Last week my eleven year old son wrote a fantastic piece of nonfiction writing, his first five paragraph essay, in less than 20 minutes. It has some originality with some creative sentences.
It also only had one error of tense, one error of subject/verb agreement, one awkward sentence and one duplicating redundant portion of a sentence. The clean up from rough draft to final took about one minute. I think that's pretty darned good!
I complimented my son and said he must be a natural writer, and that maybe he inherited it in his genes from me.
His response: "Mom, it's not a talent that I have. I just learned to write well by reading a lot of books! I just write like what I read!"
If you attend homeschooling conferences you will hear this statement said, to expose your kids to good books and great literature and it helps them become good writers, but I didn't know if I could believe it.
In the Kaplan PSAT test prep book it says that the best prep for the reading section and the vocabulary section is to spend many years reading quality books.
I still wasn't sure if I could believe it, as to do that seemed just too easy. I've been reading to my kids since the day they were born and they both read every single day.
Well since my eleven year old recognized it, I'll take it as the truth...
I have not used much curriculum for teaching writing. I've purchased it, but used hardly any of it. I had good intentions but slacked. I'll tell that story tomorrow.