It’s back to school time! While students and parents will be experiencing a range of emotions as kids head back to the classroom, the start of school doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Planning ahead and knowing what to expect can help prepare younger children and college students alike for what’s to come in the first days and weeks of a new school year.
One common question we often hear is whether parents should help their kids with their essays.
Here are 10 reasons why we think they should:
1. Refresh basic writing skills
Before your kids start the essay writing process, be sure that your kid understands the basic elements of writing. They should know proper spelling and the rules of grammar. Do they understand proper sentence structure—as well as how to break up the content in paragraphs? Can they start with a good opener and close with a strong summation of the essay? There are plenty of books and online resources you can point them to if they need help.
2. Check their spelling and grammar
You can help proofread their work. Keep in mind that there’s a big difference between fixing spelling and grammatical errors and making substantive changes to your kid’s essay.
Try to be really disciplined about not crossing the line between good help and too much help. It’s perfectly acceptable to take a review for spelling errors, but it’s not okay for you to rewrite your kid’s essay.
3. Review other essays online
You can get a better sense if your child is on the right track with their essay by reviewing others online. This is best for college entrance essays. You’ll find enough variety of samples online among to make it worth your while. Save them in a file and refer to them as your child begins to write their essays.
4. Talk to your child about their idea
Your child will no doubt ask you for your opinion on their topic idea.
They are inviting you into the essay-writing process. How you can help them in this instance is to be thoughtful and ask questions to help him or her determine whether the idea is a good one or how they might tweak it.
5. Be a sounding board
An essay is usually a reflection of who you child he or she truly is at this point in their life. As parents, you may be tempted to jump right in and solve problems for your kids. This should just be a time for you to step back and allow them to work through challenges on their own. But you can be there as a sounding board if they have questions or concerns.
6. Show them how to write an outline
An outline serves as a guide for your student as they write their essay and should include all of the important elements. Some kids uncomfortable putting their thoughts into writing, so an outline is a wonderful way to show them the logical context of how their essay should flow. You can show them the basic structure, including the introduction, main body, and conclusion.
7. Use technology to help your child
When used in proper fashion, some technologies may be helpful to improving your kid’s essay writing skills. Don’t be afraid to let them use an iPad if they prefer to research and write using that device. Some people also recommend using Pinterest as a tool because it helps organize materials, such as notes.
8. Encourage them
Be enthusiastic around your kids because it can rub off on them. Don’t let them think that essay writing is dull or boring, or even a laborious task. Your kids will enjoy the process more if they see that you are encouraging and enthusiastic.
9. Don’t make excuses
Don’t let your kids ever give you any reason for making excuses. For example, you don’t want to say something like this: some kids are just not cut out for writing. Even if you believe that they may feel better, don’t say that. They might believe that you think they are unable to manage anything. This is important for later in life too—their success at a future career will require them to do the best they can. You are not helping them if you encourage him or her to make excuses whenever it is convenient.
10. Seek outside help
Sometimes your kids just need a little more help than what you can provide. When they need just a little extra push, you can always find a cheap essay writing website. When you have an expert edit and rewrite an essay for your child, they can see exactly how a professional writer would approach the essay topic. This can help them understand how best to approach other essays they will write.