By Jacquie Goetz Bluethmann
Strong writing skills are essential — for SAT essays, college applications, college essays, the job world, and beyond — and the only way to develop those skills is to practice. But simply telling your teen to write more is unlikely to be effective. Instead, try gearing writing activities to your teen's specific interests.
If your child is into journalism, for example, he can get writing and reporting experience (and maybe earn some spending money) by working with your local Patch. If she's into poetry or songwriting, give her a notebook for her summer creations.
If your teen likes movies, sports, or the great outdoors, anything and everything is fodder for a personal blog (check out these free templates on blogger or wordpress). Or your child can write her autobiography. Using blurb.com or lulu.com, she can publish her finished work — photos and all.
Your teen may be more motivated to write if it involves a competition — and a cash prize. You’ll find cool contests at Teen Ink. Teens looking for feedback on their writing can submit a sample to Tutor.com, which gives real-time feedback from an expert. Many libraries have a subscription to the site, which your teen can access with her library card.
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