Consider dropping English.

Another possible approach is to drop the formal study of English from your schooling. I can hear your response: "What! Are you out of your mind?" I understand your horror, but take a breath and hear me out. While I can't fully jump on this bandwagon just yet, it has merit worth considering. Some people argue that vocabulary, spelling, and grammar don't need to be studied. Instead, they maintain that all these subjects are beautifully, efficiently, and fully addressed by the simple act of reading wonderfully rich materials. Year after year of reading, hearing, and speaking the King's English beautifully will result in a child who communicates in the same manner, whether speaking or writing. If you have a child who struggles with the mechanics of writing but loves to spend hours reading, you may already have a solution in place. It's a thought.

A Different Path to Success

Having a child who cannot write is simply not an option in today's communications-driven world. All children need to know how to communicate in print. But your child may take a nontraditional path to achieving this goal. Don't be afraid to think outside the box in finding keys to unlock understanding and skill in this task for your child. As you discover which approaches most engage your child, you'll begin to build a toolbox of workable ideas that will build on each other. More importantly, your child will have many opportunities to say, "Yes, I can write," because you will have given him the tools and experiences to prove it. Have a wonderful adventure with your children as you explore out-of-the-box ways to learn to write!


Carol Barnier is the author of How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On To Learning and is a frequent speaker across the country. Her business cards read, "Delightful Speaker, Entertaining Author, Adequate Wife, Pitiful Housekeeper." Track her down at or
Copyright 2007. Originally appeared in Spring 2007. Used with permission. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Right now, 19 free gifts when you subscribe.