Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Writing

It's the time of year when it seems that all homeschooler bloggers are writing & sharing tips on homeschooling, how they plan each year, organization, what makes them successful homeschoolers (according to their definition of success), and other topics that help them prepare for the coming school year. Some are writing about things that help remind them that homeschooling is not a contest or competition and we each have our own way of doing things. Mainly, though, it the former. I thought about doing a whole series of posts this month about back to school planning, homeschool organization, etc. However, I have decided not to. If someone asked, I probably would, but since nobody has recently asked how we organize or plan our year, I really don't want to.

I also don't really want to talk about why I haven't been posting much lately. A lot of things have been going on in my life recently, but I haven't really felt up to sorting it all out & explaining it to anyone. Plus, some of it I'm not sure I can share, at least not yet.

So, what am I going to write about? I have no idea, but I know that I need to write something. If I don't write something, I don't know when I'll write here again. I don't really want my blog to fall into disuse. Well, I don't know. Maybe I do. Maybe I'll get rid of this blog and start a new one, about something else. Maybe I'll just stop blogging all together. Maybe I'll continue this one & start a new one. I really just don't know.

I started writing this days ago & have been trying to figure out what I wanted to write about in this post. Well, I've finally decided what the rest of this post will be about. It will be about writing.

I feel that writing is important enough to be covered formally in our schooling. Many homeschoolers disagree with that. I have been told many times that the kids would learn to write well without any formal instruction. I've been told that I should just encourage them to read the classics because they will learn proper grammar & sentence structure from reading the great writers. Haven't you ever noticed the incorrect grammar & sentence structure in some of the great works? I have. Writers often break the rules of good writing, and that's honestly fine. However, there are times when it would not be appropriate to break those rules. Also, there is a difference between intentionally breaking the rules of good writing & just plain bad writing.

I have actually had to stop reading a book because the mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure were so bad & so common that it was truly unenjoyable to continue reading. Even worse is when you are reading a news story, nonfiction book, or anything for a business and find tons of errors. Now, I understand that occasional mistakes will happen. However, constant mistakes are another thing.

I was on Facebook this morning and saw a post from a local news station. There were multiple errors in the post, and this is not a one time thing. This news station makes mistakes a lot. So, I pointed out the mistakes. Someone from the station fixed the errors & thanked me for pointing them out. However, several other people also responded to my comment. Most of them responded to tell me that, "It's only Facebook," so they shouldn't be expected to use proper grammar.

Now, if it is a personal Facebook account, it doesn't matter if you write well or not. However, if it is a Facebook account for a business or news source, I think that proper writing skills should be considered important. It may be "just Facebook," but it is a representation of your business or your newspaper/network news station. You should be putting effort into everything that gets posted to it just like you would if it was a broadcast or a printed & sold paper/product. If your social media account or website is my first introduction to your business, and I notice that you often have errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc., I am not likely to become a customer of yours. If you're a news source, you should want to be taken seriously. Personally, I can't take you seriously as a news source if you regularly have errors in your stories.

This is why I feel it is important that my kids learn how to write and choose to have it be a formal part of our schooling. They will need to write papers in college. They may need to write to get a job or as part of a job. I want them to be able to write well. I don't want my kids to be the people who cause their business to lose customers or potential customers due to lacking basic grammar skills.