What Kinds of Writing Should Non-College-Bound Teens Do?

By request: What kinds of writing should non-college-bound teens do?

What Kinds of Writing Should Non-College-Bound Teens Do? Homeschool high school tips and guidelines for workforce-bound or special needs teens.

What Kinds of Writing Should Non-College-Bound Teens Do?

I talk to so many homeschool moms who feel pressure to complete high academics with their teens, even though these teens will not be going to college. It makes for miserable teens and miserable parents. So let’s do some recalibrating.

There’s not ONE kind of homeschool high schooler so there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school.

Over half of American high school graduates in 2018 went on to college, according to National Center for Education Statistics. Of those who went to college, NCES says that twenty-six percent attended two-year colleges (where many were going for specific certifications, not for further degrees).

However, according to NCES, thirty-one percent of American 2018 graduates did not attend college. That’s a lot. AND that’s good. Not all teens are supposed to go to college.

Despite cultural pressure to send most high school graduates to college, many should not spend their resources on a four-year degree. Why waste tens of thousands of dollars on college education, if God created your teen to calling that does not need that kind of preparation? Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently found that thirty-six percent of American jobs do not have basic college requirements.

Writing assignments should be  adjusted to teens':  *Grade *Goals  *Abilities *Needs *Interests

However, even non-college-bound teens have high school graduation requirements to meet. Homeschool high schoolers need four English/Language credits for graduation. A big part of ELA credits is writing. Non-college-bound teens do NOT need to do the intensity and number of papers that college-bound teens work on.

BUT they need to write, and write in a way that fits their needs, abilities and goals.

So what kinds of writing should non-college-bound teens do?

There are five basic kinds of writing that homeschool high schoolers should (in our opinion) experience:

  • Writing for information search and usage
    • Teens need to develop skills to look for and digest information while thinking critically.  Research and report writing assignments are important for developing this skill.
  • Writing for persuasion
    • Teens need to be able to discuss the information they learn and the ideas that are meaningful to them. Essay writing is the best way to develop this skill.

      Tall Tale Writing Guide
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  • Writing for creativity
    • Creativity is not frivolous. God is creative and gave people creative minds for problem solving and enjoyment. The simplest way to develop creativity in writing is through simple, fun poetry assignments and short-story assignments. Even non-college-bound teens benefit from the mental exercise that creative-writing assignments such as very simple poetry and short stories such as:
  • Writing for life preparation
  • Writing for health and well-being

First, a word on how to accomplish the writing component each English/Language Arts credit

One of the blessings of homeschooling high school is the ability to have your teens work at the level appropriate for them. Non-college-bound teens will often work on Level 1 (remedial) or Level 2 (average).

Level 1 (remedial) writing assignments are appropriate for teens who have learning disabilities or differences or other special needs, or for some reason have struggled with writing and need more time with basic skills.

Professional Writing guide
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Remember, choose assignments that are right for your teens’ needs, abilities and goals.

You can use these adaptations as are good-fits for your teens:

Level 2 (average) writing assignments are appropriate for many non-college-bound teens.

Average-level assignments are shorter (and few in number) than Level 3 (college-prep) and above. You can find more details in this post, but here’s a guideline (again, remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, so do what is best for your teens).

Our favorite writing curriculum for Level 2 (average) homeschool high schoolers is, of course, 7SistersHomeschool’s Writing Curriculum. That’s because we have vetted the curriculum on students for years and include instructions for completing each simple, daily, no-busywork assignment.

research paper help for reluctant writers
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7Sisters Writing Curriculum

Specific numbers and kinds of writing for non-college-bound teens

Again, let me remind you. There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. These are the guidelines we have used for our teens over the years (as well as those we have advised for all these years in our local homeschool umbrella school.)

English/Language Arts Grade 9 Level 2

  • 4 short papers – whatever the parent feels the student needs
  • 2 essays
  • 4-page research paper (3 pages + references)
One Year of High School English Language Arts a good fit for 9th grade
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English/Language Arts Grade 10 Level 2

  • 4 short papers – whatever the parent feels the student needs
  • 2 essays
  • 5-page research paper (4 pages + references)

English/Language Arts Grade 11 Level 2

  • 4 short papers – whatever the parent feels the student needs
  • 3 essays
  • 7-page research paper (6 pages + references)

English/Language Arts Grade 12 Level 2

  • 4 short papers – whatever the parent feels the student needs
  • 3 essays
  • 10-page research paper (9 pages + references) or 2 6-page papers

If you want a FULL-Year, FULL ELA credit in with 7Sisters wonderful curriculum, download our ONE Year of High School English/Language Arts.

Homeschooling high school: You CAN do it! And you can do it in a way that fits your homeschoolers’ needs, abilities and goals. 7Sisters can help!

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What Kinds of Writing Should Non-College-Bound Teens Do?

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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