Writing tip: Write often

 Kindergarten boy writing

Much as we wish it weren’t so, kids don’t learn to write by osmosis. They need your instruction, guidance, and feedback.

Tip 3: Make teaching writing a regular part of your school week.

With littler ones, this may mean a daily investment of sitting together to practice new skills.

Older students may not need you to sit with them through every stroke of the pen, but definitely set aside time on a regular basis to teach or review concepts and give constructive input. Read examples together and talk about what makes a particular paragraph boring or enjoyable. Look at passages of literature or student essays to find great word choices, sentence variations, and colorful description.

Choose a writing program that offers strong parent support through lesson plans, schedules, teaching and editing tools, checklists, and objective grading forms. When you have a plan and feel equipped, it’s much easier stay on track, explain a new concept, or offer suggestions.

Whether you use a formal program or make up your own assignments, you’ll go a long way toward developing confident writers by giving them frequent practice. There’s just no substitute!

Also see Writing Tip 1: Set Boundaries, Writing Tip 2: Process vs. Product, Writing Tip 4: Wise Feedback Makes a Difference

Photo: © 2008 by Kim Kautzer
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7 comments ↓

#1 Thellesa Woodley on 12.15.08 at 9:38 pm

Good info, I lack in this area of teaching and really like the encouragement!
thanks

#2 Rhonda on 12.16.08 at 7:21 am

I agree 100% frequent writing has made a difference for me and my dd aged 12 whom I homeschool. Thanks

#3 Linda on 12.16.08 at 8:17 am

A gentle reminder to give frequent practice. I especially like discussing the paragraphs read and why it’s good. Even go through the paragraphs and finding great word choices, sentence variations and colorful descriptions.

#4 Susan Gibson on 12.16.08 at 8:20 am

I started a blog and thought I would write more often. It takes discipline to keep it up. But…the more I practice, the better I will become. Thanks, Kim!

#5 Kim on 12.16.08 at 8:28 am

Rhonda and Susan, you make a great point. And just last night I read a perfect illustration about two groups of pottery students in a semester-long course. Group 1 would be graded on quantity, so 40 pots = A, 30 pots = B, etc. Group 2 would be graded on quality: make one pot, but it had better be good.

Believe it or not, the “quantity” group produced the highest-quality pots! Why? The more they practiced, the better they got! There’s a lesson in this for many of us: skiing, baking, piano-playing—and yes, writing—will improve just by buckling down and practicing!

#6 Jamie on 12.16.08 at 11:43 am

I have not given the subject of writing its due credence. Hindsight truly is 20/20. I now know that I need to implement a structured program to keep us on track. I’m interested in learning more about objective checklists and grading forms to help me do the job.

#7 Donna K on 12.23.08 at 4:50 am

Thanks for the reminder.

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