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Why Your Kid Can't Write

Written By: Ellen Finnigan  |  Posted: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

                For years American employers have been complaining about the poor writing skills of college graduates. Teaching assistants in English departments across the country are shocked after their first week teaching Freshman Comp: "We can't be expected to make up for twelve years of lost grammar in one semester!" they cry, while sipping their green tea, and pushing up the sleeves of their oversized cardigans. The SAT grader cringes, knowing these essays are sure to be the downfall of many ambitious young students, relegating them to their "safety schools." Meanwhile a homeschooling mother sits at the kitchen table tearing out her hair, because her eighth grader has just stormed out of the room - again! - all because she was trying to give him "a little bit of help" with his writing.

                Let me be forthcoming: I do not have a degree in Education. I have never studied Composition Pedagogy. When I was in graduate school, I did not have a teaching assistantship, despite my impressive collection of cardigans. But I am a writer, myself, and I have been working with families as an online writing coach for over four years. That's right: I have street cred. So I will share a few insights and theories, based on my personal observations and experiences, as to why "the kids these days" can't write. Parents, listen up! I also have tips.

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