8 Creative Ways to Encourage Writing: If you’ve got a reluctant writer, traditional writing assignments may be met with grumbling and complaining, even if you’d like to buy essay once. Try these 8 out-of-the-box ideas to encourage writing in your homeschool!
Get kids of all ages excited about writing by starting a family newsletter. Teens can write opinion pieces (because they tend to love sharing theirs) or craft informational articles about topics they’re studying.
Your young reporters can conduct “interviews” with the key players in their history lessons, while your artists create cartoons to depict important moments in science or history. Let your students self-edit or assign one student to be the paper’s editor. Don’t forget to add photos!
A family newsletter can be an especially practical writing project if you have relatives who live far away.
2. Keep a journal.
Many kids enjoy keeping a journal. The key to using one to encourage writing is to let it be your child’s – and his only. A journal is a place for his thoughts and ideas. It is not something to be graded and its topics aren’t ones to be assigned.
The journal can be as plain or elaborate as your child would like to make it – from a hardback, bound journal to an inexpensive composition book. Allow your child to make the journal hers. If she’s interested, supply makers, colored pencils, stickers, or washi tape for embellishing.
3. Start a blog.
Put the internet to work for you in your homeschool by starting a blog!
You could choose to allow each of your kids to start their blogs or you could start a group blog with each of you taking turns publishing your articles. Writing for an audience makes essays and book, history, or lab reports much more fun than those simply turned in to Mom or Dad.
4. Find a pen pal.
There is hardly any better real-world application for writing than communicating with someone via snail mail. When I was a teen, I had pen pals from Australia, England, and Japan. I still have all those letters tucked away in a shoebox in my closet.
5. Start a novel.
Kids are often much more willing to write work that isn’t being graded or critiqued. While that thought may make some parents cringe, the benefit is that more practice produces better writing.
My daughter has several novels in progress on her laptop. There have been many times that she’s told me of editing her work to apply a newly-learned grammar rule, such as how to punctuate dialogue. She would balk at the idea of correcting an entire page of writing as a school assignment, but when the same task is voluntarily applied to her work, suddenly it has value and a real-world application that makes the process palatable.
6. Write reviews.
If you have a movie, music, or video game buff, encourage him to write reviews. These could be added to your family newsletter or blog for added fun.
7. Write poetry.
It is not uncommon for young teens or tween girls to go through a phase of writing flowery poetry. Encourage this by introducing your students – male and female – to a variety of poetic forms.
8. Start a parent-child journal.
Encouraging your kids to keep a journal is a wonderful idea, but creating a parent-child one maybe even better. The idea is that you each take turns writing to one another in the journal. A huge benefit to a shared journal is the fact that it is often easier for a child to broach a sensitive or embarrassing topic in a letter to a parent, rather than face-to-face.
My youngest daughter and I have a shared journal. At first, we passed it back and forth regularly, filling in the requested information in our purchased journal, such as a list of favorites (songs, movies, etc.), stories from our childhoods, or a tale about our first crush.
After the initial flurry of activity, the journal often sits collecting dust for months – until my daughter has something on her mind that she finds difficult to bring up. Then, I’ll wake to find the journal sitting in front of my laptop.
Often writing assignments are met with reluctance because they lack purpose in a student’s mind. Try these practical application tips and see if they light a spark of enthusiasm in your reluctant writer.