Email: Essay Success; Learning Challenges

Blog Email Essay Success Learning Challenges


I remember reading an old blog entry in which you said that you had proofread your college student’s paper. At the time, I remember thinking that sounded nice and cozy, but that I doubted I’d ever need to do something like that for one of my sons once they had left home. Well, this last fall I corrected my oldest son Tommy’s first few Composition 1 papers! I was glad I had read your story because it kept me from hesitating when he informed me that he had a paper due tomorrow and he would be emailing it to me to look at. After the first few papers, he found that his high school had done a better job of teaching him to write than his classmates’ high schools and he stopped needing me, but I was glad I was there for him. As much as people complain about email as a sloppy form of communication, I think it is wonderful. This entire year my son has written to me every day! Email’s asynchronousness and ease makes him willing to communicate far more than he would if he had to telephone or write by hand. Anyway – I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a glimpse of what it is like to have a college student.

-Nancy Gorman

Isn’t this cool? I wanted to print her email to encourage those of you looking for how to handle that transition to college writing in the fall.

I am interested in your LA Planning class, but I am trying to decide which way I want to go. (I am also considering IEW…very different approaches!) I have a 12yo dysgraphic child, as well as a 10yo and 8yo (and a 3yo who doesn’t count for this discussion). All my kids suffer from visual processing issues which makes copywork more difficult (the doctor tells us to avoid copywork, though I continue to try it periodically). We’ve been doing Friday Freewrites for a year or two…moved from 5 min. to 18 min., but the output doesn’t seem to have increased with the time, nor has there been much improvement in the thoughts conveyed. (I own The Writer’s Jungle, though I haven’t reviewed it recently.) I like your natural approach, but I guess I’m fearful of not seeing improvement, yet again…and fearful to take the leap as my child approaches middle school with 2nd grade level writing, at best. (I’m equally fearful with IEW being refused as too difficult.) Does this method work with kids who are highly resistant to writing? What if they can’t do the copywork? What is the toughest “case” you’ve helped…did it work out in the end?

Thanks for any thoughts you can provide that might help me decide where to head,


BW is designed for kids like yours. We focus specifically on kids who are struggling with language arts, who have learning impairments. I would suggest you take the Copywork and Dictation class when we offer it in the fall. It is revolutionary for kids like yours. The instructor is a reading and language pathologist who specializes in translating her skills into the BW approach to writing. She’s had enormous success in helping kids get through the block to a good space for writing. In fact, my son with dysgraphia (14) has been her tutoring student for two years and he’s gone from not writing (really at all) to writing eloquent papers and his handwriting has finally become almost automatic. Such a stunning turn around for a kid who struggled mightily with writing.

Copywork is challenging for these guys. But it is possible to use special writing therapies to help your son overcome the difficulties. This is not information you will get from IEW. We’re the only program I know of that directly addresses these issues and provides mothers with the tools to do the kinds of processes that lead to growth and healing.


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