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How can I get my kids to write? Ages 6 & 8

Posted by on Jun. 16, 2013 at 8:20 AM
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Hi there,

I'm not a full-time homeschooling mom yet, but I see it in my future.  I am doing some homeschooling this summer, just to get our feet wet.

We need to work on writing, not the act of printing, but writing sentences, their own sentences, very short stories, etc.  They are just not into it.  It is like pulling teeth. When I google "how to write", I get results back on handwriting, printing, etc.   So does anyone have ideas or websites or worksheets on instructing kids on writing?

Thank you.

by on Jun. 16, 2013 at 8:20 AM
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jen2150
by Silver Member on Jun. 16, 2013 at 8:46 AM
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I suggest you make fun and light.  I wouldn't use workbooks unless they enjoy them.  My son hates writing but loves comic books.  http://www.barebooks.com/comicbooks.htm

Remember some boys take longer to develope fine motor control necessary for writing.  

Great article.  http://patriciazaballos.com/2012/05/31/how-do-kids-really-learn-to-write-2-0/

I have found that good readers turn into great writers.  The more you read the better writer you will become.  Read to them as much as they will let you.  Make sure they see you reading and writing.  Let me know if you have any other questions.

mamavalor
by Member on Jun. 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

The best thing is to just give them a notebook, instructing them to write away.  Ask them to write whatever they want.  Don't worry too much about grammar or spelling.  That can come a bit later after the love of writing has been instilled.

I agree with jen2150 that good readers tend to be better writers. I also found that well written books give my children a better grasp of the English language.

ablessedlife
by Member on Jun. 16, 2013 at 9:03 PM
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Two things:
Do they have a purpose for writing?
Do they have a topic?

My kids liked writing about whatever we had learned on science that day.
Also, they found it easier to write if they were writing a letter to a friend or relative.
For the 6yo, I would write out we he wanted to say and he would copy it out.
CatFishMom
by on Jun. 16, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I use Excellence in Writing. Im on the basics right now (my son is only four going on five) but I know they have an actual writing program to develop actual 'writing' skills, like youre talking about. We're enjoying what we're using. Good luck!

oahoah
by Member on Jun. 17, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Speaking from experience first ask yourself why they "need" to write at this age. My boys are 8, 6 and 3 and we started homeschool with my oldest when he was 6, he had already been in school and had beautiful writing but when we started at home he just hated it and we would fight over it constantly.

My biggest regret from our early days/first year was the insistence that he write. All it did was make him hate writing more than he did already.  I backed off the 2nd year and would just do everything verbally but he'd get special rewards if he chose to write. And it really worked well to do that with him, in this past year there have been a lot of times where he willingly picked up the pencil/pen to write on his own! 

My 6 y/o is great at school but not at writing either, he doesn't hate it like big brother but is a perfectionist and if he messes up he is really hard on himself.  We didn't force writing with him at all and he started to write a story on his own this year!

Like PP's said, make it fun. We have sensory trays they can "write" in, have used things such as sand, salt, sugar, beans, shaving cream, even the cornstarch/water mix.  Another fun idea depending on learning ability is to use pebbles, marbles, cereal and have them spell out words or just form letters. I also bought a Leap Frog spell n' write (I think that's what it's called) when my 2nd DS was 4 and it helped him learn letters and form them better, it has really benefited my youngest who is writing on his own, not perfectly but pretty legibly for his age. 

 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 17, 2013 at 7:18 AM
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 My suggestion is to get them a pad of "story paper."  It has a big block of space to draw a picture at the top with divided lines to write about a paragraph at the bottom.  Then search for writing prompts that will interest them.  At 6 they think more in pictures than in words.  So using a picture as the prompt reminds them to stay on topic and reminds them of what they want to say.

http://www.journalinghelps.com/Elementary-Writing-Prompts.html

http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/journal-prompts.html

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/writing-prompts/

 

Or have them draw pictures about the beginning, middle, and end of a story and then write sentences to go along with the story as a practice to summarizing.

Have them draw the beginning of a science experiment along with their prediction of what will happen then draw the end of the experiment and write a conclusion.

Have them draw a picture of their favorite part of the history leeson for the day and then write a short reminder about what was going on.  This is a great review for when you move to a different historical period.

Have them "remake" an art masterpiece and then write the things they changed and why.

Have them pick a favorite food and write a persuasive piece about why you should make it for supper.

Have them pick something they like to make or build and then break it down into steps, like the lego instruction sheets but with words!

oredeb
by on Jun. 17, 2013 at 9:52 AM

 what i did when i first started my kids writing their own sentences i made a game of it, i took pieces of paper(hard stock) about 2 inches long and wrote (didnt have internet stuff then so i used marker) words like the, is , a , dog, little, etc words they would use and they too turns making up sentences and they'd get prizes for doing it successfully, ( an m and m , little things) at first i wrote down a couple words on the pieces of paper to get them started like: the dog, a man, the bird, ate food, went home, etc they enjoyed the game,

 even when they were older they wanted to play it!hahah well anyway eventually i had them start writing their own sentences after playing that a while, they would make up their sentence so they could add the words to the game and being consistent doing it every day for about 15 min.

usmom3
by BJ on Jun. 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

You have gotten some great advice from the other Moms!

JayDee38
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Google can be so useful a lot of the time and no help other times!

Your best bet was to do exactly what you did, come into a community and ask :) You'll get great ideas and tips. All of these ideas here are so creative, I learned quite a few things myself just reading here! Another thing to try is to look at curriculums to either buy or to use for ideas; see what kind of lesson plans are in them and see if you can work off of those. You could do a great mash up of some more structured lessons and fun add-ins like drawings.  I use Zaner-Bloser's Strategies for Writers to develop my kids' writing skills http://www.zaner-bloser.com/writing/strategies-writers. I like the workbooks a lot, they're interesting and fun. Could you start off by discovering the types of writing and then maybe you could see which would interest your kids? Narrative, informative/explanatory, opinion, etc. My daughter really likes narrative writing so it was really fun to think of topics that she already has an interest in about to get her started writing about something she's familiar with (she loves helping mommy in the garden so we started with small sentences about gardening). Here take a look at a preview of the workbook (this one is for 2nd grade): http://www.zaner-bloser.com/media/zb/zaner-bloser/LA1140/G2SE/page.html, you can flip through the pages.

Another idea would be to have them do an art project of decorating a notebook. It would be a great way to start them off so they'll be excited about their own personal notebook.

The point has been made to make it fun, workbooks can be a great foundational staple, but you need to incorporate other things, and customize the lessons to fit what they want and need!


Lynette
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 3:37 PM
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Making their own comic books can be motivating. To inspire get the book "Adventures in Cartooning" by James Strum

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1596433698/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1371843318&sr=8-1&pi=SL75
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