3 Ways to Encourage Young WritersHeather Woodie
How many us are working on making our kids better writers? How many kids like to write? Wouldn’t we all love it if our kids thought of themselves as writers rather than assignment doers? Today I’m sharing 3 ways to encourage young writers.
Whatever method you are using and however much your student loves or hates to write, consistency is key. Be consistent:
- In your assignments Give them regularly. With young writers, I like to establish a pattern. Write one day; edit and make corrections the next. If the assignments are longer, perhaps your pattern will be different.
- In your editing You might choose to focus on one or two skills at a time in a writing assignment. I like to have students self-edit at their own level. Young students might check for capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Older students might look for repetitive words. When you edit, be consistent with identifying things your kids need to work on. This is how you meet your kids where they are while challenging them to improve as written communicators.
- In your mentoring How do you coach your writers? Are you there every step of the way? Do you give your writers independence? Be consistent in how you approach your kids’ writing.
Keep a Writer’s Notebook
Most writers keep a writer’s notebook to jot down ideas. As a blogger, I have a notebook for my own notes. When an idea comes to mind, I have a spot for writing it down. Any writer can use a writer’s notebook. What’s a writer’s notebook for?
- Potential topics
- Dialogue you hear
- Bits & pieces (like newspaper articles or facts that give you ideas for writing)
A writer’s notebook isn’t just for serious writers. Anyone can use them to make writing more fun!
Build an Audience
Many writers find new meaning in writing when they write for an audience. The right audience also helps to develop a writer’s voice. How do you build an audience for a student writer?
- Begin a Writer’s Workshop This can be a formal or informal gathering of students to share writing with each other. Students can share big pieces of writing or little ones like lists. At our writing workshop I like to give out writing challenges which the kids enjoying trying. We often find that fellow writers look forward to new installments from their peers. This anticipation motivates kids to keep writing.
- Start a Blog Younger students can publish for family only while older students can enjoy a wider audience. Both of our teens have blogs which have been active from time to time. I find blogging one of the best ways to find a writer’s voice. Once you establish an audience, it’s inspiring to keep writing for them!
Helpful Writing Links
Coaching writing is one of my favorite homeschooling activities. Here a few links you may find helpful as you work with your own students and their writing.
- The Ultimate Guide to Coaching Writers in Your Homeschool a one-stop place for resources and ideas to coach young writers
- Five Ways to Play with Words a post I did for this blog on playing with words
- Coaching Writing with a Writer’s Workshop how and why to host your own writer’s workshop
- Resources for Coaching Writers a list of some of my favorite writing resources
- Literature and Language Arts Pinterest board
Working with your students to make them effective written communicators isn’t hard once you break it down and encourage your young writers. Try some of these ideas to bring new life to writing in your homeschool.