What if my student is behind in writing?

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What if my student is behind in writing?

Postby admin » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:57 am

It is crucial that we don't just place students in a "grade appropriate" slot. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we do not force a student into a particular grade level, we teach to where he is at.

As homeschooling moms we can be SO afraid of "being behind", and somehow we fool ourselves into feeling better if only we can SAY that our 6th grade students are working in a 6th grade book,.... AS IF that label takes a way the stigma of "being behind". Never mind that Junior cannot write coherent sentences, doesn't know his grammar, and can't spell or read well. The silly point is, that if Junior is "behind" in writing, hurrying may not help at all.

Yes, if he is behind from sheer neglect on the part of me to teach any writing until 7th grade, perhaps we can rush through and catch up a little. But even in this case, rushing too much won't solidify the language skills enough to learn them well. Much of what is taught in a classical education is not just a matter of exposure and comprehension of the concepts, it is also a matter of steady continued drill and usage so the concepts are not only understood but actually "owned" by the student. The skills need to be part of his writer's tool box, so he can pull them out and use them in his writing when needed.

But even worse, if Junior is behind not only because I was lax with writing, but also because he is generally struggling in language and writing ... then NO amount of hurrying will catch him up.

The only thing that will really help him is to **slow down**. Slow down enough and work thoroughly through the skills where he is shaky so that he begins to master the fundamental building blocks of language: Words, sentences, narratives. He needs to build up *to* the more advanced writing skills by being totally comfortable with the lower level skills, and that takes time.
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