Having grown two writers from the ground up using natural methods, this article by Dr. Ruth Beechick, “How Not to Teach Writing,” really hit home.
How about teaching the rules, you may ask. Is that better than just memorizing words? In one research, teens had a full semester of intensive study of spelling rules and then were tested on their spelling accuracy. Some students said they remembered the rules and tried to use them, some remembered but did not try to use them, and some did not recall the rules. There was no difference in spelling accuracy among the three groups. When those students tried to state the rules, they typically gave much simpler versions than the complex rules they had been taught.
Want to learn to write? Write.
You can find more information on Dr. Beechick on our Beechick Basics page.