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Homeschool English Evaluation

Sometimes combining subjects works perfectly.  Other times it can be best to separate subjects.  My best advice is always do what works - and if it doesn't work, then try something else.




My 13 yr old son can recite to me things he has learned or read but when I ask him to write a paper on it, he freezes up and the knowledge simply never makes it on the paper. It's like his brain knows it but it stays there. I have tried several different methods of writing and he knows them all but somehow the writing aspect doesn't come through. Please advise me on your ideas or thoughts.

Thanks, Melba

Hi Melba!

Boys often seem to have trouble getting thoughts on paper - I think it has something to do with them usually being not as verbal as girls, in general.

Try teaching him to write as a separate subject, apart from his reading. In other words, evaluate his other subjects verbally or with tests, like you are doing. And when you teach him to write, don't require him to do it with his other subjects just yet, until he gets more comfortable with writing in general.

Have you tried to teach him typing? Sometimes that little bit of technology can help.

I have heard good things about Write Shop, Write at Home, Brave Writer, and Institute for Excellence in Writing.

You might enjoy a few other articles about writing than could help you:

Perfect English Evaluation?

High School English: A "Grouch Free" Guide to Grading"


God Bless you Lee. You are amazing, Why? Because you answer questions that homeschoolers are always asking and can never really get a good answer. But you give us so much more then an answer, you give us hope, suggestions, and encouragement.

Bless you and family,

Melba
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Comments 1

Guest - Merri on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 00:34

Good idea to teach it as a separate subject. One thing I do with my younger (elementary) boys is have them write in a journal every day. I look at what they write, but I do not make any remarks about misspellings, punctuation, etc. in their journals. I just take note of what they need to work on and cover it in a separate English lesson. I'm one of those moms who tends to see all the mistakes jumping out at me on the page and it is hard for me not to say things like, "Okay, you need a comma here, this needs to be capitalized, and this needs to be worded better, etc." By doing it the way I do now, they feel free to write without worry that I'm going to point out all the errors and I sneak in the lesson elsewhere. I do remind them to do their best when they are writing in their journals and to remember the lessons we have been working on. When my kids hit middle school, they tend to take correction better and I can go over their papers in the usual way. I still try to be careful to praise too and not just be critical of their errors. That's been a hard one for me, because I am really fussy about writing.

Good idea to teach it as a separate subject. One thing I do with my younger (elementary) boys is have them write in a journal every day. I look at what they write, but I do not make any remarks about misspellings, punctuation, etc. in their journals. I just take note of what they need to work on and cover it in a separate English lesson. I'm one of those moms who tends to see all the mistakes jumping out at me on the page and it is hard for me not to say things like, "Okay, you need a comma here, this needs to be capitalized, and this needs to be worded better, etc." By doing it the way I do now, they feel free to write without worry that I'm going to point out all the errors and I sneak in the lesson elsewhere. I do remind them to do their best when they are writing in their journals and to remember the lessons we have been working on. When my kids hit middle school, they tend to take correction better and I can go over their papers in the usual way. I still try to be careful to praise too and not just be critical of their errors. That's been a hard one for me, because I am really fussy about writing.
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