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Mon May 13, 2013, 03:53 AM

Commenting on daughter's English essay

My daughter wrote a persuasive essay for 9th grade English. One of the requirements was to have an adult review the essay, help make grammatical and other corrections, and fill out a sheet that looks like a rubric that a teacher would use. I was more than happy to do this for my daughter (I homeschooled her in English in 7th and 8th grade). Some observations:
1. What about the kids without parents willing and/or able to do this?
2. I have found that my daughter's ability to write essays has actually declined from were she was under my instruction in 8th grade. I attribute to the decline to the involvement and expectation of a teacher (me) with only one student (my daughter). I have a great deal of respect for her teacher (my older daughter had her as well), but my daughter just seems to be dialing it in. She does not have the passion and commitment she exhibited last year.

I am considering dual enrolling my daughter going forward (Homeschool and selected classes at the High School). This would mean that my daughter would not graduate from the public high school, but it would mean that she could focus on more important considerations without the other things which get in the way of learning. At the end of the day her college transcript is really all that matters (she wants to go to medical school). I don't think she got much out of English this year.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Commenting on daughter's English essay (Original post)
exboyfil May 2013 OP
dimbear May 2013 #1
demwing May 2013 #2
Addison May 2013 #5
Neoma May 2013 #3
Goblinmonger May 2013 #4
mbperrin May 2013 #6

Response to exboyfil (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2013, 05:18 AM

1. I have great sympathy for your daughter. I am losing the ability to write English also, from

reading Wonkette.


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Response to exboyfil (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2013, 05:41 AM

2. You'll not get a lot of home-school love on DU

 

but if you're prepared and dedicated, you can do fine job. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and use support groups and available resources. Make sure your daughter gets interaction with other kids, but don't sweat the school=socialization issue. Ask yourself if you believe middle school and high school are good mirrors for "real life," and if the social skills one develops during 9-12 are in any way superior to social skills gained in more diverse environments. At no other point in life are we made to associate solely with people of our same age and from our same neighborhoods. It doesn't mirror college, it doesn't mirror work, and it doesn't mirror life.

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Response to demwing (Reply #2)

Mon May 13, 2013, 02:26 PM

5. Well said

The "what about socialization?" question is the bogeyman of homeschooling.

The irony is that oftentimes the same people who ask this also complain about all the negative behaviors their kids are picking up in school from their classmates.

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Response to exboyfil (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2013, 11:20 AM

3. There's a homeschool group on DU.

Just FYI.

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Response to exboyfil (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2013, 12:04 PM

4. High school English teacher here.

 

Just a couple thoughts:
1. Is there an "honors" option or some other accelerated class that she could go into?
2. Has your daughter talked to the teacher and asked to be pushed a little more or to have different assignments?
3. Have you talked to the teacher and expressed your desire to have your daughter pushed a bit?

It is very hard to teach a class with varying abilities and still be able to push the top end as well as hold the hands of those at the bottom end. My school has an Honors English at each level that students can self-select (it isn't tracked). But, within the context of the non-Honors class, I will work with a student to push them or to focus on specific things beyond what the generic assignment is if that student comes to me.

One thing I have been doing after focusing on feedback research this year is asking students what they want feedback about specifically rather than giving my general feedback (which I still do). I can go through the research if you want but that would likely bore you.

Some students will just dial it in if they aren't challenged. Especially since your teacher does not have past teachers in the district to give her an indication of what your daughter is capable of, you need to let the teacher know. I can't imagine a good teacher (and if you like this person, I imagine they are) not responding positively to your discussion.

Let me know if you have other questions/concerns from someone "in the trenches."

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #4)

Mon May 13, 2013, 07:08 PM

6. Another teacher here. I also use Williams' Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace

as an accelerator for students who want a bit more.

Williams is excellent, and for the self-motivated who will do the exercises, capable of making a startling difference in writing.

Yes to all your other suggestions as well - it IS tough to carry 30 full range students all the way to their full potential, and especially as graduation beckons, when all eyes seem to be on seniors.

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