Why It's Essential To Be Proactive With Your Child's Writing Skills

By middle school, most teachers expect students to know how to write. And yet, many children aren’t prepared.

A majority of students lack essential writing skills, such as how to properly structure a sentence and how to correctly use grammar. In fact, by eighth grade, only 1 in 4 students is a proficient or advanced writer.

Based on NAEP Scores, by the time students finish 12th grade, only 27% of students are proficient writers. Which means that almost 75% of all students are NOT PROFICIENT WRITERS!

There are various contributing factors, including these:

  • Many state writing tests are optional or simply don’t exist.
  • Teachers can’t afford time in the classroom to devote to foundational processes and concrete steps to achieve writing excellence.
  • AND, let’s face it—schools are juggling many other priorities right now and only have so many minutes in a day. (We totally get it!)

Yet still, written communication is and will continue to be a critical 21st-century skill, and employers report that more recent hires are severely lacking in written communication skills.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to figure out how your child is really doing with writing skills:

  • How is your child managing their writing assignments?
  • Does your child find writing assignments to be overwhelming?
  • Is your child having difficulty expressing thoughts? Grammar usage?
  • Is your child receiving poor grades on projects or reports? Do they have to do any presentations, like on PowerPoint?
  • Does your student feel confidence reaching out to teachers via email?
  • Can your child advocate their questions or confusion?

If any of those answers make you think your child could use extra support with writing, it’s OK. Focusing on writing skills NOW can make a big impact on your child’s success and happiness later—both in school and in 21st-century careers.

(Want to learn some more? Keep reading!)

Investing in a Sylvan Writing Program Can Help Your Child


Whether you want to give your child a competitive edge or you simply want to help your child avoid unnecessary struggle ... You can put them on the right path with a writing program at Sylvan!

Sylvan writing programs can help your child with these 10 things ...

  1. Develop the communication and critical thinking skills needed to excel in grade school, middle and high school, college/university and a range of careers.
  2. Score higher on tests.
  3. Bring home better grades.
  4. Hear much-needed praise from a tough teacher.
  5. Feel smarter and more self-assured as tricky concepts finally click!
  6. Stop butting heads with you every night over school writing assignments (yes!).
  7. Make smarter use of time.
  8. Discover the joy can come from effectively expressing one’s self through written words!
  9. Build perseverance (no more giving up after 10 minutes!).
  10. Learn to LOVE writing (yes—love it!).

And that’s just the beginning.

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We'd love to talk with you about how we can help your child reach his or her individual goals!

Here’s Why It’s So Important To Be Proactive With Your Child’s Writing Skills


Written communication skills are VALUED 21st century skills among employers

  • 86% — The number of corporate recruiters who say strong communication skills are a top priority for hiring.
  • More $$ — Employees with better writing skills tend to earn more money (particularly in fields like engineering & manufacturing, finance, management, legal, and sales & marketing).
  • 79% — The number of organizations that have identified communication skills as a priority for employee development and succession planning.
  • 72% — Number of HR managers and other executives who say written communications skills are “very important” for job success.

Unfortunately, There’s a Significant Skill Gap Between What Employers Expect … and What They’re Getting


  • 81% — Number of employers who say their recent high school hires have a skill gap in written communications.
  • 59% — Number of employers who say their recent college/university hires do not have proficient oral/written communication skills.

These Skill Gaps Start Back in Grade School


  • 3% — Number of 8th graders who demonstrate advanced writing skills.
  • 3% — Number of 12th graders who demonstrate advanced writing skills.
  • 24% — Number of 8th graders who demonstrate proficient writing skills, meaning solid performance.
  • 24% — Number of 12th graders who demonstrate proficient writing skills, meaning solid performance.
  • 74% — Number of 8th graders who demonstrate basic or below basic writing skills (as in, they have partial to no understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to accomplish the purpose of writing).
  • 73% — Number of 12th graders who only demonstrate basic or below basic writing skills (as in, they have partial to no understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to accomplish the purpose of writing).
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