I teach young people.
I teach young people how to write.
I teach young people how to write using IEW curriculum.
My focus is on individuals first and then the subject of writing and I have been doing so for over ten years now. Many good writing programs exist, but one of the ones that I use consistently is IEW because it produces stellar results with those students who regularly apply themselves to it. Further, it builds confidence, which I love to see!
In the most recent issue of "Arts of Language" (April 2021) produced by The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), Andrew Pudewa, the founder, has written an intriguing article, "You Don't Have to Like Writing" that resonated with me.
At first, you might think that liking something makes it easier, and surely, it does, but sometimes that just isn't possible. Fortunately, a student doesn't have to like writing to still be able to do it well. Pudewa mentions how he hears from many parents who want their children to "enjoy writing" however, he correctly explains that this is not guarantee-able, no matter the enthusiasm or skill of the teacher. The other goal parents have is for their children to be able to express themselves. Mr. Pudewa corrects their thinking on this by explaining that "writing is much more about expressing ideas than selves." To do that they must have the tools, which, of course are words and ideas.
It is critical that the environment be saturated with quality literature in the form of novels, poems, plays, biographies, history, Scripture, stories, etc... Young minds absorb the literary devices and sentence structure as well as ideas. I frequently remind my students that they must be reading a variety of material all the time. If they don't fill their minds, they will have nothing to draw from when it is time to write. Reading also fuels thinking. Isn't this what Charlotte Mason advocated all the time in her writings!! Yes! A literary-rich environment is a foundation of Mason's principles. Great educators do think alike.
Next, students must have tools to put their ideas into words and sentences, stories, and essays. They need strategies and techniques as well as models to imitate. They need guidance in how to approach the writing task, because for most, it is a task. Writing requires deep thinking. Writing is not easy, even for people who enjoy it. Although it is one of my goals to inspire students, the primary goal is developing competence which builds a well-earned confidence.
Where will you find me when I am not teaching?
For your reading pleasure!