Learning to use 21st Century tools is critical for success in the 21st Century.

While clearly computer skills are one of those important skills that should be mastered, there is actually a 1st Century skill that should also be mastered; Writing!

To become a good writer, you should start as a teenager and keep at it until you can no longer think straight. The more you write, the better you get.

When someone writes where other people can see it, there is an incentive to write well. The exposure keeps them alert.

This is why the Da’Dad recommends that every high school student gets a free WordPress.com blog and starts their own blog. From the 9th grade on, a student should be posting a weekly essay.

It is a big mistake for parents not to enforce this exercise. With a self-taught curriculum, there have to be internal standards. It is not good to nag students. But the weekly writing assignment in the social science and humanities courses is the main objective demonstration of performance.

It is all right to write an essay for parents’ eyes only. But students also need to learn the technologies of the future. These include blog sites and YouTube channels. Both are basic to the courses on business. The sooner students get these skills, the better.

If your child has not yet set up a WordPress.com site, now is the time. Have it ready for the new school year, which begins on June 23.