What to watch for: Like reading, writing is a crucial foundation of any English class, and it’s pretty much impossible to overdo. If your child writes something regularly - even few paragraphs - hug your teacher. That’s a fat stack of papers to read and grade, on top of daily teaching. It’s a sign of dedication - and it’s also the best way to get your kid to write well. Because writing is notoriously subjective, it can be hard to know if your child’s on track. Nowadays, though, most English teachers provide “rubrics” - pages that explain the characteristics of excellent, good, fair, and poor writing for that level. If your kid won’t cough them up, go ahead and ask the teacher yourself! You can also offer to discuss and proofread your child’s writing, but by all means, don’t do it yourself. Here’s one common rule of thumb: when corrections are made, they should come from your child’s pen, not yours. If you do have a junior Shakespeare, congratulations! But if you’re like the vast majority of parents whose kids are still getting comfortable juggling their nouns, verbs, and adjectives, take heart. Like most skills worth having, writing takes time to do well. Your patient support really can make a difference.