Are your kids reluctant to write?
Is it difficult for your kids to put their ideas in writing?
Let me share an “ah-ha” moment I had when I was homeschooling my kids.
During our first year of homeschooling, I registered Ashley & Gentry for a writing workshop in Houston. They went kicking & screaming. You would have thought I had asked them to clean the entire bathroom with a toothbrush.
But after 4 days with Andrew Pudewa, they had confidence in their writing. They wrote in our van, the entire way home (1 1/2 hours). What made the difference?
Remember that writing is a learned skill, it’s an art. It takes practice with the right tools. You can’t expect perfection without teaching and modeling for them first. I really don’t care for writing programs that give prompts. They do not teach & model the art of writing. Instead, they ask kids to write something without telling them how to accomplish that task.
Andrew Pudewa of IEW uses the analogy of learning to play an instrument. You would never sit your child down at a piano and expect them to play something without first having taught them notes, rhythm and all the other tools necessary.
Why do we give our child a blank piece of paper and ask him to write?
You need to remember that you’re the teacher. You need to teach things like writing structures or outlines that are used according to the type of writing. You need to help your child collect and organize their ideas, as well as use elements of style that they can use to help dress up their writing and make it sound more sophisticated.
Don’t assume your kids know these concepts.
I know this may sound a little overwhelming to moms, especially if you don’t feel adequate in your own writing. I think the biggest key is no matter what you’re teaching, you need to break it down into small, incremental steps, even in teaching writing.
Never teach concepts all at once, because you want to help your kids be successful. You should be their mentor, coming alongside your kids and making each step easy. When you come alongside, you give your kids the opportunity to be successful. And when they are successful, they will gain confidence & want to continue writing.
How can you do this in your homeschool?
The IEW method was the perfect method for teaching me how to be my child’s mentor, how to come along beside them, how to model for them, how to ask them the right questions, how to engage them in what they’re learning and how to teach writing skills to homeschoolers.
That’s what teaching is about—any subject, but most importantly, I think, with writing.
If you’d like to see what the IEW method is, check out Teaching Writing: Structure & Style. Supplemental materials that teach in the same manner (breaking down large concepts into small steps) include Student Writing Intensive or Theme Based Writing Lessons (scroll down).
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.Question: How do you teach concepts in your homeschool? You can leave a comment by clicking here.