There are many so many wonderful ways to teach and foster a love for writing without purchasing curriculum. I have taught writing classes at our homeschool co-op and created writing curriculum. Here are some ideas for your home or co-op:
- Lego Writing Club — Do your kids love Legos or just need something more hands-on and tactile for writing? This blog post outlines a program I created called Lego Writing Club for your Lego loving kids. It is most suitable for 2nd-6th grade. I taught it at co-op, but you could easily do it at home with just your kids or get together with another family or two. The Lego Education Fairytale and Historic Minifigures Set and the Lego Education Community Worker Minifigure Set are fantastic for this program.
Many students feel it is more meaningful to write when they are writing for more than just their parents or teacher. You may consider a blog for your student or a shared, private site with a group of friends like MeWe.
- Blogging–Your kids can write their own blog. Each student is an expert on something. This is an excellent outlet for them to write about what they love and share about all their wonderful homeschool experiences. Here are my son’s and daughter’s blogs. In The School Revolution, Dr. Ron Paul writes:
“If a student develops a blog with hundreds of pages of essays, plus links to videos, he will have a tremendous asset when it comes to looking for a job. How many job applicants have this kind of publicly available evidence of their competence?An employer will know that the student is capable in two crucial areas: written communication and verbal communication…The student will go to the top of the pile of job applicants.”–Dr. Ron Paul
- NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program–I am going to teach this at co-op in the fall to 4th-8th graders. It can also easily be done at home with just your children. “National Novel Writing Month happens every November! It’s a fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the challenge is to draft an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!” You are able to print out the teacher’s manual and student workbook for free! We will spend September and October using the curriculum to spark imagination with exercises to help create characters, build settings and hatch plots.
- Wordsmithery–This is another free writing curriculum you can do with a co-op or at home with your kids. I taught a creative writing class several years ago to 2nd-6th graders and used much of this as the foundation.
- Writing Prompts–Writing prompts are an exciting way to motivate your kids. I have found they are even more eager to jump in when you tell them they only have 5 minutes to write. Try setting a timer and see how much quicker they jump into the challenge.
- We are fond of visual writing prompts. When using those, you may consider giving your kids 60 seconds to formulate a story in their head before the writing begins. I also suggest they write down 5 key words during their 60-second planning process.
- Scholastic offers First Writing Prompts, a free online tool with over 200 days of starters. They correspond to the school year with prompts that reflect the holidays and seasons.
- Reading Response Journals–After my kids complete their daily reading assignments, they write a paragraph about what they just read. It can be done in a notebook. However, my kids prefer to do it in Google Docs. They simply send me an electronic invitation, and I am able to view and comment. Every few days, I sit down with them to review what they wrote and help them to find any grammar errors in their writing. Over an extended period of time, this Google Docs file will showcase a vast array of books they have read.
- Books–I have found these books to be masterful with inspiring and fun writing activities: Games for Writing and Write Outside the Lines.
- Here are some more fun ideas to get your child writing:
- Movie reviews
- Restuarant reviews
- Field trips and vacation recaps
- Wikipedia entries
- Books reviews
- Product reviews of their favorite toys/games
- Create FAQs about something she is passionate about
I hope you feel inspired to create a writing program for your children that makes them love writing! Also, please share in the comments below some of your favorite ways to teach writing to your kids without purchasing a writing curriculum.
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