Does Your Student Hate Writing?:
Tips and Tricks to Make It Easier
By: Chelsea McLeod
Has your writing time become the bane of your existence, the most challenging part of your homeschooling routine? Is your kid miserable when It comes time to practice writing? Are they pushing back, getting easily frustrated, complaining, avoiding and completely shutting down and refusing to do it?
At Schoolio, we get it; writing can be tricky even for adults. Many of us don’t practice it regularly. Unless the writing is work-related, it’s not something we would sit down and do in our spare time. So while we all understand that it is an essential skill that we all need to learn and practice often, it is also crucial to keep it fun, light and engaging if we want our kids to practice it without a fight.
Writing Doesn’t Have to Be Boring! Keep it Kid-Friendly.
Just like with anything else, kids need us to change things up. Do you like it when things are always the same at work? While routine is essential, and our days should be structured similarly in the homeschool environment, adding different activities and trying new things is essential. So here are some kid-friendly ideas to keep your student guessing and having fun while doing something they don’t particularly like: Writing. With any luck, doing some of these activities might make them forget about their dislike for a while!
Have You Tried to Have Them…
1. Write what they want to write about
- Practice makes perfect, right? So what better way to influence your student to want to practice than writing about whatever they want? What we are trying to encourage here is to get them writing. It doesn’t matter what it’s about or why they want to write it, just that they are writing and therefore practicing a critical skill. They can write a letter to a friend, a diary or a journal entry, a story, a description of a game they created, etc. You get the idea; the sky’s the limit, and they will want to practice more because they aren’t being told what to do and how to do it.
2. Write a step-by-step instructions piece, and you do what they write about… This is hilarious and very informative on missing steps rather than you harping on it.
- Speaking of being told what to do, your student could write a step-by-step instructional guide on a topic of their choice or one you give them but keep it fun. For example, “How To….” Make a Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich, as seen in this video. The kids have written the instructions, and the Dad follows them to the letter. (TW, you will have to gauge your learners here, this may not be an excellent option for students who are easily frustrated or discouraged because it will be wrong several times before it is done correctly.)
- The key here is first to have your students write uninterrupted with no interference from you. Then you try to follow their instructions exactly as they wrote them. This is not only fun but also an “experiential learning opportunity” for them. Watching you complete their step-by-step, they can see in a funny way where they missed an instruction (or 3). In this way, they will learn that they need to be more detailed in their writing and have fun watching you perform a silly task. They might not even remember their writing because they will have a great time!
3. Write an alternative ending to their favourite book.
- Again, writing doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t have to be a miserable part of anyone’s day, which can be highlighted by using their favourite stories as inspiration. Reading is a fun way to use imagination, support, and develop writing skills.
Listening to books activates the same part of the brain as reading them. Therefore if they don’t have a favourite that they have read yet, they can choose something you have read to them. Often our kids and we have books we wish ended a certain way or want them to continue because we love the characters and story so much. So why not use that to your advantage during your homeschooling day?
- Having them choose a story they already enjoy and continue it the way their imagination leads them is an excellent way to promote longer writing. In this case, students will often write many more lines or pages than before because they aren’t worried about what you may think or what is correct. They are just following their imagination and writing for themselves. Maybe they will be so engrossed in this task that they will end it in such a way that they can write their very own sequel too!
Having fun is the easiest way to engage your student.
Sometimes planning and preparing for the homeschooling day can get overwhelming. You want to make sure you cover all required, touching on necessary topics and subjects, all while you fill the day with skill practice to ensure your student isn’t falling behind their peers. And while it is crucial your child learns the necessary skills and required curriculum to help them out in the world when they grow up, it is also important to remember that kids also learn while they play.
They often learn best by doing or playing through scenarios they live in, which is also something they could write about! Having fun is often the easiest and best way to engage their brains, and Writing is no different. We hope that this list has been informative and will help you move forward in planning your homeschooling time. School can be fun, and it doesn’t take complicated projects with many supplies to achieve—just some good, old-fashioned paper and a pencil, coupled with creativity and an open mind.
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