June 11, 2015

I just attended a homeschool convention this past weekend. I was overwhelmed and encouraged by the array of excellent educational tools. Home educators have the privilege of choosing from countless books, online resources, co-ops, tutoring, etc.

How does a real live writing coach fit into a school schedule? Today I want to discuss the uniqueness and value of just that. Consider these 10 reasons to have your student work with a writing coach.

1. The Accountability 

There are so many demands on a homeschool day. It becomes a giant juggling act trying to balance math, piano, history, meal prep, soccer practice and family time. It might feel like if you add one more thing (like writing) your day will pop. Duke Ellington said, “I don’t need time. What I need is a deadline.” I’ve found this to be extremely true for procrastinators like me. You make time for what you need to make time for. Writing is a discipline. A writing coach will guarantee that at least a little writing WILL be accomplished each week.

2. Writing is Important 

Writing slips by the wayside for many homeschool families. However, I believe it is imperative to learn how to communicate through written words while you're young. No matter what field you go into, good writing will serve you and those around you. Whether you are writing an essay, journal entry, Facebook post, poem, response in a debate, email, letter to a Senator, skit, or novel—your message should be heard loud and clear. Can your student articulate and construct his written words so that nothing distracts from his message? I Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

3. The Variety.

Like I said above, there are many amazing writing resources out there. I encourage a sampling of lots of different things. Each resource has different strengths and weaknesses. One assignment could change the way your student thinks about writing. If the book or curriculum you have right now is still causing your student to hate writing, then try something new for a semester or even just a month. The skill of writing (and the passion for it) is worth pursuing!

4. The Critique. 

There is something incredibly energizing about receiving personalized feedback from someone who is seeking to mentor you. I’m so thankful that my writing coach held nothing back. He told me the truth about my writing, even when it hurt my pride. Through his guidance my writing GREW.  Rough edges tend to rub off with constructive critique.

5. The Encouragement.

There is great power behind a teacher’s words. I'll never forget what my mom/teacher said after reading my first book (I was 13): "I look forward to reading the series you will write one day." She believed in me, and that made a huge difference. Even the most reluctant writer comes out of his/her shell with a little praise. Honest approval works wonders for writing moral and boosts confidence.

6. The Daily Email Access 

Confused about your assignment? Email your coach and ask that question. Instead of sticking strictly to a book assignment, your coach can give you permission to bend the rules if it will help your writing soar. I’ve had students ask me if they can write longer pieces to which I almost always say, “Yes!”

7. Preparation for College.

It’s shocking how many college students meet their hardest college battle with their papers. It doesn’t have to be that way. Your student CAN practice now so nothing catches him/her off guard. Timed essays? Word counts? Bibliographies?  No problem—he's seen them before.

8. Flexibility. 

Do you have a week of acting camp or family vacation in September? No problem. Our coaches are flexible about time off. We operate on an open enrollment schedule and the course may be started or stopped at any time.

9. Tailored Assignments.

A Time 2 Write coaches work with your priorities. If there is a certain type of writing you wish to master, then we can focus on that. If your budding author has a novel idea just bursting at the seams, then your coach would love to mentor in the specific area of creative writing.
A writing coach assesses where the individual student is at and then gives the assignments that will best advance your student to the next level. 

10. The Fun

I always raced to the computer every Monday and refreshed the page multiple times, eager to receive the email in my inbox with precious feedback and a new assignment!

A) It's enjoyable to build a friendship with your writing coach and journey through writing together.

B) It's awesome to have someone delve into your creative writing world with you--and know your fictional characters like you do.

C) Writing a story is so much fun, your student may not even realize that he's learning. See "When a 10-Year-Old wants to Write a Book."

D) With our variety of assignments (book reports, movie reviews, short stories, persuasive essays, personal narratives, how-to paragraphs, etc.) we're bound to land on at least one that really spikes your student's interest in writing. 

E) It's fun for moms because it frees them up to teach what they love teaching. 

How do I get started?

For the cost of monthly piano or swimming lessons, you can help shine up your student's writing for a semester or two. Contact us to learn more about how you can have your own writing coach.


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