5 Ways to Encourage Writing in Your Homeschool

If you’re already homeschooling, or thinking about homeschooling, teaching writing might feel like a big, scary monster.  I remember feeling the exact same way when we embarked on our homeschooling adventure. I was worried about how I would encourage writing in our homeschool.

Before I homeschooled my kids, I was a teacher, and specifically taught English/Language Arts (ELA) for a couple of years.  So you would think that I would be completely confident teaching my own kids writing.  Nope!

5 Ways to Encourage Writing in Your Homeschool

Although we fall into the unschooling category of homeschooling, we still set goals and work on different subjects, with the kids leading.  This includes writing.  

When my 8-year old says she wants to do more work on her writing, or when I feel us going down a rabbit hole, we dive in, feet first.  I want my kids to love writing as much as I do!  

Even with professional and personal experience with writing, I still find myself looking for ways that I can make writing more engaging, and more interesting so my kids soak it up and enjoy it.   

Even if you’re feeling uncertain about teaching writing, I can assure you that there are many, easy ways you can encourage writing in your homeschool.  

Encouraging Writing in Your Homeschooling

1 |  Model daily writing. 

Modeling daily writing is going to look different for every parent.  It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, and it can be differentiated, based on what your kids are interested in at the current time.  

Because I am a blogger, my kids have seen me writing since they were very young.  It’s always been something I enjoy, so they see that.  

You don’t have to be a blogger, however, to model writing for your kids.  And not all writing has to be in the creative, long form.

A planning journal like this one is a great way to model writing for your kids.  It’s a simple, straightforward, and enjoyable way to stay organized as a mom and model writing for your kids.

When kids are young, your daily writing model might be a grocery list on the fridge or a picture you drew for your child.  This is exposure to the beginning of writing, and your kids will eventually follow suit. 

As your kids get older, your daily writing might be more extensive, such as a short story you wrote, or some type of journaling. These are excellent ways to engage your kids in writing, without the nagging.  

 2 | Cross-curricular writing

Is your child a nature lover?  A math whiz?   Maybe your child loves making YouTube videos.  These are great avenues to help you encourage writing in your home!  

Have your child write about the nature walk you went on.  A nature journal is an easy and fun way to pair nature and science with writing.  Their responses can be simple reflections or more complex explanations of what they saw.  

This fun ant farm journal can be used in conjunction with an in-home ant farm.  Your nature-loving kid will not only enjoy watching the ants in their habitat but will also have an opportunity to write about his observations.

For a child who is a math fan, math stories or word problems might be more his style.  The point isn’t that your child is writing a 10-page report or story every week, but that he is getting exposed to writing as a form of communication.  The technical side of writing can be introduced as you go.  

For aspiring YouTube stars?  Help your child compose a script for his next video!  This is a fun way to teach writing mechanics and grammar.  

Cross-curricular writing is a very effective way to encourage writing in your homeschool because it takes what your child is naturally interested in, and intertwines writing skills.

 3 | Start a back-and-forth journal.

This one is probably my favorite way to inspire my kids to write. We started a back-and-forth journal (BAF journal) and we love it!  It’s not only the perfect way to get my kids writing, but also a great way for us to connect. 

For my older child (8), I write letters and stories to her and she responds with something she is wanting to write about. My 5-year-old gets more simple words with pictures included and then he can respond in a similar way. 

This has been a really fun way to not only model for them but also show them how writing can create relationships and meaningful connections between people.  

4 | Strewing

As an unschooling mom, I believe in strewing as a way to spark interest in your kids.  Strewing can come in a couple of different forms:

  • direct, where you talk about what you are inviting your kids to do
  • indirect, where you leave items for your kids to discover and investigate on their own

I go into more detail in my Unschooling with Confidence course on strewing.  

To encourage writing in your homeschool, strewing could look like a Ranger Rick magazine laying on the table at breakfast time.  This introduces a new medium to your child, and gets him interested in the world of writing (and reading…win-win).  

Strewing might also look like a new journal and pens/pencils that your child can use to start writing his own stories or articles.  For younger kids, crayons and markers suffice just fine to spark interest in writing.  

This approach is something that does take patience and a little bit of thought but is required.  Go with what your kids are already interested in.    

 5 | Combine technology with writing

Who said that all writing has to be paper and pencil?  In today’s technology-driven times, I can, without a doubt, say that writing SHOULD be combined with technology.

My daughter is 8 and knows how to log into Google Docs, type what she needs to type, and print it.  

She also knows how to write with a pencil and paper, but this gives her a variety of ways to write.  

Fun and FREE online sites for writing practice are:  

  • Fun English Games – From story writing to letter writing and much, much more, this website has a variety of writing games that kids will love.
  • Storium – This online, creative story writing game is best for older kids.  It’s an engaging game that will stretch your child’s creativity and help them become better writers.    
  • Wart Games – Another free site that has a variety of writing games and activities you can use to encourage more writing in your homeschool. 

No matter what you use to encourage your kids to write when you do it with intention and passion, your kids will follow suit.  Do what works best for you and your kids and the rest will fall into place!  

Katrina Oldham

About the author

Katrina is a chaotically organized unschooling mom of 3 kids--- ages 8, 5 and 10 months. She is a former teacher and instructional coach and loves the flexibility of homeschooling. Her biggest passion is child-focused learning and helping parents to create a love for learning in their kids.

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