Writing Curriculum Improves Your Child's Thinking Skills

A competent writing curriculum can help your child learn to express herself clearly on paper because a person cannot write without thinking. Writing helps clarify a person's thoughts.

When a writer first puts her ideas on paper, these are often random, disorganized, and fuzzy. In order to get one's words to the point of clearly and precisely stating what one is thinking, one must show a whole range of thinking, evaluating, judging, organizing, researching, editing, and revising.

Even today, after earning a bachelor's in journalism, writing for a newspaper, teaching writing at a business college, and English for 25 years in the public schools, I work constantly to say what I mean to say in the clearest, most concise, and communicative manner as possible.

Writing almost always can be improved, but getting your child to "good" is certainly possible. 

Begin With the End in Mind - Goal Setting

Not everyone is a Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or even a Stephen King, but everyone can learn to write by carefully following a writing curriculum. As homeschooling parents, you will begin helping your child write a complete sentence; then, two, and five sentences.

By the fourth grade, your child will begin writing clear, descriptive paragraphs. 

By the  end of the eighth grade, your teen should be writing good, fairly   error-free, four-paragraph essays easily.

During high school she will begin working on a wider variety of compositions, including the persuasive essay and the research paper.

Later, your child will begin writing more and more for academic and commercial audiences.

Competent writing skills are a rare quality in today's world, and your child can write her way to many well-paying jobs by having this ability. It is for this purpose, that these pages are intended.

Writing Tools

A writer needs tools, and while these items may not be needed in the fourth grade, having these items eventually are necessary. You don't need to buy the most expensive or most inclusive thesaurus or dictionary, but get something.

Also, a basic grammar book should be kept for reviewing punctuation rules and other grammar rules. There are more than 20 rules for capitalization alone-- WHO CAN REMEMBER THEM ALL! REALLY! There are some other helpful books that I will suggest later, but for now, let's just keep it simple. To summarize, your child will need

  • basic grammar book
  • dictionary
  • thesaurus
  • a personal journal (Encourage your child to write in it daily.)

Tips for Parents

Here is the single common suggestion that writers will give to someone who wants to write better: READ. That's right. A writer can best improve her skills by reading other writers, so here are my suggestions:

  • designate a time  before dinner as a reading period. Then, discuss the book(s) at dinner. Over the years, if you have more than one child, they will all be able to share their own views about the same books, and enrich each other's skills. This is an acquired habit, so discuss it as long as your children are interested, and then move on to other topics.
  • have reading lights everywhere-- book lights in the car, lamps clamped to the headboard above the bed, lamps on the nightstand.
  • converse with literate adults
  • reduce television time
  • set aside reading time and journal writing right before bedtime

The habit of reading quality books is part of a good writing curriculum, as it will expose your child to a wide range of sentence variations, paragraph structures, and diverse vocabulary. 

If she reads the same author more than once, she will pick up on the author's style much like one does who listens to CDs by the same musician. All of these contribute to improved writing skills. 

The second part of a good writing curriculum is to make sure that she WRITES about anything and everything. That's what the journal is for. 

How To Get Started

There are two things that you can do now. First, you can go to the next page and read more. Just  click on writing curriculum, it will take you to the next page, so you can read more.  

Or secondly, you can get some help with your child's writing. If you would like to do that, please fill in the Comment Form below and type in a sample of her writing. I will review it, make suggestions for improvement, and post it in the appropriate grade level.

As other pages and comments build, you will be able to view other children's papers who are at the same writing and grade level. Keep the writing sample anonymous.

I look forward to helping your child with her writing.

Here, you can read how to write the five-paragraph essay

To read about how to help your child write a research paper, go here.

If you would like to read some of my suggestions for improving your child's reading and comprehension skills, you can do that too.

To read about writing a thesis statement, this page will help.


Share Your Child's Writing

Do you want to help your child write better, but can't find a trustworthy, economical service? I have found no free editing or revision service on the web either.Therefore, in the box below, type in up to 100 words (about two paragraphs) of your child's writing and click submit. I will personally review her writing sample and make comments on her strengths and areas for improvement. If you would like to keep your child's information confidential, that's fine. If you would like to publish her photo next to her writing, you can do that too! It's all good.

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