Laura Prosapio
By: Laura Prosapio
May 16, 2019

Michelangelo, Marble, and Mastery: Writing as Sculpting for the Homeschool Student

Michelangelo, Marble, and Mastery: Writing as Sculpting for the Homeschool Student

Hello, EIW World!

My name is Laura, and I recently began working on the Essentials in Literature Curriculum Team. Soon, I’ll also be starting as a Scorer for student compositions. I am excited to begin writing on this blog to share thoughts about reading and writing.

I believe writing is one of the most important skills a homeschool student can develop during their childhood and teenage years. Why? Because it’s the student’s chance to leave an imprint upon paper, filled with personal creativity and unique analysis.

Famous sculptor Michelangelo often worked by chiseling sculptures out of marble. He wrote, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

I reason that teaching students to write is much the same process. I believe every student has an opportunity to share their gift of writing, and as homeschool educators, you have the privilege of witnessing the process of your student being “set free” to approach writing with excitement, competence, and joy.

I like to think of our Essentials in Writing staff much like sculptors. We aren’t so much crafting great writers, but we’re helping the homeschool student to hone what’s already inside of them—the ability to write well. I believe they already have the writing voice inside them, and our curriculum tools help equip your homeschool student by chipping away the fear and the scariness that might daunt your young learner. The chiseling process takes time, and time ought not to be discouraging. For, to “set free” a sculpture, the sculptor must use various chisels, large and small, pointy and dull; this process takes a great deal of worthwhile time.

So, what are the chisels we provide at Essentials in Writing to help your homeschool student emerge from the crafting process a confident, gifted writer?

1. We assign students to read works by acclaimed writers in our Essentials in Literature texts.

When students have the opportunity to read works by talented writers, they learn how to better craft their own writing. We often learn by having things modeled to us, so when a homeschool student regularly digests others’ writing, they subconsciously pick up patterns of literary style, sentence structure, and narrative technique. Within our Essentials in Literature curriculum, we intentionally seek out diversity in the voices we assign students to read.

2. We offer our writing scoring services.

Our Essentials in Writing Scoring Team is both passionate and qualified to give excellent feedback to your student so that their voice will shine through with each assignment. We seek your student’s best—for them to blossom where they are and to grow into better, more confident writers. Remember, just like the chiseling process of the marble sculpture, this process towards confidence takes time!

3. We include a “time capsule” assignment in Essentials in Writing.

When a student begins a new Essentials in Writing level, we ask them to write a selection that is put into a “time capsule.” We ask them to do this so they can parallel this first assignment to the final assignment of the school year. We do this so both the student (and you as their teacher) can be encouraged by their growth process from the beginning of the school year to the end.

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We’re happy you’ve chosen for your homeschool student to be part of our Essentials in Writing curriculum. We are privileged to walk alongside them on their journey to writing with freedom, trusting the day will come when they will be more excited than daunted by any essay or prompt.