One of the primary things that homeschoolers wish they had were good writing tools. There are lots of writing curricula available, but sometimes, good writing skills come just from regular writing! Setting up some regular writing drills does not have to be difficult nor cumbersome, but the key is making it a regular part of the school week.
Writing skills will develop over time, particularly as students gain exposure to ideas and issues that they naturally become more aware of as they grow. But with regular writing and evaluation, homeschool students will develop the ability to “think on their feet,” and be able to coherently develop lines of thought and reason while they are also developing solid mechanics of writing. The more confidence they have in their ability to begin the writing process, the more effectively homeschoolers will write. If they are familiar with writing “speed drills” because they are doing them weekly, then the process of getting started on any writing project becomes far less intimidating and students can increase in skill and talent at the same time.
Assuming that you are using a solid program for teaching foundations in grammar, punctuation and capitalization, begin to incorporate writing into your homeschool daily or weekly routine with fun drills. One such writing exercise that lends itself to a variety of drills is based on the 26 letters of the alphabet. Essentially, students use the letters of the alphabet to compose specific sentences. Time restrictions can be added in order to enhance the analytical thinking skills that will be necessary for standardized writing tests in high school, and timed tests later in college. Drills can even be done in group settings or set up in teams if you work with coop classes in your homeschool program. Once the writing is done, students and parents, or peers, can review the sentences for writing style, grammar corrections, punctuation, etc., thus reinforcing the self-checking and proofing skills that all writers need.
With regular practice, writing becomes far less daunting, and much more effective. It doesn’t take too much time to add this in, but so many homeschoolers struggle over finding the “perfect” writing program rather than just writing! Don’t make this mistake. To increase writing skill – write! Look for supplemental programs and writing templates that make it easier, but work on quick thinking, analytical writing skills too. Even young students will enjoy these and learn much from them!