Homeschooling? Frustrated Student Writer? Try this!

Homeschooling? Is this your adolescent writer?

Unmotivated OR lacking confidence? Try this!

Adolescents need proof of success to believe that they are learning or improving and to be confident that they can improve, especially when they have had ‘failure’ expereinces previously. If your student is looking defeated or frustrated, you need to ‘prove’ to that student that s/he is improving.


  • Try to identify the three issues that most impede the clarity of your student’s written communication. Choose one for this exercise.
  • First , write down the skill you are training. Let’s say it’s this skill: Write complete sentences, i.e. no fragments, in 9 of 10 sentences (90% of the time).
  • Next, tell your student what the ‘baseline’ number is, i.e. the starting accuracy (e.g. 5/10 or 50%). Write that down.
  • Last, after two to three weeks of focused work on the target skill, give your student a writing assignment (essay or paragraph is okay). Count the number of complete sentences vs. fragments.
  • Write that down, and show your student his/her progress. Words you should use: Look at how you’ve improved. Before you were writing ____this many complete sentences (stated as a percentage of complete over total sentences in writing product). NOW, look at what you’re doing! You’re writing _____ this many complete sentences. Great job!
  • Repeat as needed and always talk about the improvement shown! 
  • Enjoy the smiles!
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