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Writing. A subject that can leave a homeschool parent’s eyes crossed. In fact, I’m almost hesitant to even write this post because I’m pretty certain you will find several grammatical errors as I continue.
I’m not a writing expert. I am a homeschool mother who believes strong writing skills are extremely important. I also believe that it’s important to start developing writing skills early. I’ve made the mistake of starting writing late before and it can be a real struggle to catch a child up.
This doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my relaxed approach to homeschooling though. We’ve come up with some fun ways to introduce writing and creating stories with our children the last few years.
But I’ve also been on the hunt for a gentle, but formal way to introduce writing to my younger children. Something that wouldn’t feel like a burden and that would engage them.
I’ve been quietly
stalking working my way through the WriteShop website the past couple months and have come to the conclusion that it would be a good fit for our family. I am using WriteShop Primary A with my Kindergarten and 2nd grade students and received a free copy to review. I also plan to purchase WriteShop I to begin using with my high school student over the summer.
WriteShop has been everything I was hoping it would be. And believe me, I had high expectations.
I know writing is not every child’s favorite thing. However, I am convinced that with the right approach we can find a way to make each child’s experience with writing enjoyable.
6 Tips to Make Writing Enjoyable for Young Students
Games & Hands-on Activities
Maybe “hands-on” sounds kind of redundant since the hands are typically used in the actual writing process. 😉 I’m talking about using other activities to shake things up beyond sitting at a table with pencil and paper.
A family favorite at bedtime or on road trips is to make our own “popcorn” story. One person starts the story and then each person adds to the storyline. We write our favorite stories down and sometimes create illustrations for them.
This is definitely one thing I am thrilled to find in the WriteShop Primary curriculum! Games, crafts, and hands-on activities certainly make learning more enjoyable! Here’s just one example of what you’ll find with WriteShop: Friendly Letter Boogie.
Accommodate to Your Student’s Skills
Every child develops differently. If handwriting is delayed, you don’t have to postpone writing. Let your child dictate to you. This is not cheating. Stories and ideas are developed in the brain, not the hands.
If your child seems to be a reluctant writer, evaluate your teaching methods and your child’s learning style to see what can be changed. The important thing is to meet your child where he/she is and allow them time to grow under your guidance.
One of the things I really appreciate about WriteShop is the flexibility within the schedule. You can change it to meet your child’s needs very easily.
Create a Writer-friendly Environment
Encourage writing with a comfortable environment. I’ve seen lots of ideas for writing centers online and have always loved the idea of having one in our home. I found really great suggestions in WriteShop Primary Book A for creating a writing center, even if it’s just at your kitchen table like mine.
Provide your children with a variety of supplies as well. Use fun notebooks and writing utensils. Also consider providing different writing surfaces like dry erase boards. Writing is fun when we allow our children to explore with different materials.
I would also suggest turning off the television or other unnecessary distractions. You turn on soft music if your child responds well to it. Create a peaceful atmosphere to help your child focus on their project and allow room for their creativity.
Allow for Variety
Do you want to eat the same thing for dinner every night? Don’t treat writing like a bland dish that’s only served one way. Writing is exciting and can be done in so many different ways. Teach the skills, but allow room for your child’s interests in the project. Without ownership, writing is just another dull assignment.
Provide an Audience
Children love to share their work. Creating books or other completed writing projects is a great way to do this. WriteShop provides plenty of opportunity for your children to publish their projects. My children enjoy this so much! I have even shared some books that I made when I was a child with them which has created some pretty good laughs.
Other ideas include:
- Have your children read what they have written at dinner.
- Send your children’s stories in the mail to out-of-town family.
- Submit your child’s work in a contest.
- Display their work for visitors to see it in your home.
It all shows you value what they have created.
Focus on the Process Not Perfection
Allow your child and yourself to enjoy the process. Spend more time focusing on writing and not mistakes. I admit it, this can be hard to do. However, writing will become burdensome to both you and your child if you are correcting every mistake that is made. I don’t allow sloppy work, but my goal with a writing project is to see my child grow in his writing skills.
Offering lots of encouragement and praise while giving guidance is so important as your child develops his/her writing skills. Enjoy the process and don’t expect perfection!
I feel like a friend is helping me as I use the teacher’s guide. WriteShop makes it easy to enjoy teaching the writing process. From the WriteShop Primary Book A Teacher’s Guide:
Above all, we want you to have fun! Your zeal and encouragement will bring joy to your child’s journey as
she learns that writing can be a pleasure rather than a chore.
See! Their goal is to make teaching writing fun for you. After all, a happy teacher makes learning any subject more enjoyable!
Great news – WriteShop is a contributor in the Build Your Bundle Sale happening right now! You’ll can snag an incredible deal on this curriculum. And every purchase receives a bonus bundle with $250 worth of freebies!