Why You Worry about Teaching Writing (and How to Stop Worrying)
WriteAtHome is a growing business, but it’s a small business. We don’t have a marketing department. The guy that writes the curriculum is the same guy who comes up with the marketing slogans (and the blog posts, by the way). You probably didn’t notice, but we changed our marketing slogan recently. It used to be:
WriteAtHome: Because There’s No Answer Key for Good Writing.
I like that phrase. It expresses something obviously true in a way that most people haven’t thought of. It communicates concisely what most homeschooling parents find challenging about teaching writing. Unlike other core subjects, writing is inescapably subjective. There is often no clear right and wrong when it comes to student writing. And that poses a challenge.
It’s common for homeschooling parents to worry about teaching writing. They ask questions like,
“Do I know enough about good writing to evaluate my students’ efforts?”
“Am I assessing their writing fairly? Am I too hard on them? Too easy?”
“How does my kids’ writing compare to the writing of others their age?”
“How much of my evaluation is really just personal preference?”
These are all good, honest questions. They are question all writing teachers asks themselves, including WriteAtHome writing coaches. And, they get at the main reason that families use WriteAtHome to help in this vital area. They want an objective, experienced, knowledgable third party to provide evaluation of their students’ writing.
So, why did we change the slogan? Frankly, because we think it was a bit too clever. It requires a bit of thinking to discover what we are getting at. When it does dawn on people, they tend to like it, but most people just don’t have time to ponder the meaning of marketing slogans. Therefore, we went with something a bit more obvious:
WriteAtHome: We Teach Writing for You.
Less clever. More clear.
I worried a bit about it, honestly. I wondered if it might be a turn-off for homeschool moms, who are generally broadly capable and competent. I wonder if they would balk at the idea of handing over the teaching of a whole subject. I wondered if some would think to themselves, “I don’t need someone to teach writing for me, thank you very much.”
But then I realized that moms who respond that way probably don’t use our services anyway. Because we really do teach writing for you. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we shut you out of the process. Anything but. We welcome the participation of parents. Our goal is to come alongside homeschooling moms (and dads) in our particular area of expertise. We invite their suggestions, requests, and general input. We respect their authority.
But the truth is that what folks love about WriteAtHome is that they can cross writing off their list of subjects to worry about. It frees them up to invest more time in other areas where they feel more comfortable. And it allows them to take on the role of cheerleader and fan rather than critic and evaluator in the area of writing. Many moms tell us how much WriteAtHome has improved their relationship with their children. Which is pretty cool.
Do you worry about the area of writing? Would you like some help in that area, even for just a little while? Then think about taking a WriteAtHome course. They are all 100% money-back satisfaction guaranteed. We assure every customer that they will not be disappointed.
I post this now because a new semester is beginning this week. It’s not too late; we take students for some time after a course begins. But it’s a bit down to the wire and we still have room for students in all our 3rd session workshops. If you are interested, check us out right away.
I’d love to hear your input on our slogan change. If you’ve got any suggestions about it, leave it in the comments section below. I’d be happy to answer any questions about WriteAtHome too.
Oh, and by the way: Happy New Year!