Why is teaching my kids to write well so hard?
It shouldn’t be. Everybody writes. I write all the time!
And yet, teaching my kids to write has been such a struggle for us, and a thorn in our side. Writing is one of the few areas I worry about. I fear I will fail to prepare my kids to write well enough for college.
I’ll be blunt; I’ve been hoping to get the opportunity to review a Fortuigence writing course for a while now. The idea of letting someone else teach my kids to write seemed so appealing! I’ve finally received the opportunity and I think you will like what I have found. But first, let me give my due diligence in saying that I have been compensated for this post (more about that and my honesty policy at the bottom of this post.) No worries, I’m still going to be honest and real with you.
The Problem With Teaching Kids To Write Well
I think I know why it is so difficult for me to teach writing, and I’ve narrowed it down to three main problem areas.
- I don’t know how much to require at a given age level.
- I don’t know how much to correct and how much to leave.
- I don’t know how to help my daughter without feeling like I’m doing too much for her, or without her feeling like I’m helping too little. Where is the balance?
Most of my previous attempts to assign and help my oldest daughter with writing assignments have not gone well. She doesn’t like to write “assignments.” She likes to write creative stories. (Which is all well and good until you need to finish the essay portion on the SAT right?) So right off the bat, we start off on the wrong foot because she doesn’t want to do it.
The real trouble begins, however, when I try to give her a little direction, but not too much, and then try to back off and let her do it herself. She feels like I’m not teaching pr helping and she doesn’t like that, and I get that.
So my conclusion, then, is that when it comes to teaching writing, I have no idea what I am doing.
Prepare Kids For College With Fortuigence Online Writing Courses
It’s okay to delegate. I don’t think that hiring a tutor (or paying for an online teacher for a particular course,) in any way invalidates the job that I am doing as a homeschool mom. On the contrary, I feel that seeking outside help when you need it is one sign of a wise homeschool mom!
I need help. That’s where the Fortuigence Online Writing Courses come in, obviously. Not only do kids learn from a live, real, teacher (who knows what she is doing,) but the courses are also high school credit courses.
So whether your child needs a lot of help, or a little, the teacher will be able to help him or her at skill level, with the goal of helping to prepare your child for college- and beyond. You can see the evidence for this in the course descriptions. One of the first things I did when we checked out the Fortuigence website was to let my daughter read each course description and see why it is beneficial to master each essay type before she gets to college, or even takes the SAT.
What Is a Fortuigence Writing Course Like?
A Fortuigence online course probably isn’t like what you would expect. In fact, it’s probably even better!
While it is true that the lessons are online, it’s not a live online class with a video feed. There are no set class times, so your student can take the lessons any time they want. When it is time to turn in an assignment, however, it is sent directly to their teacher for review and feedback.
At each step, your child can see the progress of the assignment, and I frequently caught my daughter checking to see if there was a response from her teacher. The child and teacher email back and forth as the teacher gives feedback, constructive criticism and editing suggestions. When the teacher clears the student for the next lesson, they move on.
The process repeats until the student finally has a finished and polished essay to show off to the proud mom.
So, in a nutshell:
- online lessons, available at any time
- real feedback from a live, knowledgeable, teacher
- easy to access, use, and communicate with the teacher
- parent login to check progress
- also, a variety of essay courses available, each worth high school credit
Three Unexpected Benefits
Going in to this course, there were a few things that I already knew we would be getting out of this experience: a live teacher, online lessons, a knowledgeable expert, a high school credit course (worth .125 credits for one short course.)
What I did not expect to receive:
- A daughter who was eager to complete her lessons.
- A daughter who impatiently checked her email for feedback and critiques.
- A daughter who independently worked through the course with no nagging.
Removing the parent/child relationship in this case was very helpful. But also, I believe it was the instructor’s warm teaching manner that encouraged her the most.
Our Review of the Fortuigence Expository Essay Course
If I were handing out stars, I would truly give our experience with Fortuigence Expository Essay five of them.
I couldn’t think of anything to improve or adapt and I was completely overjoyed with the essay that my daughter wrote during the course. I was even more thrilled with her overall attitude toward writing while she was doing it, and the way she took ownership of the project and worked independently. That alone is so valuable to me.
Truthfully, I’ve added more Fortuigence Essay short courses to our Curriculum plan for the new school year. I want my daughter to work through all of them one by one. When she is finished, the whole course will go on her highschool transcript.
My daughter really liked the course because it was presented in a way that she knew what was expected of her, and she could meet those expectations. She really liked “Mrs. I,” and I noticed that she accepted the constructive criticism and editing suggestions more happily than she normally does with me (because I’m the mom!) Most importantly, when she was finished with her essay, I could tell that she was proud of it.
Are you like me? Is your child like mine?
You Might Like Fortuigence, too, if:
- You worry about teaching your kids to write well enough
- You and your kids don’t seem to “get along” well when it’s time to write
- You want to make sure your child is prepared for the SAT and college
- Your child doesn’t like to write (but needs to work on it)
- You’re looking for a course your child can do independently
- You aren’t sure how much to require or edit and need someone with “know-how”
You Could Win a Fortuigence Essay Short Course
Would you like to try Fortuigence for yourself? You could win a short course of your choice by following the directions in the giveaway box below. Please Note: Entry in the contest means that you agree to be added to the Fortuigence mailing list. You can unsubscribe at any time.
If you would like to learn more about Fortuigence, you can find them on their website, read more about the individual courses, read reviews, find them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, or G+.
You can read more about the specific course that we reviewed, The Expository Essay, and save 25% when you buy it through August 18th. Give it a try!
Contest ends 8/22 at 11pm, EST. Enter now:
Wait! Before you go…
You Can Download a free eBook from Fortuigence, 50 pages of instruction and printables designed to help your kids get started in the writing process.
If you would like to see the night and day difference between my daughter’s Fortuigence essay, and the essay she wrote immediately before that, you can read both essays over on her blog and see for yourself.
In the interest of Full Disclosure: I received the Fortuigence short course, “Expository Essay” free for review. I also received compensation for my time — because I take reviews seriously, and because time spent working is time spent away from my family. It’s ironic that a homeschool mom whose writing can earn paying gigs has trouble teaching her own kids to do it well, isn’t it? The proof is in the pudding, as they say. I’m laying out my faults and failures in the hopes that it might resonate with other homeschool moms. Everything I have shared here is true. You can learn more about my ‘honesty policy’ here. Feel free to ask me any questions about our experience with the Fortuigence course in the comments below. Blessings!