Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Home School - Ways to help a relcutant Writer!

Home School recently has been all over the place but I will save the explanation of this for another post; one difficulty that we have been having though is getting William to actually do any writing.

If you have been following some of my home school posts you will have noticed that I did one recently in engaging children in creative writing to form a beginning, middle and end. You can see that post here.
However; although there are many ways to challenge and support creative writing as that post shows it does still create problems if your child has suddenly dug their heels in and refused point blankly to write at all.
So why is this?

Well for everyone who follows the home school journey of ours you will see that I layer an awful lot of work together and usually because it shows a new element that is engaging and you can do more than standardised schooling with the freedom of home. So with this in mind writing is work; it is that one area where you say sit down and produce something formulated. How many of us as adults sit down with a moan and a grumble because we know what is a head of us is ‘work’? Children are exactly the same and there will be times when they don’t want to do it.
So what can you do? This has been something that has been going through my mind; I have for a few weeks been going around in circles all the different ways I can still maintain Williams writing and layer it into a different activity. These are my suggestions:
Saying, "Let's play a game." There's no need to mention "writing game" in it finding different ways to play. Create a map or words to find and then get them to hunt the word down and then once they have found it add it to our sheet.
Multi-layered topics
Choosing subjects your child loves, like brontosauruses or monster movies or soccer or shoes. In Williams case its cooking. I have gone out and got a free book to create our own recipes or at least to write down our favourite.
I spoke briefly on this the other day. Ultimately you’re making drawings, notes, and story maps together, if your child can't remember ideas. Comic books are great for this; create a storyboard and use captions or small speech bubbles with the odd word.
Writing doesn’t have to be with a pen or pencil
Taking dictation or having your child use a computer is a great way of engaging in future writing. What you are potentially showing here is that your child has a voice and that voice is worth listening to! Typing a caption or small sentence up on a computer will not only layer topics but will be a new platform to see thoughts to paper. Eventually try to use a transition period where the child is comfortable to use their voice with pen and paper.
We are as a species incredibly vain! We all seek praise for something we have done. Even if in some way you have managed to create a formulated writing then present it somewhere that everyone can see. Posting written work on the wall or refrigerator, or sending it to family members and friends; we want to show the world that we have a voice and here it is. Always remember that writing is meant to be shared. I know that’s one reason why I blog!
The continued theme here is something that promotes fun and engagement that will follow with praise and attention. We all have a voice and we all want it to be heard in some way. Children are no different.
Remember that your role as a home writing parent or teacher is to have fun and to listen to your child's imagination. You don't have to be the drill sergeant in charge of spelling. In fact, research shows us that in the long run, it's far more important to encourage the communication of ideas than to hamper a child's style for the sake of correct spelling
I don’t know how well this will work but I will be over the next few weeks be trying all of these out to allow William a new way to express himself without the added fight of boring writing!
As always I will keep you updated with it all.

Do you have any suggestions to help a reluctant writer?


Kim Carberry said...

My 7 year old hates writing at school and we've been having problems with her basically not doing her work...She even had a detention on Friday to catch up. Eek!
Fantastic ideas! I might suggest some of them to her teacher and try some at home to encourage her writing!!

Martyn Kitney said...

Thanks Kim. It's difficult to engage sometimes especially if the more you push the more they pull away from it. Especially if the school isn't helping in that regard. Hope you manage to find a way. Let me know how you get on! Good luck!

Jenny said...

Really interesting and some great ideas. Learning through play is always my mantra, so I especially like the writing as a game idea. Hoping to home educate my eldest for at least a year so this post is fab. :-)

Martyn Kitney said...

Thanks for commenting Jenny! Glad you enjoyed the post! There are so many ways to help with writing. I hope that these are successful. Oh how fantastic. You're always welcome to chat through things if you ever decide to.

Ashley Beolens said...

I'm always interested to read ways to encourage writing in kids, we struggle with my eldest he is dyslexic and really lets it get in his way (no excuse though really his Granddad is too and I have 7 books he's written on my shelves at home), the middle child is more of a science maths type kid (bright as a spark mind and way ahead at school), my daughter however loves writing, but I think she has to practice her use of capitals and full stops (we found out tonight at parents evening). So finding new ways to help the all is great thanks Martyn.

Martyn Kitney said...

It's difficult especially when looking at each child individually and trying to engage them each in a different way. Ultimately using something you know is a positive interest in their lives is a great way. From being a teacher to home schooling and through blogging I have learnt lots of different ways and tips but that doesn't always mean they'll work lol. But I hope some of these will be good for you. Let me know how you get on.

Sunshine Dad said...

This is a good list. I'll keep these ideas in mind as my oldest is just learning to write this year.

Martyn Kitney said...

Thanks for commenting Mike! Great please do. Would love to know if they work!

Mummybexm said...

Interesting ideas Martyn. Thank you for sharing. As a secondary English teacher - with the pressures of Ks3 and Ks4 levels of progress there comes a point where it becomes 'make or break'. Interesting to see the freedom with home schooling. X

Martyn Kitney said...

Thanks for commenting! It's good that you comment and both you and I can see the difference in key stages of development. Hats of to you. Still never know how you can teach secondary! I can imagine it's make or break.
That is definitely something that I enjoy as a home school educator that there is so much more freedom!

International Elf Service said...

I love this - brilliant post and great ideas as always. Love the thinking outside the box approach! Will definitely be working through these with our kids! Thank you :)