Thursday, April 4, 2013

Creating Great Writers

One of the areas I have been concerned about in our homeschool has been writing.  It is no small thing to teach writing, and it takes time to help proofread and edit essays. I have tried various writing curriculum, but never found one that fit with our daily schedule and time restraints. I have used the IEW program by Andrew Pudewa and I do highly recommend it.  But, more times than not, writing was more miss than hit in our home.  We key on English grammar, which of course is a foundation for writing, but I was one of those Moms who worried that somehow my lack of consistency in this area was going to ruin my children and they were never going to be able to put two sentences together that sounded good and made sense!  Have you ever been there?  Then I had all the baggage from my public school mindset that these things must be formally taught…well, you get the picture.  I went to conventions and loitered around all the tables that showed me the "best" way to teach writing to  my children.  The years passed, we never stuck with a program, and writing got pushed to the back burner.  All of a sudden I had a fourteen year old girl that I just knew would be a dismal failure in this department because I had dropped the ball.  Then, it happened.  My daughter caught the writing bug and I began to read her work.  Her sentences for English sounded like something out of the page of a best-selling novel.  I was floored.  How had this happened?  I remember something I kept hearing from seasoned homeschool Moms over and over and over.  Just read to them.  Readers make great writers.  And for the first time, I realized this is absolutely true.  So, may I encourage all you homeschool mothers out there that may think you can't teach writing, or you are daunted by the task.  Read, read, and read some more to your children.  My oldest daughter wants to be a writer.  Whether she feels that way 5 years from now, only the Lord knows.  But, I know she could be if she really wanted to do so.  Was it because I was a great writing teacher?  No.  It was because one of the things I did do consistently was to read to my children.  Historical fiction, nursery rhymes, poetry, children's books, classics, Lamplighter's, missionary stories, and most importantly, the Bible.  Writing really is caught, and all my children love to do it.  I do want to share with you next time an activity I did do in the way of writing that was a success in our homeschool. It is a fun exercise that gets the imagination going.  But, in the meantime, read to your children.  It accomplishes so much more than you realize.