Writing. For some the word brings joy, others dread. Writing and teaching students to write is polarizing, often beloved or dreaded by students and teachers alike. Learning to write well and communicate in written word is critical, but it can often cause battles that derail learning. So, how do you tackle teaching writing in a way that encourages and enables students to write well and maybe, just maybe, learn to enjoy it? Much depends on your homeschool writing curriculum. Choosing the best homeschool writing curriculum for your child’s learning style and writing level is essential for your student to pick up the pen and put down the struggle with writing!
How to Find the Best Homeschool Writing Curriculum
When choosing writing curriculum, it’s really important that you consider the following:
Consider Learning Style: Each person has a preferred way that their brain processes and categorizes information that is known as a learning style. Learning in the way our brain processes information best sets us up for greater understanding, memory, and critical thinking. That’s why when teaching your child the writing process and to write well, its critical to use their learning style. The best homeschool writing curriculum will be one that primarily engages them in the way their brain learns best. For example, if your child is a visual learner, their homeschool writing curriculum should include lots of pictures, colors to differentiate topics and sections, and other visual cues like maps, diagrams, etc. Using graphic organizers when teaching the writing process and organizing information during pre-writing will be essential for a visual learner from kindergarten through college! Be sure to consider how your child learns best when selecting the best homeschool writing curriculum for them. You can find out your child’s learning style here.
Consider Your Homeschool Teaching Style: Finding a great curriculum for our children is only wonderful if we can actually teach it! So often we err on the side of how we like to teach, or we don’t consider how we teach to be important! Instead, we need to find a balance between choosing curriculum that suits our child’s learning style and our teaching styles. If you’re a textbook lover who needs lesson plans strictly written out, you’ll need to examine not just the writing curriculum but the teacher’s manuals to be sure that you can lead your children well. If you’re just not into teaching writing, that’s OK! There are wonderful online and distance learning writing homeschool programs that you can lean on. But, first you have to consider how they need to learn and think through how you need to teach in order for you both to succeed!
Consider Your Child’s Interests: Let’s be real, we’re all more inclined to enjoy writing and learning when the topics are of interest to us. But, did you realize that writing is actually easier if you know what you’re talking about! So, when teaching your child to write, engage them with topics, ideas, genres, and projects that interest them. This may seem simple, but you’d be shocked at how rigid we can be (me included!) when it comes to writing. If your child’s into animals, why not create an “animal journal” in which they can paste pictures and write sentences, paragraphs, or essays, depending upon their ability level, about different animals they read about or encounter. Have a technology lover? Have your child write “how to” video scripts or explainer essays about different games, programs, or pieces of technology. Finding the right topic for your child to write about is simple, start with what they love and teach the method, genre, principle, etc. through that topic. But what about choosing homeschool writing curriculum based upon their interests? The key here is not only to choose a curriculum that will give them writing prompts and present concepts well but that will also provide the freedom to explore their interests while writing. And, feel free to go outside of the curriculum for writing projects, because ultimately that’s what homeschooling is all about!
Consider Their Writing Level and Needs: This seems like a no-brainer, right? Maybe, maybe not. When was the last time you evaluated your child’s writing, grammar, spelling with a proficiency exam? We may think our children are great writers, or know they are struggling, but with what areas? Where are the gaps and what are their strengths? Having your child spend an hour completing a proficiency exam is a great way to find out exactly where they are in terms of grade level and ability. Then you can choose the best homeschool writing curriculum for their needs.
Choosing writing curriculum doesn’t have to stop us in our tracks. Keep the 4 important considerations in mind you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to choose the best homeschool writing curriculum for your students. In Part 2 of The Best Homeschool Writing Curriculum I’ll be reviewing the best writing curriculum for each learning and teaching style. Stay tuned!
And, if you just don’t know where to begin, we will help you find the best writing curriculum and ship it right to your door. Call us at 800-863-1474 to get started today!