Keena Cauthen

On a different note for this same subject, I feel that some of this lack of writing skills falls on the parents as well. I am the mother of four, with my oldest two in college and my youngest two just starting school. My oldest two did not live with me during their younger years and I have noticed a distinct lack of writing skills and take part of the blame for this. I did promote reading in the family, but did not focus as much on the writing aspects. With the younger two, they live with me and I have them writing almost daily. I can see what they are learning in school, and supplement that by working with them at home in those areas where I feel the schools are not focusing as strongly. At kindergarten and first grade I expect them to write their spelling words nightly, and a common punishment for unacceptable behavior is the requirement to write sentences. They may only be copying the sentences from something that I have written, but they are expected to spell the words correctly, use the proper punctuation, and write as legible as they can. Sloppiness and laziness are not acceptable, as I point out to them that if they are taking the time to write it, then they need to ensure that someone else can read it. I have my proud moments, too, when I hear from their teachers how they are so precise in their writing, how neat their letters are, or how much they enjoy talking to them because of their vocabulary. Why, just the other day, I asked my second grader what he was doing and he responded that he and his brother were having a “delightful game of Uno” and would be to supper “momentarily”. Am I a busy mother? Yes I am, but I still take the time to ensure that what I feel is important is focused on in our family and do not expect the school systems to do it for me.