How to Teach Kids to Hate Writing
After years of teaching writing to kids of all ages, I would say that it is one of my favorite subjects to teach because it is so rewarding for the children when they can master it. But so many kids hate to write, from an early age, because so many teachers seem to "suck the life out" of this subject. Why do they do this? To make a point, I will suppose that people in general like teaching kids to hate writing (let me have a little fun with this one). So here is how to teach your child to hate writing, if you wish to do:
1. Do not expose them to great literature at young age.
If they never hear the sound of good writing, they are likely to be terrible writers themselves and will never enjoy the beautiful sounds in good writing.
2. Don't let them write about what they are interested in.
Ask them to write about things in which they have no personal interest. Do let them choose from a variety of topics. Do not let them write about their own opinions.
3. Criticize their writing often.
When they read their paper aloud or turn it in for grading, point out all their faults right away. Do not look for good qualities beyond what you have assigned. Do not begin your review of their paper with several compliments or give any at all, for that matter.
4. Make them write in styles and forms they can't comprehend.
Ask them to write a book report, for example, and bring it to class without ever breaking down the parts and letting them read a good book report from another student. Or ask them to write a bibliography without explaining the reason for one and teaching them how to do it. Then follow step 3.
5. Make them write all alone.
Have them do journal entries and creative writing all alone. Do not let them share their stories with a peer group or get inspiration from a peer group in a brainstorming session. This will leave their writing dry and lifeless.
Ok, all joking aside, I hope this helps homeschool parents and teachers to see the tragedy with some humor in the way many writing course and rubrics are designed. Writing is one of the subjects that works best in a small group setting, if you have a good teacher, and now you know some of what to look for in a writing program.
Writing is a bold and passionate subject that should be fun. The technicalities of writing will come with time (and with a good grammar class), but gaining confidence as a self-expressive writer must come first. This should mean that until the student is ready for criticizism and formulaic writing that writing should mostly be an outlet of expression. Please do not teach your kids to hate writing by making it too scientific. If they learn to love writing, wanting to learn forms of expression should flow naturally as they read authors who are using these forms to successfully communicate. Writing can be honest, funny and even a little unwieldy at first. But as they learn grammar and reading, it will all come together. Just keep them writing about what they love and challenge them to express themselves to others.