Homeschool Writing in Middle School: How To Inspire a Reluctant Writer
I was compensated for my time and honest review of the product mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own. ***
You'd think teaching writing would be a breeze for me. I love writing, so it should be easy, right? Not so much.
The homeschool writing program I thought we'd use just doesn't seem to be a fit for my son this year. In truth, we haven't really spent much time writing at all because I saw there was a major wall going up and there was no sense in fighting that battle until I could come up with a plan.
There's been some trial and error, but I think my son is beginning to find his way to writing.
Is homeschool writing a challenge for your family? These are a few things that have helped me.
Homeschool Writing: Simple Tips & Tricks for Inspiring a Reluctant Writer
#1 Start listening.
I started listening to the things my son likes to talk about.
Rocket science, right?
When he's chit-chatting away, I try to make an effort to simply take mental notes. Sometimes even physical ones on my phone because I can't remember anything!
What topics really get your kid fired up? That would be a great persuasive essay.
Does he play video games? My son loves to tell me about the games he plays. I usually have NO idea what he's talking about, but guess what makes a perfect topic for his next informational essay?
Yup. Video game language (for lack of better phrase) makes a great how-to paper. How to beat this guy or how to get to that level. Whatever works!
It's been easier to get my son to write about the things he likes to talk about rather than what might be planned in the curriculum we're using.
#2 Quit writing.
Yeah. Put down the pencil. Stop with all the essay talk and just breathe. I would specifically suggest putting away any writing curriculum you're using and taking a break. That's how bad it was for us, anyway.
We focused on other writer-y things he needs to excel in like grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Which, I might add, has improved immensely this year!
I know that practice will only trickle down to his writing next year. I look at the middle school years as a whole. One chunk of time to prepare for high school. Even though the writing isn't there yet, I know he'll be ready when it's time.
#3 Start a journal.
This has made a big difference in my son's attitude toward writing. He has LOTS of thoughts and ideas. That's not the problem. Getting them down on paper in an organized essay? That's another story.
A daily journal is a great way for him to write whatever he wants! He can choose the topic, how long or short the entry, it's completely up to him.
I even make a point to read only the entries he wants me to. He ends up wanting me to read them all, but just knowing he has that freedom is motivation. Free writing goes a long way. Don't correct this work either. It will be filled with glaring errors and that's just perfect!
#4 Try something new.
Don't be afraid to let go of whatever isn't working!
He's a reluctant writer and I haven't had much luck getting him on board with a structured writing program yet but thought Writers in Residence™ could be a fit.
What I like about Writers in Residence™
The daily schedule reflects a four-day week-perfect for our family!
Lesson plans promote independence and organization.
Short activities and lessons feel doable.
Colorful and engaging workbook.
Interesting and up-to-date information that grabs attention.
It's not easy to inspire him when it comes to writing, but Writers in Residence™ Vol. 2 All-In-One Student Text and Workbook and Answer Key, has plenty of components that pull him in.
What my son likes about Writers in Residence™
engaging research projects.
large realistic images.
easy to follow daily schedule
He especially liked there isn't much writing at first. Way to grab him, Apologia!
The first couple of weeks of lessons really got him hooked on the workbook itself and reading about writing more than actually writing. The daily schedule is probably my favorite part of the whole text because I'm trying hard to get him working independently.
Writers in Residence™ makes that super easy for me!
I'm also loving the easy to follow and understand grading rubric with that handy checklist!
My son is able to go through his work and see what still needs improvement easily. He also loves that the text includes up to date information like relevant internet search tips. Often times textbooks can be a bit outdated, so it's nice this isn't.
Are you looking for a homeschool writing program?
Learn more about Writers in Residence™ Vol. 2 All -In-One Student Text and Workbook and Answer Key at Apologia.