Help for struggling writers

William Van Cleave is an exceptionally good teacher. A teacher trainer and educational consultant, he spoke on teaching writing.

Click here for his excellent handout, which covers many stages of writing: from forming letters to revising essays.

One example of what I liked are his exercises on varying sentence structure. Once our students can construct a clear sentence, we often move on to paragraph writing. But if our children don’t know how to vary their sentence structure, they may write boring paragraphs like this:

I like trees. Trees are tall and green. They lose their leaves in the fall. We rake them in piles. [Subject-verb-adjective. Subject-verb-object. Subject-verb-object….]

If your child writes like this, then have a look at the section on ways to vary sentences.

But don’t neglect the other 41 pages of this excellent resource.

Van Cleave is a student of Diana Hanbury King, whose Writing Skills books are among the resources I recommend in Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner. Here’s hoping he publishes this material as a book soon.

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