Thursday, May 08, 2008

Writing to Learn by William Zinsser

William Zinsser never realized how interesting math and science could be until he, a liberal arts guru, began reading about a concept called writing across the curriculum.

He claims to have possibly been the only boy in his exclusive prep school to come so near to flunking chemistry (and ruining his school's rep) that they actually changed the testing requirements and had him take the Latin exam instead.

I found his book, Writing to Learn, at Barnes and Noble the other day. We already have On Writing Well-- we have owned it for at least two years-- but I haven't opened it. I'm a little intimidated. But Writing To Learn sounds a lot like written narration to me. I thought that surely couldn't be too hard.

His wonder and pleasure at finding sparkling prose in the math and science disciplines reminds me of the year my oldest and I took off into the exciting world of living math books. She told me later that the one thing that kept her in the math textbook when the going got tough was the thought of googols, fractals and fibonacci numbers she would earn the skill to maneuver through if she only mastered the basics.

I have yet to read the entire book. After reading the preface and chapter one it occurred to me that this book is a keeper and I ought to summarize it onto the blog. I recommend it to anyone who, like me, needs to improve her facilitation of writing and learning in the homeschool.

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