For their final assignment, I asked them to have an opinion. This is not hard for my kids; they are apples falling not far from the matriarchal tree. I told them their opinion could be anything they liked, but they needed to back it up with facts and/or examples. I told them the paper could be as long as they wanted, and that if they wanted feedback, I would be happy to give it, but I also said that I would not be providing an easy way out. I would not stand over them and tell them to indent or add a sentence here... unless they asked.
They really like getting feedback, it seems. They really enjoy the give-and-take process that writing is at our house. That pleases me.
This is our third week working on this project. M2 finished hers today. M1 has finished making revisions and plans to type his up over the next few days before completing it early next week. I'm really proud of both of them for becoming so willing to write and so independent in the process. I know that M2 is still an advanced writer for her age and M1 still struggles, but they're making progress. And that's what matters!
Now, without further discourse and ado, M2's final paper (imagine indentions at the beginning of each paragraph):
I have to feed and exercise my dog each day. I also have to let him out twice each day to go to the bathroom. It sometimes frustrates me, but I think dogs are important because they can help you.
For example, what if you were blind? Your dog could help you get safely to the door or help you know when to stop in front of the street. Dogs can also help people by herding farm animals like sheep or chickens. Training a dog is the hardest part.
Dogs can also be very good company without training. They can make a bad day turn into a very good day, and they can also make you feel confident in yourself. Once I was feeling grumpy, so I went outside to play with my dog Gizzmo in the sun. It made me feel so much happier.
Dogs can also get you a bunch of attention. Once I saw a man with a golden retriever on one of our family walks, and because of his dog we stopped and began to talk with this man.
Dogs can help people in many different ways, like helping disabled people, making your day better, herding farm animals, and much more. I think almost everybody should have a dog.