This homeschool podcast episode is all about the writing process and helping reluctant writers. I go over a lot of content – about the process of writing, what it’s all about, and ideas to get kids to enjoy the writing process. I’ll be sharing a general outline from the podcast about reluctant writers and how to help them, and hopefully you can draw from this to help you with a reluctant writer.

reluctant writers

Some helpful advice about teaching writing

  • Writing doesn’t have to be a pain, so make it as fun as possible for kids

  • Don’t require too much all at once.  Take your time and get through the process of writing a little at a time.

  • Don’t be a literary critic, but instead, help kids to discover what they want to say. Don’t nitpick them to death with every little mistake.  Give them room to explore their thoughts.

  • Teach writing in a variety of ways and for a variety of audiences.

  • Use a curriculum if you need to or just expose your children to regular writing routines (like writing intensives/clinics/workshops).

Process of writing

  • Prewriting-brainstorming, collecting ideas, planning for topics.  Create an outline (if needed).
  • Rough draft-getting the words down (without editing). You want a logical progression of words and ideas to flow.  Editing comes later.
  • Revision– time to edit, refine, expand. This is the challenging part of writing.

  • Editing– check for correct forms of grammar usage, spelling, punctuation.

  • Presentation– find a special place for presenting the writing (for relatives, friends, or dad when he’s home from work.  You could also use an online platform like YouTube).

6 traits of writing

  • ideas- gathering ideas, brainstorming
  • organization– Does the lead sentence hook the reader? Do the sentences transition easily? Is the writing easy to follow?
  • voice- Help your child to visualize the audience and write for them. Find their individuality and perspective. Make sure the voice is appropriate to the audience. Show you care. Speak with passion and credibility. Be enthusiastic and expressive.
  • word choice-Find the most expressive, high energy words.  Eliminate trite, emotionless words.  Use the thesaurus.
  • sentence fluencySentences should have a variety of length and structure, sound soothing, have proper punctuation.
  • conventions- include proper sentence structure, punctuation, and proper spelling. It’s a set of rules that we generally accept for proper writing standards in the English language.  Different types of writing have different conventions.

Conventions

  • Narrative writing must have characters, setting, and plot.

  • Descriptive writing must appeal to the senses through use of vivid, colorful, precise vocabulary.

  • Expository writing must inform, clarify, explain, define, or instruct.

  • Persuasive writing must present an argument based on facts and logic, and attempt to sway the reader’s opinion.

Types of writing

  • expository (essays)

  • persuasive (essays)

  • descriptive

  • narrative

  • technical

  • short stories

  • poetry

  • book reports

  • letter-writing

Elements of writing

  • comparing and contrasting

  • note taking

  • research skills

  • fact/opinion

  • cause/effect

  • style guides and plagiarism

 

Strategies for writing

  • wordbanks (fill in the blank)

  • copywork

  • grammar activities

  • journaling

  • story starters

  • editing

  • interviews

  • narrations- Reading good literature out loud and hearing what is being read gives a better foundation for emulating correct writing strategies.  Narrate aloud or on paper so that it also becomes visible.  IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) and Writing Rhetoric program uses forms of narration process to teach and improve kids’ writing.

Writing Apps & Resources Mentioned

Thanks to Poema Rosa for your review of Christian Homeschool Moms Podcast on Itunes!

Today’s sponsor: Great Homeschool Conventions

I hope you enjoy this podcast about reluctant writers and how to help them! Please leave a review in Itunes if this has helped you.

About Demetria Zinga

Demetria is a homeschooling mom and "mompreneur" who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, two daughters, and a Shih-Tzu. She currently runs two podcasts for moms, blogs, writes music, and spends lots of time at coffee shops. Her goal is to be an encourager and motivator of women, helping them to find success and joy in homeschooling, business, and motherhood.

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