Students Can Overcome Writing-Induced Anxiety: Here's How
It’s no surprise that many students with executive functioning challenges find writing to be a difficult process. In fact, since school ended, we've been getting an earful from parents about writing concerns. Here’s a sampling of what we’re hearing from you:
- “My son has good ideas but doesn’t know how to organize them.”
- “She just doesn’t know where to start. Even a paragraph can take hours.”
- “No plan and no system - that’s my kid. He just starts writing in this kind of chaotic/stream of conscious kind of way. It makes no sense.”
- “The whole writing process just makes her anxious.”
- “We saw a lot of late nights and tears this past year whenever there was an essay.”
Organizational Tools and Writing Processes Can Help
We don’t hear from your kids of course—they aren’t leaving us voicemails—but when we work with them it’s clear that writing is an arduous, stress-inducing process. They can’t always explain to us where their specific breakdowns are, but starting a five-page paper at midnight before it’s due the next day is usually a leading indicator of overwhelm and no plan.
Fortunately, a lot of writing-induced anxiety can be relieved when students have clear processes, routines, and “How-Tos” that alleviate writing paralysis and avoidance.
Here are some examples of what your child will be able to accomplish with clear directions, scaffolds, and templates in place:
- Create a plan of action from brainstorm to outline to final product.
- Construct a thesis statement that can be backed up with ease.
- Find and cite quotes and evidence.
- Understand what it means to “analyze” a quote (especially for middle schoolers).
- Take notes from books and online materials for a paper, knowing what’s relevant and what isn’t.
- Write original content and avoid cutting and pasting. (One of our coaches who teaches college writing remarked recently that she had never seen so many papers with plagiarized quotes from online, especially Wikipedia, as she did this spring. Yikes!)
- Ask for feedback through the writing process from his or her teacher.
We Can Help
Students who have a “GPS” for their essays and research papers turn out better products. They become more confident starting, researching, and concluding papers when they feel they don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time.
If your child could use a boost for his or her writing and organizational skills, check out our Write On writing course for middle schoolers and Writing RX for high school students. If you sign up for either Write On or Writing RX (or both!) between now and June 30, get 15 percent off the cost of the workshop. Don’t let your kids go back to school without a better approach to essays than they’ve ever had!
Workshops and coaching schedules are filling fast, so act now to ensure a spot (see workshop listings below).
Save the Date: 3rd Annual Parenting U November 2, 2019!
SOS4Students and Julia Morgan School for Girls will proudly host the 3rd annual Parenting U event. It will be held November 2, 2019 at the Julia Morgan School in Oakland.
Come for the exciting breakout sessions covering a range of hot topics for parents of tweens and young teens. Our keynote speaker this year is renowned writer Peggy Orenstein, author of “Cinderella Ate My Daughter,” “Girls and Sex, Boys and Sex,” and now “Don’t Call Me Princess,” a book of essays on girls, women, sex, and life.
This is a can’t miss event. Spread the word to your friends and colleagues with kids ages 10 to 14. We’ll be sending out registration info later this summer, so stay tuned!
- Signing up for an SOS4Students Workshop or Summer Coaching is easy and can be done online. Our workshops tend to fill fast and start dates will be here sooner than you think, so act now.
- All workshops are held at Lafayette Library (Oak Room) Lafayette, CA.
- Summer coaching is available at our Walnut Creek and Montclair District offices, or online.
Middle School Workshops
High School Workshops
Can't make the workshop you need? Does your student benefit from more individualized attention? All ages and abilities gain from the one-on-one summer coaching sessions with our seasoned coaches.