One of the biggest struggles homeschooling families battle is which curriculum is best for their children. We become overwhelmed by the amount of curriculum available, struggle to find the right fit for each of our children, proceed to doubt each choice made for at least the first several weeks, and continue to search for new ways of teaching well after we’ve already begun our year.
To this end, we thought we’d spend the month of September launching discussions on all things curriculum.
The written word is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, many children do not see it in that light. To them, writing is a form of punishment hoisted upon them by teachers and parents who wish to see them languish for hours writing pointless sentences.
Being both teacher and parent, how we do ensure our children not only complete a thorough course in writing, but learn to appreciate the art?
Make Writing Fun – Especially while they’re little, choose topics of interest to your children. Have them write about My Little Pony, Transformers, or their favorite pet. The subject matter isn’t important at this point, but developing a habit of writing and the learning of good sentence structure. Here are a few ways to keep writing fun:
- Story Stones
- Creative Writing Exercises
Make It Part of Another Subject – Instead of making writing its own subject, include writing in other areas of study. Write about what you learned in history or science. Write about your field trip fun.
Allow Your Child to Choose – Give your children the freedom to pick their own writing assignments. After giving guidelines as to how many papers need to be done per week, allow the kids to choose their own projects.
Join the Fun – Don’t let the kids have all the fun! Purchase a writing journal for yourself and encourage them by setting an example. You might even consider allowing your children to assign you a project just for the fun of it!
Cursive vs. Printing – The great debate. Honestly, there is no right or wrong choice. However, I will say, we prefer cursive and practice this in our home; it encourages patience, neatness, and hand-eye coordination. Once our children had a thorough knowledge of cursive, we allowed them the freedom of choice and the ability to be creative with their cursive. My oldest daughter has quite a flair for it. (It’s like creating your own font!)
What about Computers? – For those who just can’t stand writing… why not try a computer. Generally speaking, it isn’t sentence formation children despise, but the actually writing. By removing this obstacle, the writing process becomes less of a burden.
Three Positives & A Negative – This is a great principle when grading your children’s work. For every negative remark made, make three positive. Sure they missed a few punctuation marks, but their penmanship is beautiful, their sentences are well thought out, and they did a great job sticking to the main point. Correct their work, by all means, but do so in a way which encourages them to continue.
Reading is tons of fun. But without writers, what would we read? Writing can be tons of fun if only we put a little effort and a lot of encouragement into the lesson. Let’s inspire the next generation of poets, novelists, and speakers! Write on!
Now, it’s your turn!! Share your tips for developing a love of writing. What’s worked for you and what hasn’t?