Happy Monday! Are you awake yet?
I'm a routine kind of girl...always have been. Autumn is my favorite time of year. I think it's the schedule. I know where we have to be every second of the week. I may not always like having to run from point "A" to point "B", but there are hardly any surprises when it comes to where me and the kids need to be.
With the beginning of each new school year our district has their annual "Back To School" nights. This year I have a 3rd grader and a 6th grader (I know, feel my pain, I have a middle schooler!), so that meant I had to attend two different nights for two different schools.
I had a wonderful time meeting the teachers, seeing my kids artwork and poems, and meeting up with parents I hadn't seen in a few months. While I was there I learned a few things. Things that shocked me just a bit. Perhaps its because I'm a newly published writer having gone through the editing process several times with my four novels, but what I heard had me shaking my head. I thought I'd share some of the philosophies I picked up at these two particular nights with my fellow writers/readers.
First, I want to say my children attend a really good school system and I'm in no way trying to diminish what they're learning or what the teachers are teaching, but as a writer these two topics jumped out at me.
Cole's 3rd grade teacher said they would receive 20 words per week and would be tested on them. This is basically your traditional spelling test. But, those test scores only count as 10% of their overall Language Arts grade, so don't stress yourself out. Nowadays we have spellcheck, so the kids will be fine.
Jake's 6th grade English teacher said although this is an English class it should be called Writing because that's all we do. My ears perked right up. By the end of the year they will have several "published" pieces completed. We love to write in my house, so I was stoked. Then she went on to say that because all they do is write, they won't be covering any grammar.
How can you write if you don't learn what the function of a verb, noun or adjective is? I learned all of that and I still want to cry when my editor returns the first round of edits to me.
I left both of these schools feeling a bit confused. Who are the authors of the future going to be? Will they be able to spell? Will they know the meaning of tenses? And, what about those pesky commas?
Maybe I'm old fashioned. I'm sure these points stuck with me because I'm in the middle of edits for three books, but I'm going to tell you right now aspiring writers...learn your grammar!!! lol
I won't lie, I'm constantly googling things and using spellcheck, but at least I know, in most cases, I'm making a mistake or I know something doesn't sound right. I wonder if that will be the case for these students if they've never been taught it in the first place.
What are your thoughts?