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I'm going to try a different tack, since I got almost no responses. Could you please list the writing you have your high schooler do by grade:


9th- He writes 3 5 paragraph papers per quarter and a research paper every semester for English.. He writes lab reports for science that equals xxx number of pages. He writes a one page summary every week for history.


10th- etc.



What is a the amount of writing I should be shooting for?



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I am not so organized. Here is what my latest has done.


9th grade- write papers for science, PE (done online and required written papers), MOvies and Lit class required lots of papers, a paper for Ancient Egypt (9 weeks).


10th grade- written essays for American Lit, American History, 13 papers for Psychology, written report for science project. 4 week long writing class with stories and poems


11th grade- writing a minimum 100 page novel, writing debate briefs and a case, research paper for government, written essays for American History part 2, practice SAT or ACT essays, practice for AP English test.



This child is writing much more than my son did. He took specific writing tutorials and had to do many essays plus a few reports throughout high school. I expect that my number three will do a bit less writing too. This kid likes to write and hates non writing tests so she takes writing intensive classes.

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I have not been so organized either. I've always assigned several short papers (2-3 pages) per subject per semester. This week my high schoolers are to write a 1 to 2 page book report on the novel they are reading for Lit. My senior (yes, the one that is sick!) has signed up to write a Novel in the month of November with a webiste... I "think" it is NaNoWriMo? National November Writing Month? So, I will incorpoate that into her English 4 credit.

My 9th grader hates writing, and I'll be happy to get 2 or 3 quality paragraphs for each assignment from him!

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Perhaps that is why others didn't answer, either. I'm also not sure how helpful it will be because we seem to be doing things pretty differently than everyone else.


So far this year my 9th grade son has written:


A few sentences in French and recopied them correctly daily for language arts and history, which we are doing in French this year at a 6th grade level (GRIN as I said - probably not very helpful)


Three documents mixing a paragraph or two of French text with some photos (the object being to get photos into a document and consider the layout)


Three excersizes for the history (about a page of writing each)


A page of history context for Gilgamesh for great books (in English)


Half a page of book notes for Gilgamesh


A page of notes for his paper for Gilgamesh (which will be a very short research paper, just a page or two)


About thirty nature journal pages - these consist of a very nice line drawing and a few phrases of writing


A page descibing a science experiment and two of science questions


Half a notebook of math problems


A few pages of piano music in some sort of notation that avoids reading music (grrrr) that he has made up himself


And pages of D+D characters or notes on the rules (I guess he is getting practice taking notes from a textbook this year afterall LOL)


And that is it. When the French writing becomes easier (he has barely written anything in French before this year - it was mostly oral), I'm hoping to finish up Writing Strands 7, do the precise (sp?) section of Jensen's Format Writing, and have him make up and write up properly some experiments. At some point, we will go back to doing Latin, too, but very slowly, so he'll have the occasional Latin excersize. It is definately deficient in science and writing, but I decided to put French first this year and we can't do it all.



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You guys are making me feel SO much better. We are in the 12th week of school. By the end of this week my son will have written the following:


Geometry- He has filled in 2 subjects of a 5 subject notebook. Don't know how you count this, but he just finished ch 5.


Chemistry- 1 subject of a 5 subject notebook in notes, review questions, practice problems. 12 typed lab reports,but will finish several more from ch 5. He takes the ch 5 test tomorrow.


History- TOG questions for every week. He has taken 2 of my own tests. He had an essay question in addition to mc and short answer on each one and he wrote nearly 2 pages on the essay each time.


English- 7 one paragraph papers 2- three paragraph papers and 2 5 paragraph papers, 1 SAT writing prompt, Pride and Prejudice test of my own making. It contained other than objective questions some short answer and an essay that he took a page and a half to answer the essay


Logic- just a workbook


Spanish- vocab words on notecards


So, it sounds like he is doing enough writing?



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Last year my 9th & 10th graders wrote one 5-paragraph essay each week, whether for English or History.


This year (10th & 11th) I'm having them do a 5-par essay each day (also for English or history, but not both).


I'd like them to be able to crank out 5 paragraphs without thinking.


Then hopefully a longer (4-5 pp) paper per month. (Say it take a week to write it, then that week they won't write the 5-paragraph essays.)


Then 2 8-page research papers per year.


Let's see, that makes:

2 8-p. papers (4 wks)

9 5-p. papers (9 wks)

100 5-paragraph essays (20 wks)


... if we get 80% of that done I'd be thrilled.


I keep saying this, but it's definitely the biggest lesson learned this year: Make them write a lot, the closer they get to college. Especially if they struggle with writing. Write every day if possible.


I hate to make my non-writer write. I've been avoiding it. And I wish I hadn't. He needs to be able to write long papers in college without my help, which means he needs to write more now.


We were in a public charter school for a couple months (just got out last week). The standard for 10th & 11th grade Honors was a 5-page paper once a month. Even for regular English they were to be writing 5-page papers regularly by 11th grade.


(Interestingly, honors History was not writing-focused, it was project-based.)


Another way to look at writing might be this: Our local community college English composition classes have 6500 words per semester as the standard. That works out to about 26 pages total (250 wds/page).


Do what you want with that information. :-) But you could ask yourself how you can gradually get your child able to write that much in a semester.

Edited by Jenn in CA
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Sorry, I'm not that organized, and can't remember exactly how much writing we did in 9th grade. I did try and make sure he was doing some English or history writing each week. Usually shorter papers, (my son hated writing) so maybe about a total of 5 paragraphs a week.Plus lab write-ups, math, logic (workbook only 9th grade) Then in 10th and 11th probably 10 paragraphs. Plus lab write-ups, math, and logic sometimes had writing assignments. This year we are doing less writing, so he can spend more time doing debate .


I think in 9th grade, it is a good idea to do lots of smaller writing assignments. It loos like you are doing this. The one thing I wish I had done differantly was to have more longer assignments in 10th and 11th grade.

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