As well as unschooling with my own two kids, I’m now teaching and tutoring other kids in our homeschool support group. As the kids reach middle- and high-school age, some of them have requested more formal learning, particularly the kids who are interested in attending college. The other parents and adults in the community are offering math, art, and science courses. My best subject is language arts, and sure enough, I’m the English teacher. And I love it!
As part of this process, I’ve been helping a couple of the older boys with their writing. Dryst has started a blog, and a young man I’m tutoring is involved in an umbrella high school and needs a boost with his writing assignments. To help them with their projects, I’ve written a one-page list of guidelines for writing a basic academic paper. I thought I’d share it here:
I find it interesting that I don’t remember how old I was when I learned these tools. I went to public school, and I’m guessing kids start this type of formal writing around 6th or 7th grade. I don’t recall for certain, and things have changed since my school years. Anyway, it doesn’t matter when, or even if, our unschooled kids learn these skills. The point is that they are ready for them, and asking for them.
I know that not all of my readers homeschool, or have kids. Even so, if you’re someone who isn’t naturally drawn to the written word but needs to write once in a while, these guidelines may come in handy. Or perhaps your public-schooled child needs a bit of assistance with their papers. Feel free to share these guidelines as you see fit!