Teaching Your Children to Edit Their Work

I’ve been teaching kids in public schools and homeschool for over 20 years now. In that time, I’ve never met a child who likes to edit their own work. Sure, they like to edit others’ work. It gives kids a sense of pride to be able to recognize others’ errors. But editing your own work is tough. You have to be able to look at your work critically without being too hard on yourself.

There are several strategies that you can use to help your child develop this skill. Try these and let us know which one you find most helpful!

  1. After writing (and typing) a paper, copy and paste it into Google Translate. Then have the program read it back to your child aloud in English. Auditory learners will find this strategy helpful as they hear rather than see the words. It helps kids to pick up on odd word choices, ambiguous language, and even faulty punctuation when pauses occur at the wrong places.

  2. ARMS: The mnemonic acronym ARMS can help your child learn to revise their work while analyzing their word choices.

A - Add sentences and words.

R - Remove unneeded words or sentences.

M - Move a sentence or word placement.

S - Substitute words or sentences for others.

3. CUPS: The CUPS strategy can help your child edit their work for proper grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.

C - Capitalize sentences, names, months, titles, and I.

U - Usage: Match nouns and verbs correctly.

P - Punctuation.

S - Spelling: Check all words and use your resources to fix any misspelled words.

4. Slow down. Teach your children to slow down as they edit. It’s easy to miss simple errors when you review your own work quickly because you know what you meant to say. Instead, help your children slow down so they can better identify their own errors.

5. Younger children may use a simpler step-by-step checklist.

  • I wrote on the line.

  • I used a capital letter to start my sentences.

  • I used my spaces between my words.

  • I used a period, question mark, or exclamation point at the end of each sentence.

  • I read my writing to myself, and it made sense.

Email us at crystal@HomeschoolHotlinks.com if you’d like more editing strategies!


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