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Me? Teach Writing?


“Teachers asked award-winning author, Avi, ‘What do we do if our kids won’t write?’
 Avi answered, “First you have to love them.  If you can convince the children that you love them, then there’s nothing you can’t teach them”
Lucy Calkins
The Art of Teaching Writing

Do you believe this? I do! 

After eighteen years sitting side-by-side with my children working on their academics in our homeschool, I believe the foundation for successful teaching is the personal relationship between student and teacher. 

The same is true for classroom teachers and their students.  If we stop and reflect back on the teachers who made a difference in our lives, who created a thirst for learning, who pushed us to want to succeed, it was the teacher with whom we had a relationship.  It was the teacher who cared.  The teacher we knew was right there, next to us, cheering us on.

This premise doesn’t mean every academic subject is easy to teach. Writing can be one of the trickiest subjects to teach, at home or in the classroom.

I suspect writing is hard to teach because it doesn’t involve just the students’ acquisition of academic material. When our students write, they reveal themselves. They put their thoughts and often their hearts on paper for us to evaluate. How we respond, the very look on our face the first time we read a student’s writing, can encourage the growing writer, or kill their writing spirit. 

Writing is hard to teach because we intrinsically understand as parents and teachers what’s at stake for the child.

Often motivated by fear of failure, lack of time, insecurities in our own writing, and a deficiency in knowing how, teachers (classroom and homeschool) resolve to formulated writing curriculums. We teach the curriculum or the daily lesson plan, not the child.

Write Next To Me® is not writing curriculum. It is a call to teachers and parents, especially those working in the homeschool setting, to rethink writing instruction.

It is an appeal to move from implementing the next lesson to understanding the best practices in teaching writing. It is an invitation to push yourself and your students toward writing standards.  It is a summons to sit close enough that your students can someday say, “I learned how to write because my teacher was right next to me.”