Unconventional Ideas for Homeschool Writing and Language Arts
Grace, Grow & Edify is dedicated to recommending quality resources to benefit homeschooling families. This blog contains and is monetized through sponsored posts and affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure policy for detailed information.
Unconventional Ideas for Homeschool Writing and Language Arts
I want to share with you some creative ideas to add to your language arts options when homeschooling. A few years back, my daughter who was around 4th grade at the time just hated writing. I had tried everything I could think of to get her excited to write or get her to write period. We encountered tears, and frustrations on both sides – student & teacher.
I was lucky enough to have access to a great support system of fellow homeschool moms, and I was sharing my struggle with them. We began brainstorming various ideas that would encourage my daughter to write. I knew if I introduced them as writing activities she would immediately shut down. But if I just had some exciting and engaging ideas we could integrate, she would be more open to trying them.
As a homeschool coach, this is something I help parents do often. Finding creative out of the box ideas to incorporate education into your homeschool routine without it feeling like school.
If you have a child who is reluctant to write, we want to do some things outside of our usual boxes to get them back in the game. It may be beneficial to pause or take a break from the Language Arts curriculum you are currently using so that you can lay out a new foundation for you and your child.
What I mean by that is pausing your curricula or current lesson plans, we never want our homeschoolers to cringe when it comes to homeschool. We want to find creative ways to cultivate a love of learning, or in some cases at least get through our lessons without tears or a fight.
These ideas are to provide a springboard for making writing fun and not feel like a chore. Let’s not forget with homeschooling; we don’t have to do every subject every day. We may need to scale back on the writing, or not push the spelling or grammar daily. Pushing the pause button does not mean that you won’t come back to your lesson plans, or that you are going to fall behind in anything. What this does say, is that we need to take a period to bring the enjoyment back to our learning.
What worked so well for us was sneaking it in, and creating lessons that she didn’t realize were actual homeschool or learning lessons. Score!
Here are some ways that your students can start to enjoy writing without even knowing it:
1. Writing letters or postcards to family & friends. This one was one of my favorites, and there is plenty to learn and cover here with this one simple project. You can do one a week or one a day, but choose a relative or friend and begin writing to them. Allow the child to determine the message, and don’t over-correct. The idea is not to correct every grammar or spelling error. The idea is to make writing creative & fun again! If you have a younger writer this could also incorporate addressing envelopes, and introducing proper etiquette of formal and informal titles.
2. Email for all types of projects. If your student doesn’t like to put a pencil to paper physically, you can start out with using an email account to create all kinds of writing projects. Write to friends & family. Or what we did for a while, I would email an assignment to my daughter, something fun & creative. Use topics that you know your child would enjoy, ask them to recall a story, a business idea, create a fictional account of a character they love. The possibilities are endless, but this will get them to enjoy writing and telling stories again with less “effort” to pen the paper per se. They will gain more confidence in using a computer; they can see their mistakes underlined in red and quickly learn how to correct the errors on their own. Using the computer to write also allows time to either start cultivating some typing skills or hone in on them.
3. Create a video, presentation, or verbal narration. Videos and oral storytelling may not seem like writing to you, but again we are working on bringing back the creativity and fun first. These are more examples of how to tell and re-tell stories, get comfortable, and keep the language arts flowing as a whole. I promise you that spelling, writing, grammar will all surface from these projects. Not to mention computer skills, creative outlets, social skills, and things your textbooks might never draw out from copy work or spelling drills. Which we came back to eventually by the way, but I needed this to boost us back into enjoying the process and put a little fun into the homeschool classroom again.
4. Let them narrate their fictional stories to you, and you write them out, or you type them. Later they can illustrate the story they created. But don’t let them miss out on the magic that is creative writing! Don’t stifle their creativity to check off your lesson plan boxes or mark up their papers with red ink and discouraging them early on.
5. Projects. Allow for book reports in whatever way they want to deliver them for a bit as long as they are enjoying it. Allow for a fun business proposal or persuasive project. Our daughter wanted a dog, specifically a husky. So we let her work on a compelling project and oral presentation where she would need to convince the principal why we NEED that dog. Did she get the dog? No, that was another lesson learned; just because you pitch the idea doesn’t mean the other party will always say yes. But she put a lot into the project without me ever having to tell her. She researched, worked on her own free time, and produced an excellent presentation.
6. Read.Reading is a fantastic way to not only solidify reading skills, but your child can naturally learn vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure by reading. If your child hates to read; try finding material that they enjoy. Yes, you may have to start with reading material that you find silly or mindless. But you want them to enjoy reading, so trying something you don’t typically allow or wouldn’t necessarily count as a “school” reader might help get them back on track. Another excellent option is reading aloud as a family. Read an engaging story that will leave them begging for more. Reading aloud as a family also models good reading behaviors for your children. We can’t tell our children how critical reading is and never read with or to them.
7. Move away from the desk. Many kids feel less intimidated when they aren’t at a desk. Move the learning outside, head to a park, or allow them to read in a tree. Maybe sitting on a couch or bed may help ease the pressure to write. One small change in the atmosphere can help a student tremendously when it comes to education.
You can ease back into your language arts curricula eventually, but I bet you won’t ever use it the same way after a period of trying these other options. Learning should be fun, it doesn’t have to be a struggle.
I hope this gives you some different ideas of how you can use writing and language arts excitingly and productively versus just the boring textbook options. You may need a break from your curriculum if you are struggling with that subject to turn some things around.