Because Helium is open to those who are age 13 or older, and the site is “family friendly,” it’s a good writing option for homeschooling students. As parents, we all want the best education possible for our children, and we all know that the signs of a good education are the ability to use proper grammar, spelling, and the ability to use words in proper context. But beyond that, the ability to communicate through written language is important.
Helium is a site that is full of many different topics, so it would be extremely easy for the student to choose a topic to research further before writing on it. Since it’s important to have good research and study skills, writing for Helium can be intergrated into many of a student’s various study subjects and lessons. If he or she needs to write a “book report,” then why not turn it into a book REVIEW?
Helium also pays in cash for Marketplace-purchased articles, pays for page-views, and has many other incentives and rewards to encourage writing. It’s much easier to convince a teen to write if there is a tangible reward or incentive for him or her to see and try to reach for, rather than simply demanding that they do so simply because their studies require such.
If your child is independant or chomping at the bit to be able to get a job and earn his or her own spending money, then you could even treat Helium as a job or “responsibility” for them to prove trustworthiness and that they are responsible enough to have a job.
Work out with your child and your lesson plans, what types of subjects your child can or should write on for Helium. Remind him to put his best foot forward and then keep track of the titles which he writes to. If you’re having him or her write as a supplement to writing, grammar, spelling, or even subject studies, double-check his or her work by making sure you’re linked to his or her “About Me” page.
The best part about Helium and using it as a writing option for homeschooling is the fact that Helium is user-rated, which means your child’s writing will be rated and viewed by other, more experienced writers. This works well for a couple of different reasons- it can give your child a better idea of what his or her weaknesses are when it comes to writing, the rating system will help your child to know that he or she is making improvement, and he or she can use the member/community Forums to get feedback and advice on his or her writing.
The peer-rating system with Helium, the many differing topics, the monetary rewards and recognition that is gained by seeing his or her pen-name on th website, are all major benefits to using Helium as a writing option for homeschooling.
If you’re trying to motivate your teen to write, perhaps the money will be enough incentive will be enough to make him want to try, and maybe just with that, he will learn a love of writing that will last a lifetime.