Do you have children that complain about writing assignments?
A few summers ago, I discovered (again) that giving my children a purpose for writing increases their motivation and willingness to fulfill their assignments. It is also a fantastic way to teach the process of writing format through publishing.
Many years ago, all three of my children wrote books which are now available for purchase. My son worked for an entire year studying about the jungle and choosing just the right animal or plant to include in his ABC Jungle Book. After making these choices, he wrote a paragraph about each one, using a writing stylistic checklist.
Not sure what a stylistic checklist? Check out Teaching Writing Structure & Style
I must be honest & realistic with you. At the age of 8, he did not write or research every day for a year. He took breaks from this project which was completed at the beginning of June.
He was highly motivated for a couple of reasons.
First, he chose the topic of jungles himself so he was quite interested in the topic from the beginning.
Secondly, the idea of making money from his writing project and publishing a book was exciting. This project gave him a purpose for writing. Not every writing project will end in a money-making project, but each of your kids’ writing assignment should have a purpose.
Other purposes for writing assignments may include:
- Sending a letter to a friend or relative
- Entering a writing contest
- Writing a letter to the newspaper editor
- Writing a summary of your science fair project
- Sharing a story about an event in your life
- Writing a ministry letter
- Or a myriad of other purposes.
Once your child has a purpose for writing, he needs to put his ideas down on paper in a thoughtful, cohesive manner. There are many writing programs on the market, but the best source I have found to teach your child “how” to write is Excellence in Writing. This course deals with the “hows” of writing instead of “what” to write about.
Using the process of writing format through publishing automatically gives your child a purpose for writing.
As you look for a writing program, look for one that uses writing with whatever subjects you are studying. All subject areas should be a starting point for teaching writing.
Writing should not a separate subject in and of itself. That’s the way life is…writing is part of all aspects of your life and your students should be able to write in many areas. Writing in a variety of subject areas will also show your students that writing has a purpose in all of life.
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