Learning to write a quick, 30-to-50-minute essay is an important part of college preparation for two reasons. Alex picked up on reason number one—colleges often include essay tests. A spontaneous quiz, make up exam, or planned test might include essays during any part of the college experience.
Perfectly written and carefully edited papers are also part of the college experience. Those carefully researched, planned, and coordinated papers are different from a quick spontaneous essay. However, there are times when a college student has not planned ahead, and their success may depend on a quickly-written paper. Other times, when serious writer’s block sets in, having quick essay skills can help students overcome the blank page, and get a paper started. Quick essay skills can pay off, even with the variety of papers students experience in college.
The second reason for practicing quick essay skills is a little more immediate for homeschoolers. Kids need the skill to score well on ACT® and AP® Tests. The ACT® test contains an optional short essay, but some colleges require the essay section of the test for admission.
Many colleges rely on SAT® and ACT® test scores to indicate college readiness. The essay section of the ACT test can demonstrate your child’s ability to write as well as provide outside documentation from a third party. Test scores can determine the quality of college that will accept a student. The ACT essay section provides a writing prompt and the student must read the prompt, outline their thoughts, and write an essay in the time allowed. The essay is handwritten in the exam booklet and is scored by a teacher, not computer.
Handwriting is important, but not because of penmanship. The essay simply needs to be legible even though it is written quickly. There is no particular style of penmanship required. By the time children reach high school, they have usually developed their own penmanship style, which is fine as long as it’s legible.
Learning to write a quick essay is not only helpful in the long run, it can be a major component of your high school English class. A high school English credit can be awarded when your child has completed about 120 to 180 hours of work. You don’t have to painstakingly count up every single hour though, you can easily estimate hours. If your student works at least an hour a day on a subject, it will typically add up to one high school credit. If they work half an hour a day, they will earn a half credit.
Your English class could include teaching your child to write a quick essay as the cornerstone of their composition studies. Get your child to work for about one hour a day on writing skills. This can include writing quick essays, instruction in writing essays, and brainstorming essays. You may want to include other learn-to-write activities such as worksheets, vocabulary workbooks, journaling, spelling, grammar, or watching videos about how to write an essay.
For a full high school English credit, include both writing and reading daily. It doesn’t matter how many books your child reads—6 books to 600 is all within the range of normal. Don’t worry about literary analysis, because not every English class needs to include analysis. You have the freedom to focus on reading for enjoyment. Try to choose books from a College Bound Reading List, and mix in some popular literature for teens.
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Practice essay writing in high school with these 75 prompts. Application essay prompts and tips for homeschool parents preparing teens for college admission and scholarships.
Junior year is the BEST time to practice your college application essays! You can use those topics to practice your essays, and have time to make them perfect before they are submitted to college during the senior year application process.
Practice writing application essays within your regular English studies. You can include this in your homeschool writing assignments during junior year, or even before if your child can write a descriptive essay.
The high school home stretch can be particularly stressful for homeschoolers and their parents. If college is in the future, parents worry about how their students will do when writing those intimidating application essays. If multiple universities are being considered, the problem just compounds itself.
Lee tackles your toughest questions and shows you how to "project manage" your way to application essay success! It is not enough for parents to take a totally hands-off attitude toward these all-important essays, nor is it advisable for them to take total control of the process. The trick is finding that balance, and that's where Lee can help!
Homeschoolers often have a different path into college than traditionally schooled students. Unlike what happens in public schools, I believe YOU are your student's best high school guidance counselor and can become your student's best college admissions coach (just think of the student to guidance counselor ratio alone).
You are the person who LOVES your child and you are the most motivated to help them succeed at college. In addition, you don't have to rely on an overworked school guidance counselor or an overpriced admission coach. You can do it yourself - Let me teach you how!