Parents: Learn to write well!
With the school year coming to a close, students across the United States are no doubt concerned about their writing assignments when it comes to the start of their adult lives. Often, too, parents are seeking help with how to help their students with their college essays as they prepare for that next phase of their life.
Referred to as Generation X, the post-1960s baby boomers in particular tend to be sensitive about changing the atmosphere for Millennials. For many Gen Xers, getting our children to thrive in the classroom can sometimes seem like an uphill battle. Although it is common to focus on early reading and age-appropriate reading practices, a new survey suggests that the notion of learning to write may be more important to Gen X parents than they once believed.
The Westway Group Research, a Tennessee-based research firm, surveyed over 3,000 Gen X parents to better understand their attitudes about adult writing and career preparation. The study indicated that 1,200 of these parents took writing courses between 2010 and 2015. What they discovered was that 89 percent of these Gen X parents believe it is important for their children to be able to write well, but only 18 percent thought high school coursework was required for this. Gen X parents fear that their children may fall behind their classmates if they do not take high school requirements to be able to write well. This was an issue that was dealt with by many of the parents surveyed, and the biggest concern that they had about their child not being able to write well was that they would be unable to be competitive in college admissions and become a writer for a career. The biggest issue here was to help children be more marketable.
However, many parents are concerned about the effect this may have on students’ academic performance and increased student anxiety about the ability to write well. The Westway Group discovered that 56 percent of parents who took writing courses during the study period said they worried that this would make it harder for their children to retain information. The concern for many Gen X parents is to prepare their children to write effectively for the workplace.
After all, Gen Xers grew up with computers and email being a prevalent part of their everyday lives. In general, Gen X parents are more comfortable with technology and want their children to understand that there is a benefit to being technologically advanced. With their students experiencing the environment that many still consider a work in progress, the Gen X parents may be wondering why they need to take a High School writing course that can seem somewhat dated to them, especially when technology is so important in their own lives.
Still, according to the Westway Group study, Gen X parents often understand that most of what they were taught in school is outdated. In fact, the study indicates that 51 percent of the parents surveyed realize that many skills and abilities required in high school do not correlate to successful career success for their children. In fact, only 37 percent of the parents surveyed said that certain skill sets such as writing well for college admissions are considered required.
The majority of the parents surveyed agreed that writing is “relevant,” and that it should be taught to children in their high school classrooms. The survey also indicated that these parents are now more likely to recognize that they can teach their children how to write when it comes to a well-rounded education. In fact, 78 percent of the respondents said they could teach their children how to write and that the prospect of their children failing to perform well in high school had little or no impact on their decision to require their child to take Writing as a required course.
While the primary purpose of writing is to convey personal, private information to others, it is not just high school courses that students should be required to take. Parents may want to take some classes in high school and even some courses as children, but continuing education is a must. Therefore, any additional classes and classes that are required to be taken before high school graduation are not necessary if you have the time to do them. Along with being able to read well, writing skills also include choosing well, following through on tasks, and summary writing. These are exactly the skills that we expect of students today, and we know that they are what will make students successful in the future.