Teaching High School Writing

2Does the thought of teaching writing to your high schooler frighten you?

Are you worried that you might not have enough experience at the high school level?

Well, this is a very common topic of which we receive emails every month about – how do I teach high school writing when I didn’t go to college?  Or I wasn’t very good at writing myself?  How do I make sure they are properly prepared for college?

Teaching writing to a high schooler is something that does require some research, but it isn’t difficult.  Fortunately, there are countless resources at our fingertips to help us with this topic.  It really begins with teaching children how to think.  Most public institutions teach children what to think rather than how to think.  This leaves very little room for creativity and expression.  So by the time they get to high school and are expected to create an essay on their own and express their own thoughts, they are not sure they have any thoughts of their own!

This is where homeschooling provides a great advantage for high school students.  They have more flexibility in developing thoughts and ideas and getting it on the paper.  Moreover, there is more time to think about style and conventions and correct their own mistakes.  So a parent’s experience in this area isn’t really as applicable as the parent having the desire to be a mentor for their teenager rather than a drill instructor.

One fantastic resource is Julie Bogart, author of the Brave Writer curriculum.  While Julie has numerous services and products, she is also a very generous and wonderful mentor who has agreed to share several seminars for our attendees in the  2014 Not Back to School Summit.  The summit featured a total of 30 speakers, and more than 65 homeschool workshops and seminars, all were completely FREE to attend live, and all completely ONLINE for your convenience!! While only the live sessions were free, the replays are now available for our upgraded Plus members to view as often as they like.

Julie Bogart is the creator of the innovative Brave Writer Writing and Language Arts Curriculum. For 15 years, Brave Writer instructional manuals and online classes have enriched the homeschooling lives of over 16,000 families. Brave Writer exists to foster a nurturing relationship between homeschooling parent and child while creating a safe environment for writing growth. The Brave Writer program brings a fresh point of view to the writing process. Rather than emphasizing format writing as the key to success, Brave Writer’s materials and instructors facilitate the emergence of authentic writing voice in your children. Once children have access to the language, insights, and ideas locked within, they easily learn a variety of writing genres, including the rigorous academic formats of high school and college. Julie’s professional background includes freelance writing, magazine and book editing, and ghost-writing. She’s authored and supervised the development of all original Brave Writer materials, as well as having homeschooled her five children for 17 years. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.  www.bravewriter.com

Julie opened her vault of writing knowledge and shared some awesome ideas to help you teach writing and have a wonderful homeschool experience.  This was during our 2014 Not Back to School Summit.  Her three  workshops are as follows (you will need to be logged in to access them since the event has ended):

The Secret to Breakthroughs in Writing –
aired Sept. 9th – http://hecoa.com/secret-to-breakthroughs-in-writing

Programs, curriculum, homeschool gurus—they all miss it. Yet it’s so simple! You’ll walk away from this seminar knowing exactly what to do to change the dynamic around writing in your family…for good. In fact, you can turn your writing program around in one step, once you know what it is and follow through. Your entire paradigm about writing instruction will shift once you understand the fundamental principle that creates the desire to write and the pride in having written.

Take a Risk: Have the Homeschool of Your Dreams! –
aired Sept. 17th – http://hecoa.com/homeschool-of-your-dreams

The fantasy homeschool that lives in your imagination is a good one. It’s haunted by a little invisible spirit called “The Ghost of Public School Past.” Her name is Mrs. Cox, she holds a red pen, she whispers in your left ear: “By this age in school, your child would already be…” Make it stop! That voice leads you to do all kinds of schoolish activities in the name of “taking education seriously.” It also leads to all kinds of unhappiness, tedium, and feelings of failure. What would happen if you could “brush her off your shoulder”? What can you do to gain confidence to follow the fragile, bright vision you have of how life at home could actually be? Let’s explore a new kind of homeschool paradigm together.

Don’t Let High School Writing Scare You –
aired Sept 23rd – http://hecoa.com/dont-let-high-school-writing-scare-you

The essay format lasts for about 8 years (high school and college). It’s designed to make the lives of teachers and professors easier—to make grading simple. If you and I had dinner together, I could teach you to write an essay on the back of a napkin! What’s missing in most writing programs for high school is the thinking component. Let’s look at how to develop the rhetorical imagination of your teens so that they have something of worth to put in all those essays, and so that they can take that quality thinking into their lives beyond college.




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