTW, I couldn't disagree more with the comment about word
choice. Compare, say, Hemmingway with Joseph Conrad and you will see
vivid, exciting action in a stark syle and a more ornate one. Shame on
"Thanks for the wonderful tips, Carol.Right on time when i needed them.
"Your writing is fraught with cliches. Your word choices are condescending
and only known to a select few. You are not writing to your audience, you
are writing to impress yourself. If you use a more common vocabulary your
words will reach more people.
"Thank you! I am bookmarking now for reference to help my son in virtual
school who has a great vocabulary and a love of reading but writing is
like pulling teeth.
"Super helpful article! I too am horrified by the lack of writing
instruction at school these days. Now I have some great concrete ideas to
try at home!
"I think it is a great idea. I've always encouraged my granddaughter to
carry a tablet, pen or pencil wherever she goes and to write about what
she sees or what she is thinking. I was never successful, and then this
weekend being Labor Day Weekend, I guess she suddently had some time on
her hand and she said she found herself writing so I asked her what she
wrote about, and she said a singer she saw on yutube. I've encouraged her
to each day to read for 15 minutes, and then write answering the
questions,"What was it about, Who was the main character, and what do you
think will be the conclusion? We're not there yet, but I'm continuing to
encourage her to write.
"Thank you for this article. It helped me with the great tips you gave. "
"Very helpful. Thank you."
Thank you for sharing this wonderful information, It will help me to be of
help to my daughter, she is in first grade ( just started this week) and
friday she was crying because she had failed to complete her classwork
writing assignment therefor missing on school fun day. Is her distress to
"There is a much better way to teach your child to write effectively:
convince your school to eliminate all multiple choice (so-called multiple
guess) tests and make every test answer require complete sentences or even
a paragraph. Then grade those answers for spelling, punctuation and
grammar, whether the test is for history, math or any other class. If
children are required to write well as soon as they can put together a
complete sentence, writing well becomes second nature to them.
"This was a great article. I teach Spanish part-time to middle schoolers
at a private school in Philadelphia. At times, I give them short writing
exercises in English about cultural aspects of Hispanic culture which
we've covered in class. They have so many deficits in their writing; I
feel that I should teaching them English composition, instead of a second
language. Thanks, val"
"LOVED this article. My younger daughter approaches every writing project
with frustration, fear and tears. This inspires me to make writing a fun
summer event that the whole family can do together. Thank you for the
fabulous writing. And it horrifies me how often papers coming from
teachers or the principal at school are poorly written, filled with
grammatical errors and misspelling."
I commend you on bringing up this issue. I think you have missed all of
the amazing scientific resarch that has been done in this arena. A huge
gap exist between what the scientific community has proven and knows about
students learning literacy vs. how educators are trained and teach
literacy skills. Our students are suffering greatly! Every child deserves
to learn how to read, write and spell. Check out our website
www.readonforkids.org for more information. Thanks.
"Loved the article and ideas mentioned! Good to know I am not the only mom
shocked by my son's writing skills at times. Would love to buy the book
mentioned, but it is out of print. If anyone has one to sell let me know
(not the students handbook). Thanks.
"Thank you for a great article! I have been so frustrated by the lack of
writing instruction in my daughters' early education. I would love to
find a copy of Reason to Write by Douglas Reeves but it doesn't appear
that the major bookstores have it available for purchase. Do you have a
resource for ordering this book.
Thank you for addressing this issue in our kids education.
"very helpful to a new parent like me who was sleeping that my kid is
doing well by reading well. "
"This article was very practical and helpful for use with my son who is ADD
and possibly dysphagic. Thanks so much for the ideas and suggestions.
"I think that this is a great article. I passed it along to my wife to pass
it along to my elelmetanry school age son. Thanks "
"Thank You for this article! It is exactly what I need for my rising
middle school daughter! Being our 'baby', my husband and I didn't take
the time with her when she read books at night to actually summarize the
stories and she does have some challenges with comprehension, which in
turn, makes coming up with ideas and writing a real chore. This article
gives some great suggestions for us to work on this summer."
"Please consider the published status of books before recommending them!
It has been a nightmare to get a hold of these, and sellers are charging
over $100 for them, as they are out of print!"
"A very good article. I agree very much with the ideas and found it very
helpful. Thank you."