Customer Reviews: Any Child Can Write
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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on May 20, 1998
As a homeschooling mother, this book has been a great addition to our home library. It's not one of those books that I spent money on just to have it sit on my bookshelf taking up precious space. The simple exercises and helpful ideas have become the backbone of our home writing program. This book is much less expensive than investing big money in a complete writing curriculum. The ideas in this book would also provide easy supplemental writing activities for parents to do with non-homeschooled children, as well.
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on February 16, 2000
Descriptive, creative expression is the focus of Wiener's book. He gives many concrete examples of how to improve the quality of one's writing. This book is full of fun activities to encourage lively, precise writing--yet it has none of those ghastly, contrived writing assignments.
Instead the author states: "A better synonym for creative writing is 'autobiography.' Those countless moments in an individual's life--brief, intense stretches of time--stud a child's day and glitter in his mind like diamonds long after the moments pass. By recalling those moments of experience through sensory language--specific, exact, sharply drawn--the young writer can practice the vital skills of writing. should mine the riches of experiences in every child's world, riches for the pen or pencil to transform into record."
My children refer to the lists of tips I copied from "Any Child Can Write" as they write about their experiences, or a book they read, or a painting they studied. The lists help them write a description of a place or person or event. They also use more descriptive vocabulary as they write about a photo to place in their scrapbook. We find our writing has improved from our time with Mr. Wiener.
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on November 24, 2003
As a home schooler of seven plus years, we have been using the suggestions and ideas in this book for the past couple of years and have found them most effective. Our children enjoy the activities and I have noticed an improvement in their writing skills which I am sure is due, in part, to these activities. The book itself is a very easy read and I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It's a great resource for those just beginning home schooling and, for those already established, provides some new ideas to add to their programme. For those not home schooling it will assist parents who are eager to help their children improve their writing skills. Well done Mr Wiener and thank you!
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on February 17, 2014
This book has some great ideas for inspiring children to become interested in the written word.
I purchased this as a teacher resource alongside another curriculum, and it has helped me understand how to approach writing (and reading) from a written word perspective rather than just alphabet and phonics based instruction.
Recommended reading for parents and teachers - anyone who is wanting to help children learn to write.
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on July 24, 2013
I have both the pre-2003 revision in paperback and a revised Kindle edition of this book. The attempted update (at least in Kindle format) is seriously deficient in keeping up with the times. The formatting itself is inconsistent and poorly done. There was at least one sentence that ended in mid-air; I'm not sure where the remainder of the thought went, but something went wrong in the formatting. The spacing also moves around oddly and some parts are right-justified inexplicably. In attempting to bring the book up to 21st-century standards, the revision falls incredibly far short. For instance, there is still a sentence that says something like, "For the child lucky enough to have a computer in their home..." For real? I know 5-year-olds who have their own iPad.

I did not finish reading this book. In fact, I couldn't get much past the Introduction. I don't know if there's a gold-mine of great ideas in the remainder of the book because the earliest part of the book is so far out of step with the needs of parents today and what writing avenues are sensible for kids of today. I'm also skeptical that the author has any idea that some kids don't gravitate towards writing just because you had them help make grocery lists when they were 5. Some kids appear to have the genetic information from their father, say, who cannot write (handwriting), spell or compose in a legible, grammatically correct way, rather than having the genetic information of their mother, who wrote stories and poems at 11 years old. Just for a hypothetical, example.

It's unfortunate; I really wanted this book to be useful to me. The only reason I give it 2 stars and not 1 is because I didn't read the whole book, so perhaps it gets better later on.
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on April 21, 2004
I recently bought this book, and then promptly returned it. The opening line of the preface is an unclear, run-on sentence, which concerned me right from the start, and the book is generally overwritten, devoid of proper punctuation, and repetitive. As a result, I feel that using this book to teach writing might be like getting your cat to teach you how to swim. My family did have fun suggesting alternative titles before settling on "Any Child Can Write As Well As Me Do".
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