In public school, I had a middle school teacher that I adored.
She not only understood my preference of communicating orally where I could look into the eyes of the person I was talking to, give them a gentle pat or flail my arms out long when talking fast but she encouraged me to give my written words the same gravity.
It wasn’t until I started teaching my boys how to write that I truly appreciated what a difficult task it is to teach my boys how to write.
Today, in sharing why it is hard to teach homeschooled kids writing but not impossible I will share some background information on how to teach writing.
Understanding the process of any skill that I am teaching has always helped me to find a solution to any problem we are experiencing.
More importantly, I have a direction to follow.
For example, it’s easy enough to understand that when teaching reading we need to start with a set of letters that express sounds.
After that, we build words, sentences and we are off to teaching our kids how to read.
Finding a starting point for writing, however, can be more elusive.
Word Writing Scramble
One reason I found writing hard to teach was that I didn’t appreciate that it is a learned art to fashion words on a page that are appealing.
It’s almost like playing word scramble or in this case sentence scramble when teaching our kids to write.
Immature readers can create awkward sounding sentences because of their lack of experience in life.
For that matter, awkward sentence that don’t flow smoothly can happen to even the most experienced writer too.
That is why it is important in the early stages of writing that children have plenty of time to mull over words, thoughts and arrangement of ideas.
Ideas like creating and writing in daily journals, playing word games and vocabulary games are important to arming children with the creativity they need to write.
When I started teaching writing, my oldest son felt almost paralyzed when I would ask him what topic he wanted to write about.
That was my first ugly encounter with writing after teaching him how to write his ABCs.
Mature Writers Born?
I taught him how to write his ABCS how could this not be just as easy or so I thought.
My next mess up came because I was expecting maturity and experience with writing topics from a 5 year old.
Experiences and maturity come just from that, which is age and life experiences.
How could I equip my 5 year old with opportunities for writing experiences?
It is the same answer that equipped him at 15 years old, which is reading to the rescue.
I had heard many times that a reader is a writer and we read every day.
But other than pleasure and reading to find out what we wanted to know about, I under estimated the value of it in gaining experiences outside of what we were learning each day.
There was a connection between the books we were reading and writing topics that swirled around in my son’s mind.
I didn’t have to rush childhood, nor would I want to so that he could learn the art of self-expression.
Drawing out of him experiences that he read about either in his books and daily living were the keys to overflowing topic ideas.
Are You Making this Mistake?
There is just no rushing content, facts, ideas and details, which is the foundation of writing.
Content is the next biggie that kids are afraid of.
As if struggling with the structure of creating delightful sounding words is not enough, they have to think about content, topic sentences, details and a strong conclusion.
There is no getting around it, our kids needs our expertise when it comes to helping them with their writing.
In the early stages of writing especially, our kids need us to supply content and it is okay to do this.
We don’t want to ever put our kids in a sink or swim situation when writing. It does absolutely no good and it can create a kid who hates writing and carries that feeling to high school.
It is important to continue these building skills through to middle school. That is the time to continue to reinforce what was learned at the foundational level and to hone outlining and note taking skills.
Though I didn’t know as much then when I started teaching my kids to write as I know now, I did know that certain valuable skills could not be overlooked.
Look at these basic things to include in teaching everyday writing.
- Constantly reading back what they wrote
- Journal writing to not be corrected but to use as practice for self-expression.
Hugs and love ya
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