You spend a fortune in writing lessons and materials for your kids. Then when it’s time to grade their work , well, that can be just downright scary. These free online eiding programs do all the hard work for you. Better yet, they will make you and your kid a better writer.
As a homeschool mom you know that children who learn to write well will do better in college and even in life. Yet it is hard to know the difference between a dangling participle and a sentence fragment. How are we supposed to be able to grade their work or tell them how to write better beyond spelling errors?
Even as a professional writer I struggle with editing my own work. Then to teach that to my boys has just led to arguments and cries of “But I want to be original, Mom!” My oldest hates to remember what to capitalize, what not to, and when.
I tease Logan that there can only be one ee cummings.
Thankfully, I don’t have to be the mean teacher. There are three free online editor programs that will tell the boys when they need to fix what they wrote. It also helps me to be an even better writer than I already am! These programs can remember all the spelling and grammar rules. They also do word choice analysis as well as other important editing tasks.
I found 3 free online editing programs that do the job for me!
The three free online editing programs that we use are Grammarly, Hemingway app, and PaperRater. Some of these apps do some things better than others and some of them are easier to understand than others. I do all three and in that order for all my writing and to grade the writing my boys do.
This app requires you to download an internet browser toolbar extension. That happens once you set up an account and log in. Depending on what browser you are using it will then prompt you to download the proper extension. You upload the document and the free account checks spelling and grammar issues. Depending on the settings you choose the app will “grade” the work on the right hand of the screen. You then work your way down the page to fix the errors. Grammarly checks for grammar, usage, plagiarism, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary use. It won’t tell you the grade level of writing like the other two apps do. The premium version checks for over 250 different essentials to correct sentence structure and writing styles.
This video shows the difference between the free version and the paid version. (Steve Dotto has a ton of fabulous videos about tech tools. Be sure to check out his series on internet security and privacy.)
This site is what I use for most of my first drafts. I like that it shows the grade level of the writing. The best blog posts are about a grade 5. That means it is easier to read through fast. People don’t have time to do heavy duty reading these days. This app does not need any download. While you can write in it I find it easier to paste in already written text. It highlights sentences that are hard to read, adverbs, and use of passive voice as you type. Then you rewrite the highlighted areas until they are no longer highlighted. Doing this has forced me to make my writing tighter and more to the point. This video shows what it looks like and how it works.
This app does not allow you to edit online and does not require a download. PaperRater also has a premium version. It gives stats about word choice, grammar, spelling, and more. You paste your writing on to the site, complete a form and hit enter. The form asks for works cited, education level of the author, the type of paper, and if you want to detect plagiarism.
It also asks you to read and agree to their terms of service. Once you click on “Get Report” it goes into action scanning the document. A new window opens showing what is wrong and the reasons why on the right. If you click on the errors it will open a window with all the errors in that category. It will also allow you to click through to the next categories to see all the errors.
The best features of the free PaperRater app are:
- A Bad Phrase Score: trite or inappropriate words, phrases, and cliches
- Transitional Words score with a mini lesson on good transitional words and how to use them
- Sentence length info with a link to a guide for effect usage
- Style rating
- Passive Voice rating also with helpful links on better word choice
- A vocabulary score
Most importantly, it gives an actual grade! That is why I save this step for last when I am grading writing exercises. Then you can print out a report that shows all the errors. This is helpful for showing writing progress and looks great in a portfolio at the end of the year.
With these three free online proofreading programs you do not have to be afraid to teach writing or grading your child’s efforts.
What have been your hardest struggles in grading your child’s writing? I would love to know wht programs you love to teach writing. Come and discuss this with us on our Facebook page.
3 Reasons You Don’t Have To Be Afraid To Grade That Essay – And It’s Free @ LJSkool