SO, WHEN ARE KIDS READY TO START WRITING ESSAYS?
I posted this on the Facebook Robinson Curriculum Group Page, but realized it fits in our group nicely:
OK…so…I’m not the standard person out there, so these are MY thoughts.
Basically, I accept that the maturity of the frontal lobes is not adequately developed for abstract thinking until 14-ish (finally matures around 25). Essays are discussions about one’s own thoughtful view.
So…in our homeschool writing curriculum we simply never had the kids start writing essays until they were 14 or 15. Our goal was to get them to master the sentence…and spelling…and punctuation…and how to get themselves to write…and how to come up with ideas.
I can say that all of our kids turned out to be really fine essayists (always excellent grades on essays in college).
Part of the trick is for them to build confidence…much easier when the brain is ready and when a homeschool writing curriculum encourages the right approach. In the classical model…12 to 14 is when kids work on logic (by arguing)…which is really what they need for essays.
Now…book reports are different, but our homeschool writing curriculum covers that too. Why? Well, because everything in writing is still about writing a good sentence!
Here’s Where Our Group Meets: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWritingCourse/