Did I say that out loud? In any case, it's true. Despite the fact that I have written professionally throughout my adult life, I am probably a terrible writing teacher.
For me, the process of writing is so automatic that I have a tough time trying to explain it to my kids. We tried workbooks and writing systems galore, but none of them inspired my kids or made a difference in their writing.
In the end, the best method seemed to have been benign neglect. I stopped paying attention to their writing (except for one or two major assignments a year, or things they were writing for publication) and just let them write whatever they wanted for themselves. That (and some local creative writing classes with other homeschoolers on the side) seems to have worked -- both kids are now getting A's in their college writing courses.
My article about Teaching Writing includes some ideas for encouraging your kids to write without stifling them. And as it happens, unschooling pioneer John Holt felt the same way. This week Richard Norquist, About.com's Guide to Grammar, wrote about Holt's the concept of "private papers" -- which says that practice alone is as helpful as feedback from a teacher or parent.
What do you think? Is writing something that needs to be taught, or just encouraged?
Image: Creative Commons/Flickr user Alexandratx