Here are 3 surprising reasons homeschool highschoolers need Creative Writing.
3 Surprising Reasons Homeschool Highschoolers Need Creative Writing
In my years as an academic advisor for homeschool high schoolers, I often heard parents worry about wasting time with creative writing. They would say things like:
- My teen won’t be writing stories in college, why should he waste time with that in high school?
- Aren’t the only real kinds of writing research papers and essays?
- Creative writing is just silly and embarrassing.
- My teen is NO poet, why should she try?
Let me share with you 3 surprising reasons homeschool highschoolers need Creative Writing.
*Students who have experienced a reasonable amount of Creative Writing in high school make better college-level writers.
This may seem surprising but it is true: Poetry and short stories are disciplines that train the brain to use words well. Take these two *examples* from a potential research paper:
- Scientists believe that cats sleep an average of 15 hours per day. (petmd.com)
- The veterinarians at petmd.com suggest that furry felines sleep an average of 15 hours per day.
The first sentence is okay but not great. The second sentence shows more college-level wording. It includes more specific nouns (veterinarians vs scientists), alliteration (suggest/sleep, furry/felines) and richer vocabulary. High schoolers learn to use words well by experiencing Creative Writing assignments like short stories and poetry.
*Students who use words well don’t bore their professors.
I was surprised about some information that my sister, who was at the time a Psychology 101 professor, told me when I was starting to homeschool high school almost 30 years ago. She admitted that reading 200 freshman papers was torture. It was torture, that is, until she got to a paper that had good word usage: those papers that could sneak in a pleasant or humorous alliteration and had excellent vocabulary. THOSE papers got the A’s.
Teens learn this A-producing writing ability by doing yearly Creative Writing projects.
*Even non-college-bound homeschool high schoolers benefit from Creative Writing.
Are you surprised? Homeschool graduates who started their careers after high school have told me that they:
- feel more confident explaining things to their work teams
- writing company communications
- taking exams for advancement because they learned to write (not necessarily love) poetry and short stories
Check our our Authoritative Guide on High School Writing Requirements and for a in-depth discussion on goals and grading writing assignments for homeschool high school, check out this post.