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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Did I just edit my kid's college essays?

Yes, why yes I did.

I guess a homeschool mom's work is never done.

Last year when my son started college, I introduced him to my Grammarly account which I use to help me with editing.  Since he is an intensely private person, I knew he didn't want me reading his papers, but I knew that he (we all) could use a second set of eyes on his work.

This year, I instructed daughter to use the college writing center, as she would gladly let someone else look at her work, but since they are not opened yet, this early into the semester, she sent her papers to me for an extra set of eyes.  Instead of making a correction for her, I used a tool in Microsoft Word that let's me make comments on the side of the page. This way I could point out grammar issues without changing the meaning or intended meaning of anything she wrote.

I really enjoyed being called upon for a little help from my girl, though I realize these requests will become fewer and further apart over time.

I don't know if this is a symptom of helicoptering or not, but at least I didn't re-write or change anything, wanting her to be responsible for her own edits.


1 comment:

usethebrains godgiveyou said...

My husband didn't realize how nearly all professional works are edited. At first he was "hurt" if his worked wasn't accepted "as is", as if it was a reflection on his inadequacy. He was lucky enough to write a book. He quickly learned that editors are our friends!

Ben had such a hard time with writing and grammar. We took Fred Lybrands writing course and he really pushed that parents appear as editors to kids...helpers, not critics.

I knew Dr. Lybrand would be helpful when he began telling the story of his middle school English class. He had written a story that he thought was very good, and expected an A because it was so interesting. He got it back, all marked up with red pen, and a "C". His teacher told him he made many grammatical errors.

"But what about what I said?"

It's the kids that may not "get" grammar that have the most to say. Why is life like that?