Teaching children to read and to write has changed dramatically over the past generation, with the tragic result that many of today’s children no longer enjoy reading or writing, and are not competent in these vital skills. When children start school they are expected to be prepared to learn, yet parents are often not assuming their historic responsibility for readying children for school. We have lost the knowledge and ability to teach children how to learn, as well as how to read and write. It is no wonder that schools have produced a generation of non-readers and non-writers.
There is still a place for writing, even in the digital age. Writing, as a communication tool, is a vital life skill for practical, therapeutic, social and work reasons. A student who can write performs better in all areas of schooling, and on standardized tests. An adult who can write has greater workplace opportunities, higher income, and improved job satisfaction.
Writing is a practical skill, required by all levels of education and most jobs. Employers want workers who can write memos, business letters, briefs, reports, research studies, proposals, contracts, articles, essays, and articles. Whether on paper, tablet, laptop or computer, written communication is an integral part of the business world.
Writing is a personal skill that can bring enjoyment and satisfaction. Studies have demonstrated the benefits of keeping a diary or journal for people with depression, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diagnoses. Therapeutic journaling helps children and adults express feelings that might be more easily written than spoken.
Letter-writing and note-writing are almost lost social skills in our society. Yet, these are still valuable ways to reach out to others, to relate and converse at a different level than talking, messaging or emailing. Writing a letter teaches a child to organize thoughts and express them.
College admissions departments are finding that many high school students are unable to write an application essay that is concise, compelling, and grammatically correct. Their writing lacks coherence, clarity and logical organization. These are not always skills that can be taught, but are gained through practice from writing year after year during all twelve years of education. Parents and students cannot depend on the schools to teach writing. Children require the interest and encouragement of parents who value writing as being essential and valuable to their child’s education and future career.