Choosing the right curriculum for your homeschooler is at the top of the yearly to-do list for every homeschool parent. I’ve found homeschool writing curriculum to be one of the most difficult to choose because, while the writing process is often the same, how each of my kids approaches writing is not. If you’re wondering how to choose the best homeschool writing curriculum for your learner, start with the posts here, here, and here because these go over the how-to-choose and what-to-buy of homeschool writing curriculum for your child. If you’ve already gotten your homeschool writing curriculum and are happy, then chances are you’re ready to learn the best ways to incorporate homeschool writing in every subject. Here’s how.
Why incude homeschool writing in every subject?
It’s important to give our homeschoolers opportunities outside of their homeschool writing curriculum to practice the art of writing. Why? Because writing not only encourages expression and creativity, it promotes learning. Writing in different content areas also makes better writers and critical thinkers. At its core, writing is thought expression. If you want your children to be able to express themselves well and think through arguments, you had better teach them to write!
To make writing fun and not tedious, you don’t always want your kids to write solely to show you what they’ve learned. You also want them to write to express themselves, think deeply, analyze, apply, understand the real world, and explore their dreams and plans for the future. I’ve given you 8 ideas for integrating more writing into your everyday homeschool lessons so that your homeschoolers leave your home knowing how — and loving to — write!
Ideas for Homeschool Writing Activities
- Be the teacher and create a lesson. Have your student write a lesson using what they’ve learned in a particular subject. This will not only strengthen their expository writing skills, but will also show you just what was learned. Be sure to allow your child to write a quiz for you to take as well, because that’s just fair!
- Journaling is a great way to integrate creative writing regardless of the subject (or in no subject at all!). Give your child a science, math, social studies, or even feelings journal and write or tape prompts on the pages. Your homeschool writing prompts could be topics like, “The best part of today’s math lesson was…” or, “How does this science topic relate to my life?” or even, “Today our social studies lesson made me feel…” The key to keeping great journal entries coming is: don’t grade them! Use them as an opportunity for your child to express himself or herself without fear or editing.
- Tell me a story based on what you’ve learned. Creative writing still has boundaries and form! Easily integrate writing into social studies by having your student write stories based upon time periods, events, or from the point of view of a historical figure. In math, have your students create stories about how they may encounter the math concept in real life, or even write their own word problems.
- KWL or Knowledge probe. Before you start a new lesson, ask your learner to answer two questions (it’s up to you if you require complete sentences!). “What do you Know about this topic?” And, “What do you Want to know about this topic?” Then, at the end of the lesson or unit, have them answer the question, “What were some of the best things I Learned?” Prediction, analysis, and evaluation skills all wrapped up into a neat little writing activity. It’s a thing of beauty!
- Summarize this chapter. It’s really important that our students be able to pick out main details and supporting points from what they’re reading. This skill will help them invaluably in college, with reading documentation at work, and beyond. At the end of a new chapter in any subject, ask your homeschooler to summarize the author’s main points. This will tell you what has been learned, and what needs a little more review or deeper study.
- Use graphic organizers in any or every subject to categorize, show relationships, and better understand concepts and material.
- Make it competitive. If your kids are like mine, they’ll do just about anything to win a competition (especially if winning comes with free stuff!). Challenge your homeschoolers to take their homeschool writing curriculum to new heights by entering their compositions into a writing contest. Here’s a great list of national writing contests that your budding authors can enter and win!
- Prove it to me. Arguing comes naturally to some of our kids (ahem — and to some of us!). Why not put your child’s natural bent towards challenging to good use while practicing persuasive writing skills? This can be done by giving your learner a writing prompt that includes research or opinion, or by giving them a problem to solve and then requiring a written explanation of how they got to the answer.
Go beyond your homeschool writing curriculum and begin integrating writing activities into every subject. Encouraging writing in every content area will hone your child’s writing skills while showing just what they know, and will get them thinking critically. What homeschool parent doesn’t want those things?
Tell us how you integrate homeschool writing into your homeschool writing routine!