Doing our homework

Today’s story about teachers reassessing the value of homework made me think again of my school days. I have thought over the years about what would have helped my generation (middle baby boomers) become better writers. I don’t know if homework would have helped, but more writing would have. My mother, an English teacher for 40 years, believed in having students write and revise and revise again. It meant a great deal of work for her, but her students did well in freshman composition in college. I wonder if that model would have helped others.

But it’s not too late for those of us who graduated from high school or college long ago. We can continue to develop our language skills by reading and writing, and we can help our children and grandchildren by using standard English in our speech and our writing.

Please pardon my preaching (probably to the choir), but it seems to me that the best skill anyone can develop is using language well. It’s what makes us human.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.