Mary Pride discovered this book when it was out of print. She was so excited about it that she motivated the author and publisher to come out with this updated, revised edition.
At the beginning of the book, Wiener addresses parents of preschoolers with ideas for stimulating interest and abilities in writing. He seems to share the same viewpoint as Dr. Ruth Beechick in encouraging lots of positive activity without an unhealthy concern for perfection or "correctness" during these early years. Throughout the book he includes pictures of examples of what we can typically expect from different age groups. He includes charts of general writing goals for age groups but adds a strong caution about the need to be aware of the development of each child as an individual.
Although Wiener originally wrote for parents who wanted to help their children with their schoolwork in the after-school hours, in this revised edition he includes references to the home school situation. He generally expects that students will be doing typical school activities, so he offers suggestions for assisting children with such assignments. However, he adds many creative ideas that can be used apart from any other curriculum. He believes that autobiographical writing—writing that draws upon the writer's personal experience—is best, since the child has a wealth of knowledge about himself and his experiences which he lacks about other topics. Many word games and writing activities are included to build knowledge and positive attitude. Some activities are brief suggestions, while some are fully developed "lessons" with examples.
Many parents will find Wiener's helps for judging "correctness" a valuable aid. Too often we are uncertain about how much correction we should be doing. Charts of guidelines by age group help us determine which aspects of the writing process should concern us, and they also alert us as to what our expectations should be.
Comprehensive as it is, this book is not a complete writing curriculum. However, parents of children of preschool age and beyond will find here a combination of guidance, specific suggestions, and encouragement that cannot be found elsewhere.