Writing is a tool for communication, learning, research, record keeping and creativity. Yet, the way we teach writing (in this country) causes many children to hate writing. Many buy a curriculum with endless workbook pages and worksheets. Children begin to resent the busy work and often lose sight that writing is a valuable tool.
For beginning writing here are natural ways to learn to write to consider:
Many parents use the Power of an Hour: Gateway to a Classical Education, as their full curriculum and as a springboard to further learning. Even if you do not, the natural progress of writing outlined below should help. We suggest you start simple and build the habit, before expanding. For those desiring further writing experiences we suggest a four year plan that builds Living Writing skills. Writing is a tool of Communication.
Power of an Hour Year One - Ancient Times
While studying Ancient Times is a great time to begin the journal, list making, the thank you note habits, as well as, learning letter writing. We have ancient records, because individuals wrote lists, kept journals, and sent letters.
List Making is a valuable tool and this is included in the Aspiring Scholar Portfolio. List making is the foundation of note-taking. This tool (list making) can also be used by the child to make grocery lists, lists of what to take on nature studies, a field trip, and so forth. Creating Victory Lists are also important.
Journaling is another natural place to develop writing skills. The youngest children can tell an adult what they want to say, the adult writes or types it up on a separate paper and if the child can write, they copy it into their journal. I use this with our children's Sunday school classes for children ages 3-12.
This is also a great time for learning Nature Journaling. They can learn to draw what they see. This is a writing, art, and science foundation. Ages 6+
Studying Ancient Times is a great time to learn correspondence, such as writing thank you notes and letters. When was the last time a Sunday School teacher received a thank you note from your child? When was the last time your children wrote their grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins? We handle teaching correspondence the same way we do journaling.
Power of an Hour Year Two - The Birth of Christianity through Medieval Times
During Medieval Times illuminated manuscripts were popular. While studying this time period is a great time to write an autobiography. Start with a simple one page autobiography and then once a week, add a memory. This can also be scrapbook style.
Power of an Hour Year Three- Age of Discovery through Foundations of Liberty
This is a great time to research your Genealogy. The study of one's progenitors helps children see how their family is part of history. He also is part of history. Genealogy can be very interesting and can develop research skills and composition while learning history, geography skills and developing writing skills.
Power of an Hour Year Four - Modern Times
This is a great time to develop computer skills further through creating a family blog and learn how to polish composition, learn word processing, and computer graphic skills. Blogs can be private or public. Children can share about what they are learning and about field trips they are taking. This year is a fun time to visit a newspaper or a book/magazine publisher for a tour and learning about what editors do.
As you can see, these different ways of developing writing go well with the Power of an Hour.
Again, we start these processes often before they can read and write. When we do, they tell is what to write and we can write it for them. As they begin to do copy work, they can tell, you can write and they can copy. This kind of copy work is best done after they have been able to copy a whole page of regular copy work into writing.
Lastly, writing is best led by example. Be encouraging. Stop before they are ready to stop. When they are young, their attention spans are short. Regular little steps forward are more important than volume in the early years.
These are natural ways of developing the language arts skills of writing. I invite you to this week's webinar on Writing for Retention. You will find the link below.
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This week's newsletter will be available via email through Monday, 3 April 2017, when the next Newsletter is scheduled to be released.