If Mom Goes Back to Work

Lately I think about whether I should go back into the workforce.

After all, I’ve got only one child (age 16) still at home during the day now, and a husband who’s also at home. If my husband homeschooled our son, I could get a job.

However, according to this article, “Studies have found that for every two years a woman is out of the labor force, her earnings fall by 10 percent, a penalty that lasts throughout her career.”

Hmmm. I’ve been home with my kids for 26 years. 10% X 13 equals 130%. That’s quite a drop! That statistic is not referenced, however, so I can’t check to see if it’s legitimate. Just as well. If it were true, my paycheck amount would be a negative number!

That’s assuming I could even find a job. Somehow I don’t think potential employers would be impressed that I’ve spent the past 25 years raising children and homeschooling them. I doubt that homeschooling is one of the keywords they look for when they scan resumes.  8)

Looks like it may not be worth all the upheaval to be a “relauncher,” as women returning to the workforce are now called. Maybe I’ll stick to being a modestly paid but happy work-from-home writer for as long as I can.

How to Help Your Children Write Clearly and Concisely

Many moms say that just the thought of teaching their children to write overwhelms them. I don’t think they fear the teaching of words and sentence structure nearly as much as teaching their children how to write long essays and (eventually) term papers.

I assigned all three of my older kids to write term papers over the years, and I’m not sure how much they got out of it beyond learning to organize information in a logical way that flows. That’s an important skill to have, of course, but it’s certainly not the only hallmark of a good writer.

Perhaps because of my own training as a reporter, I’ve tried to stress to my kids that it’s important to be as clear and concise as possible when you write. That can be a tough goal to attain when you’re writing term papers because they usually include a minimum page requirement. But I think that most of the writing activities they’ll face as adults will require clear, concise writing as opposed to organizing 30 pages’ worth of facts in an understandable manner.

So how do you teach your children to write in a clear and concise manner? Recently, while flipping through a writing book my daughter requested from the library (The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier, see link below), I found this statement:

The best writing teacher I ever had limited us to one-paragraph essays. We had to fit lots of ideas into our paragraph, so we learned to use words sparingly. You can too. Simply distill in your mind the essence of what you want to say, and then state your ideas in simple, clear sentences. You don’t need to dress up your thoughts with extra words.

This sounds like a great way to teach your children to write clearly and concisely. Ask them to write about your family vacation, or a book they read, or an event that occurred in the neighborhood. Challenge them to fit as many ideas as they can into one paragraph.

A benefit for you: correcting a paragraph is way easier than correcting a term paper!

For more ideas, download Cardamom Publishers’ free special report, “Teaching Your Children to Write.”