Redeemer’s older students are learning the mechanics of writing paragraphs, reports, and essays. Here is a final draft of a report from one eight-year-old student.

Here is a transcription of what the boy wrote:

Dolphins and Humans

In the wild and in captivity, dolphins interact with humans. Normally, dolphins are fun-loving because they enjoy playing. Scientists who are interested in dolphins want to teach them human language. Visiting magnificent Australian beaches, dolphins play with swimmers by the beach. Dolphins tailwalk to boats because they want to shake hands. People think oceanariums unfairly enslave dolphins and keep them from the ocean. Dolphins are learning to deal with humans.

Notice a few things. First, this is written in cursive. Indiana public schools are no longer required to teach cursive, although it has documented benefits to hand-eye coordination, brain development, improving the depth of a person’s thought and writing, and reducing dyslexia. Our students begin learning cursive in Form B, or in their second year of school, around age 7.

Second, this child is receiving explicit writing instruction in Form 1, at age eight. In most other schools, students are not writing reports, paragraphs, and essays until late elementary and middle school, and even then usually not with the detailed, component-by-component instruction provided through our high-quality curriculum that has been proven in studies to increase students’ writing ability.

If students can do this sort of thing at age eight, they can write full essays by middle school, and full research papers by high school. Delaying their instruction to later grades retards the progress every normal child is capable of making in K-12. Early and systematic instruction sets them up to excel in college and adult life.

Lastly, writing and communication skills (which are interdependent) are the number one thing employers want to see from a potential hire, according to recent surveys. In one recent survey, 44 percent of managers said the skill most lacking among recently graduated job applicants today is writing.

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