Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Writing Quandary

I am in a quandary about how to help my children learn to write.

I often read things that have been written by fellow Americans and I think gosh, they let this person out of high school? No, they let this person out of college. With an advanced degree. Ouch.

To be honest, I want to teach my children to write better than that. I am not necessarily concerned with all the formalities of our language- passive tense, comma usage, etc- but I do want my children to be able to communicate their thoughts clearly and effectively.

We have spent time studying the masters- like Charles Dickens and Shel Silverstein. And I would like to add Charlotte Bronte, James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain, and so forth to that list.

But this is where the quandary comes in... Americans don’t talk or write like that anymore. Seriously. Would Ben Franklin be published today? I doubt it. Certainly not Hermann Melville (and we can all breathe a sigh of relief about that). And should the children decide to go to college, they’ll need to be able to write like a modern American. Oh, does that mean texting? Nevermind.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll buy a curriculum.