Last week I met a homeschool mom who asked me what I thought about the importance of writing skills. Her son is getting to the end of his homeschool years, and he’s not sure if he’s going to go to college. She and her husband think that he may be well-suited for a career in engineering or technology. Does he need a course in writing skills?
You may have wondered the same thing. In this age of texting, podcasts, video chats, and instant messaging, is it still important to teach composition skills? I believe that it is. Here are three important ways our children will benefit from learning how to write well.
Writing Skills Allow Us to Reflect the Image of God
Because we were created in the image of God, we can exhibit (although imperfectly) some of the characteristics of God. God is the perfect communicator, and He chose to communicate to mankind through written communication. He gave us the Bible. When we write well—when we can organize and express ideas in a way that communicates a message to our audience—we are reflecting God’s image.
Writing Skills Develop Needed Thinking Skills
Good writing is not something that just happens. It is not a special talent that some people have and others don’t. It is a skill that is developed over time by using a process.
I’m glad that BJU Press curriculum doesn’t wait until the upper grades to develop the skill of writing; it introduces the writing process in first grade and continues to develop it through all twelve grades. Recently my first-grade daughter completed her very first composition project. She had to choose an animal, research where it lives and what it eats, and create a poster communicating that information. My third-grade daughter has completed several writing projects already—a paper describing a process and a personal letter in English, essays for heritage studies and science, and a few short projects for spelling. Both girls are gaining skills in brainstorming, organizing, and communicating ideas.
As my daughters’ writing skills develop, they will learn how to express complex, abstract ideas in writing. They will learn how to use logic to skillfully craft arguments. They will learn how to think, and most importantly, they will learn how to answer the questions of those who are seeking after salvation (1 Peter 3:15).
Writing Skills Develop Needed Social Skills
Sometimes when we think of writing, we think about the stereotypical author, holed up in a secluded place for weeks or months, feverishly cranking out the manuscript for his or her next big project. We often forget that the goal of writing is interpersonal communication. It is a social skill.
Good writing meets the needs of the reader. My third-grader’s first big writing assignment this year was a process paper. She had to write out the instructions for how to play a game. She chose to write about kickball. To be successful, she had to think about her potential audience. She had to imagine that her reader had no idea how to play kickball. She had to think about what her reader needed to play the game, and she had to organize her ideas in a way that her reader could understand.
Your child may never become a novelist, a journalist, a blogger, or a copywriter. But no matter what career your child chooses, he or she will benefit from composition skills. Find out how BJU Press curriculum can help you develop those skills through its English Writing & Grammar programs.