Category: Parent Advice

Interview with Peg Tyre: Peg Tyre: How Writing Impacts Scholarships and College Success

According to the Nation’s Report Card only 1% of all 12th-graders nationwide can write a sophisticated, well-organized essay.

Millions of scholarship and tuition dollars are lost every year simply because students cannot communicate their thoughts through the medium of writing. Peg Tyre, New York Times Best Selling Author of The Trouble with Boys, is currently writing her next book about the lack of writing instruction for teenagers and what the effect it has on their future.

I recently had a chance to talk to Peg about the consequences lack of writing skills has on families, schools, and students if not taken seriously. Read below to discover how poor writing, if not improved, will leave your students as broke college-dropouts.


The BAD News First… 

If your student is unprepared for college-level writing, you can expect to miss out on scholarships, burn through your tuition dollars, and risk college dropout.

1.) No Writing, No Scholarships 

 Awarded scholarships go to students that can communicate their story and value in writing.

When asked if students are missing out on scholarship opportunities, Tyre states ‘Of course! Of course! Writing seems to be one of those skills that we are ignoring for all kids” and it is impacting pockets in a negative way.

Many students and parents think that good grades will lead to scholarships, but that is simply not true. For more information on what scholarships and schools look for, read what top students say in this post.

No writing, No More Tuition Dollars 

According to Tyre, “more than 1/3 of kids who go to college go into remedial writing. A lot of kids go through their pell money just getting through their basic writing.”

Remedial writing is one of the leading causes of students, not graduation on-time. According to a 2014 report  students and families can expect to pay more than $22,000 as a consequence for not graduating on time. Investing in writing before college will save your students time, stress, and lots of money.

No Writing, No College Success

Let’s take a look at some facts: 

  • Since 1995, 31 million students have started college without every graduating
  • 1.7 million college freshman BEGIN in remedial classes
  • 1 out of every 10 students in remediation classes actually graduate
  • Only 56% of incoming freshman graduate in 4 years or less

During our conversation, Tyre pointed out her post titled “The Writing Revolution” in The Atlantic. In that post, Tyre quotes a New York student that states:

Unfortunately, this quote represents a majority of students with college aspirations. Writing is a skill that students must develop before college. Read below to see how you can take the right steps to prevent the above consequences from happening.

The GOOD News… 

Writing is a skill that can be developed by students of ALL grade levels if they are willing to put in the work.

“Writing is not a self-actualization. It is actually a skill you need to acquire, and a lot of our students are not equipped to do that right now” says Tyre.

Below are three steps your student can take TODAY to start improving their writing skills.

1.) Find the right program 

If you cannot improve the teaching of writing skills within the school setting, then you have to take responsibility for improving your student’s writing skills. Your first step is to find the right program for your student. Here are some personal suggestions from myself and Peg for picking a writing program to works for your student:

‘Susan Wise Bauer: Writing With Ease’

“[These workbooks] are a good resource for parents that recognize their students are not getting the writing instruction they need” states Tyre. Check out these workbooks here to learn more.


This writing platform is the world’s most accurate grammar checker and goes far beyond just a simple spell check. Grammarly helps writers identify over 250 points of grammar including subject-verb agreement, correctly spell words used in the wrong context, and enhance vocabulary.

Check out Grammarly’s website to learn if this platform is right for your student.

Use Free Resources

Here is a post that list 50 free resources that will improve writing skills. These resources are great if you do not have the financial means to provide a coach for your student. Find the right program for your student and start practicing.

2.) Read, Write, Repeat 

‘A lot of what you need to be demanding as a parent is that your children are reading books and writing about them’ says Tyre.

Your student has to start simply reading and learning how to write about what they read. The reason students do not improve writing schools is it takes hard work and time. Read on to see how your student can continue to improve writing skills once they start.

3.) Find a Dumbledore 

Martin Luther King Jr was coach by Dr Benjamin Hayes, Michael Jordan had his own personal shooting coach, and Harry Potter had Dumbledore. No matter who you look up to there is always someone behind the scenes helping them improve.

In fact, studies show that goals are 66% more likely to be achieved with a partner / coach.

Says Tyre, “No matter what your skill level is don’t be afraid to ask for help. People want you to succeed. Stick with the winners.”

The action step here is to find your student’s coach or partner to help them stick with their writing goals.

An important note: None of the above examples (MLK, Michael Jordan, Harry Potter) were coached by their mom or dad. Let’s face it, teenagers are ‘too cool’ and need a coach they will actually listen to for advice.

When the work is done to improve writing skills student will be more likely to get into their college of choice, earn scholarships, and ultimately succeed in the future.

My Teenager Won’t Listen: 3 Ways to Motivate

546245-9b7ff368-4f62-11e4-bf47-e615db9af88e copy

I was at lunch the other day with one of my family friends. Let’s call her Debbie for the sake of this post. Debbie has a teenager named Josh and, like most Moms, feels like she has to nag him 24/7 to get him to do anything.

Debbie, you are not alone.

read more

The One Thing You Should Want Your Kid to Have for Christmas

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

For kids, the holidays are all about getting what you want: from gifts, to days off of school, to an abundance of sweets.

Unfortunately, what kids want never end up being things that they need.

So this month I went on a search, to find someone that was a master in understanding teenagers and could share with me what our students NEED in order to be successful and happy.

read more