Surprisingly, I enjoy teaching my homeschoolers to write. I say surprisingly because when I was a student, I would do anything to avoid writing. It wasn’t until well into my adult years that I discovered my love for writing. Then it took considerable practice–and a lot of mistakes–to find how simple and effective writing can be. So when Jonathan Lewis, the editor of Home School Enrichment Magazine asked me to write a series on “how to teach writing,” I enjoyed the opportunity to examine the writing process from both sides of the kitchen table. So last summer, Jonathan shared some of his thoughts, too.
Writing is Fun!
By Jonathan Lewis
When I was growing up as a homeschool student, I don’t think anything tied me in knots faster than a writing assignment. My mind seemed to go into lockdown and all efforts to coax words out of my pen were fruitless.
Over time, I’ve obviously overcome my seeming inability to put words on paper (as this blog post demonstrates!). I’ll share one strategy you can use with your own reluctant writers at the end of this post—something that worked for me and showed me that I actually enjoyed sharing my thoughts in writing.
Before I get to that, I’d like to share a few thoughts from Lea Ann Garfias, who shares on this topic in the upcoming issue of Home School Enrichment in her article “Writing is Fun!”
Lea Ann points out that in order to write, children not only need to learn how to write (obviously!), but they need to be developmentally ready to learn how to write. Here’s what she says:
Talking over tacos the other night, a group of us homeschool moms concluded that not only homeschool moms but also curriculum developers make this mistake. We frustrate our students when we demand they make leaps in their skills without the proper growth and training. Even though the next chapter says “Diagram these sentences” or “Write this essay,” the student may not have reached that stage of development yet.
These two aspects of learning go hand in hand: developmental growth and training. Development in writing (as in any subject, actually) breaks down when one of those is missing.
Find out the five skills your student needs to learn before he starts writing, and get Jonathan’s secret formula for helping your student overcome writer’s block, all right here.
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