Vector64 Home Education Writing Pages
This page contains general writing materials and
references to materials and websites that we're actually using in our
Home Schooling program. The organization here is a little haphazard as
I'm doing this realtime for live teaching.
Our son has always hated writing while our daughter has always loved to
write. They are both knowledgeable on the mechanics of writing but our
son has a hard time coming up with ideas in writing, even if it is in
answering a question that he should be easily able to handle. Our
daughter, on the other hand, does a little brainstorming and finds a
solution fairly easily.
Our son had to take a test to take a math class at Middlesex Community
College in August 2006. He had to pass a writing test in addition to
five other tests and we were worried that he wouldn't do well enough on
the writing test to get in. So we spent about two weeks working on
five-paragraph essays to improve his writing skills. This approach
worked as he scored well enough to place into College English. My goal
is to teach him College Composition which means that we'll need to do a
lot of writing Fall 2006.
My approach to teaching writing is to give writing assignments and then
go through the revision process. This is a tried and true approach to
teaching writing but it does require a lot of labor from the student
and the teacher. To make the process a little easier, we're using an
online word processor: Google Writely, which allows us simultaneous
access to one document and this is done for efficiency so that I can
revise his documents even though we're in different places. Our goal is
to write a bunch of five-paragraph essays and then a few longer papers
of 3-5 pages and then one 5-10 page paper.
For mechanics, I suggest using standard school texts for teaching
grammar when the children are young to build up the mechanics of
writing. If I had to do it over, I'd have had them do more writing and
revising but I can't change the past. We picked up some old MacMillan
books that a library was throwing out and these were adequate. We went
through a review of some weak areas using a few college texts that we
had. I think that any reasonably good college writing text would be
good to have around for reference and study if needed.
You may be wondering why we're focusing on five-paragraph essays.
Apparently five-paragraph essays are in vogue for college admissions
tests and so writing these is a fairly useful skill to have if you're
interested in going to college. They're also a convenient size for a
lot of writing and revising as there's enough room for structure and
expression but not enough so that the student gets frustrated at having
to write something longer.
- Composition: The Creative Response by Vincent Ruggiero, an older college writing text,
- Grammar and Writing, Grade 9 by MacMillan
- Harbrace College Handbook by Hodges and Whitten:
- The Little, Brown Handbook by Fowler and Aaron, chapters:
- Unified English Composition by Sanders, Jordan, Magoon and Limpus (a really beautiful college english text from 1947):
Online College Writing Resources
College Video Lectures
Updated February 2,
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