Jun 23, 2010

Writing BREAKTHROUGH!!!

I can't even tell you how EXCITED I am right NOW! KM's writing issues have been the bane of my existence for the past 6 years! If you search this blog you will find nearly every frustration I have had with homeschooling has stemmed from writing. However I have had a breakthrough! I decided to take a look at the Official SAT Study Guide, that I got off of Paperback Swap so that I could use it as a guide for our studies over the next few years, and I came across this AMAZING little paragraph...
"There is no formula for writing an effective essay. You are free to choose your own writing style. For example, you can write an essay that is narrative, expository, persuasive, or argumentative. Furthermore the SAT will not reward or penalize you if you write, for example, a five-paragraph essay. Good writing is marked by the strong development of ideas, the ability to connect to an audience, precise use of language, effective organization, and appropriate choices of evidence." p. 103
Why on earth have I been trying every method under the sun to teach her to write a five -paragraph essay if it is not even REQUIRED on the SAT? Why is this nearly the ONLY method of writing that is being taught to children in Public, Private and Homeschools, yet the national be all to end all of tests doesn't even require it?

I am baffled, dumbfounded and completely elated all at the same time. I read on to some of the example essays that were given perfect scores and was ecstatic to see that the content was the main derivative for the scores. They want the student to be able to express their point of view clearly and thoroughly!

I am DONE trying to teach KM how to write. She knows how to write and has always known how to write, she just has had a very difficult time getting her information to come across intelligently in the 5-paragraph essay format. Instead I will be helping her to develop her point of view clearly and effectively, organize and focus her ideas so that they are coherent, enhance her use of language by using varied vocabulary, and to continue to improve on her grammar and mechanics.

I had KM read through this section of the SAT guide herself as well, so that she could get a grasp at what she should be aspiring toward. She was also SHOCKED to find out that the writing style wasn't all that important. We spent quite a while discussing strategies and wondering why in the world the school had spent so much time and beat her down so hard over something that apparently means very little in the grand scheme of academia.

Of course we never came to a real conclusion, yet we did develop another truly solidifying moment for homeschooling!
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