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“My child hates writing.” How many times have I uttered those words? In every glowing progress report, every portfolio review, I leave writing to last. It’s been a struggle since the start for my son. But this year we finally turned a corner.
Read on for two tips that turned it around for us.
Writing has always been a sticking point. My child hates the process of writing. He hates the physical act of writing. He hates the time it takes him to write when he could tell me his thoughts so much quicker! It’s a challenge.
This year he’s in 4th grade. Learning to read is over. Basic math is in the past. But we’re still working on learning to write. I mean the foundational stuff – periods, tense, complete sentences and run-ons. Now, as a writer myself, I know that there is a bit of an ongoing process to writing. Even professional writers use editors. And everyone makes grammatical mistakes from time to time. But still.
As homeschool parents, we don’t want to let our kids fall behind. We have worries about educational gaps and if their work is really on level with their same-aged peers… But the biggest stressors are more immediate.
How am I going to get him to do his work TODAY? How can I make this enjoyable and educational so that I’m not fighting a losing battle every day starting at 9am?
When you’re homeschooling, you’ve got to constantly adjust. We’ve been troubleshooting writing since kindergarten. This year I switched it up again. Thankfully we found two things that have really stuck.
Check out the video podcast or read about it below.
Episode 7: My child hates writing. What do you do if your kids hate to write?
Grab the free ebook: 7 Simple Ways to get Your Kids Excited about Learning TODAY!
00:56 Looking for a solid program
01:40 My best writing recommendation
03:38 Interest-led writing
Full disclosure: I received complimentary copies of WriteShop Junior and Primary as well as compensation for my time to write an honest review. Thank you WriteShop!
However, the video podcast was not sponsored. I have been thrilled with this program from the minute it arrived, and I really just can’t stop talking about it. My #1 recommendation for writing, and I think you’ll like it, too. Read on.
My child hates writing.
Our question today from Daphne in California. My children hate to write. What do you do if your kids hate writing?!?
Girl, same. We struggle with writing at our house. Writing is hard for kids! My son is voracious reader, but he hates writing. We’ve tried several programs and have had some fun and a little success, but this year we needed a program with more structure. Curriculum that we could use to improve his writing and that he would actually enjoy.
My best recommendation for a solid writing curriculum that your kids will enjoy (PS it’s super easy to teach)
The new curricula that we tried this year is WriteShop. It’s a secular curriculum focused just on writing that is *actually* open and go. A zero prep subject that makes teaching incredibly easy.
WriteShop is a complete program with interesting, hands-on activities that walk you through the writing process in a fun way.
Each unit in the WriteShop Junior series starts with a colorful Fold-and-Go Grammar activity. Inside is grammar instruction, opportunity to practice new skills, and a game or puzzle for your child to complete. Here he is working on one below. Never mind the Jack-a-bee.
My son really looks forward to starting a new unit because it always begins with a hands-on activity. I love that we are taking time to reinforce his grammar skills and that he then has a chance to apply them directly to his writing in the unit. These also make a handy reference – either with the include bookmark or taking the time to flip back through the folder for a mini review.
WriteShop creates units around writing. Your kids will be more interested because they’re not just getting random writing topics thrown at them or doing boring drills. You’ll read different genres, engage with characters, and then be prompted to add draw from their own experiences or put a new spin on what they just learned.
The units culminate with choosing a publishing activity that your child is interested in. A great way to combine writing with what they love – whether that’s crafting their own book, illustrating with graphics on the computer, or writing a simple, final draft that will be honored on the fridge of fame.
WriteShop takes away the pressure and stress of writing by guiding your child through the process, step-by-step. I am basically going to recommend this program to everyone, but I think it will be especially good if you have a kiddo who is a bit of a perfectionist.
The kind that doesn’t even want to start the first draft because they know it’s not going to be perfect. It might not even be good. That’s my son. If he’s not good at it, he doesn’t want anything to do with it. I love that the focus is on improving writing in each step. Not correcting. Not red lining mistakes. But looking at how we can improve it before we go ahead and publish.
While I’m talking mostly about WriteShop Junior in this post, we’ve also gotten to use WriteShop Primary with my daughter this year. The same kind of low-pressure, hands on approach is seen in the lower levels, too. My daughter loves writing, so some of it comes easy to her. However, the curriculum is structured enough to help her grow and improve her writing. The lessons are delivered in a way that encourage her love of writing – especially the publishing aspect!
I do wish that we’d found this program sooner for my son. Of course, you can jump into WriteShop at any level. I’m so glad we did this year!
Find out more about WriteShop on their website where you can check out at a sample lesson, and take a super simple, one minute placement quiz to find your child’s right level, from primary to high school.
Incorporating Interest-Led Writing
The second tip to getting your kids to write more (and this is the sneaky way), is to take whatever your child is interested in and flip it into a writing project.
Something that my son loves is cooking. This year, we’ve been working on a giant cookbook project. This has been a fantastic way to encourage him to write. He’s been jotting down grocery lists, recipes, how-to lists, and keeping track of all of his meals and menus in his cooking journal.
While this side project doesn’t cover everything he needs to become a better writer (that’s why we use WriteShop, too), it’s getting him to write – and not hate it while he’s doing it. Sneaking in writing to your child’s other favorite subjects is a great way to get them writing on a regular basis.
Other ideas for interest-led writing:
- Nature journals
- Lab reports or observation journaling
- Creating mini books
- Interesting prompts about things your kids like – top ten lists, writing about their favorites, or retelling a story or show that they’ve seen
- Scrapbook style memory journaling
- Cookbook writing
- Creating a comic book
As homeschoolers, we understand that all kids are unique. So here are some other writing posts that might inspire your reluctant writer to put pencil to paper.
Creative Journaling for Kids: A writing prompt journal can be a great way to encourage your kids to write every day – regardless of whether your kid struggles with writing or loves it. Why are writing journals so effective? A journal allows kids to be creative and have fun without the pressure that goes along with more formal writing.
10 Fun Writing Activities for Kids: Getting kids to write can be stressful, but if you have some fun writing activities to help you and get your kids excited, it can be a fun part of learning. We have a list of 10 fun writing activities (plus a bonus!) to that can be a perfect supplement to your writing instruction.
Using Elementary Writing Prompts + FREE Prompt Calendars: Prompts can be a fun way to get your kids comfortable with writing on a regular basis and improve their overall writing skills. Read on for why writing prompts are essential for elementary aged kiddos.
20 Poetry Activities for Kids of All Ages: Looking for poetry activities that will hook even the most resistant kiddo? Find them right here. I’ve put together 30 ideas for reading poetry, writing poems, and incorporating poetry into your other subjects and lesson plans.
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.