To answer the question "What is Writing?", we can first start with the dictionary (or in this case, dictionary.com):
verb, wrote or (Archaic ) writ; writ·ten or (Archaic ) writ; writ·ing.
verb (used with object)
1. to trace or form (characters, letters, words, etc.) on the surface of some material, as with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means; inscribe: Write your name on the board.
2. to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of.
3. to fill in the blank spaces of (a printed form) with writing: to write a check.
I think most of us would agree that we expected to see the definition in #2.
So what does this mean to homeschoolers? It means that you have to learn to write in order to express yourself and/or communicate in writing.
When we say words like “express” that tends to make us think of creative writing. Creative writing is definitely an important part of a person’s education so that they can use that right side of the brain to think outside the box.
However, when we then turn our attention to the word “communicate”, we begin to think about the left side of the brain – the side that uses structure and organization to get points across to others in a more informational way.
Now, let me ask you, in any job that you have had outside the home where you have had to write, was it necessary that your writing more creative or was it needed to be more informational? I’d be willing to guess that it was more informational. In fact, in college, most “papers” will need to be informational.
You can see it is not enough to be creative or to simply emulate good writing. Nor is it enough to be able to write about historical events. A person needs to have a bank of specific, structured patterns and resources to pull from in order to produce work (i.e. papers & essays) that can express AND communicate in a variety of situations and careers.
So how can you teach this?
You can teach this by showing your children how to find ideas, their voice, use word choice, sentence fluency, organization, & conventions using the Writing Garden books with DVDs.
Truthfully, I have been teaching this way for 17 years now and was even tasked with teaching those expected to fail state tests and guess what? All of my “failures” passed when “regular” kids did not. Why? Because I know how to break writing down and make it intelligently simple.
At the urging of my homeschooling sister who insisted that writing was NOT simple, I put my education & experience onto paper & DVD and am ready to share it with anyone who would like to learn.