Last week I shared a writing tip you could use to teach writing in your homeschool. Since that time I was once again reminded how important it is to let your children have some ownership over their writing topics. Let me share my story….
Hunter was 12 and working on the IEW Student Writing Intensive DVD. His lesson was to write a 5-paragraph biographical sketch. In the back of my mind, I thought it would be great if he wrote about one of the early church fathers. We were studying the end of the Roman civilization and it would help him remember one of them. Besides, he could read one of the books that we didn’t have time to read in history. Of course, he wasn’t very interested in those men.
I could tell his disinterest as we talked about his topic.
So, we started talking baseball.
Hunter just finished reading a biography of Derek Jeter, so I suggested doing his paper on Jeter. He didn’t complain and even told me of two other sources he could use. He had to use a minimum of 3 sources, only one could be the internet.
It was decided.
He would write about Derek Jeter.
On the first day, he found interesting and important information about Derek Jeter. On the second day, we narrowed his paper to three topics about Derek Jeter. Next week, he will outline his paper and begin writing.
Believe me, I have a much happier son because he is writing about someone he likes, not someone Mom told him to research. I know his paper will be much better, just because he has an interest in his topic.
Do you let your kids take leadership, or ownership, in their writing topics? If not, why not?
Next week, discuss a writing assignment and let your kids choose their own topic. They will be so glad you did and you will be glad when you read their finished paper!
Let me know if your kids are shocked that you let them choose their topic.
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Do you let your kids take leadership, and ownership, in their writing topics?
What is your kids’ reaction when you let them choose their topic of study?