Homeschool Writing Curriculum

A good homeschool writing curriculum will teach your child to communicate clearly and effectively in written format.

Even children who don't enjoy creative writing will need to know how to write effective memos, letters and reports for business purposes. As home educators, we can teach writing without making our children afraid of putting pen to paper. Here are some tips for choosing a good home school writing curriculum.

Types of Writing

According to Dr. Ruth Beechick, there are four types of writing:

  • Expository writing answers a question or provides information.
  • Persuasive writing convinces the reader to take action or adopt a specific point of view.
  • Descriptive writing uses words to paint a picture.
  • Narrative writing tells a story.

During the course of teaching your children, expose them to the many different types of writing they will encounter as adults. Here are some homeschool writing activities.

Components of Writing Instruction

In addition to familiarizing students with different types of writing, a good homeschool writing curriculum will teach writing mechanics and help students create effective content.

Students can learn the mechanics of writing by memorizing rules for capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure and grammar. Students can learn to create effective content by following the writing process, which generally involves:

  1. Pre-writing - researching, brainstorming and deciding exactly what to write about.

  2. Organizing - putting ideas into logical order, using a writing style that suits the target audience.

  3. Rough Draft - putting thoughts and ideas into written format.

  4. Revising - making improvements to content, structure and style.

  5. Editing - correcting errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.

  6. Final Draft - putting the essay into final form.

Although the process outlined above may seem tedious to new writers, it becomes automatic with frequent practice.

The writing process helps new writers learn to express their thoughts in an organized manner. I learned this process when I was in school, and I still use it today when writing content for this website.

Choosing a Home School Writing Curriculum

When choosing a homeschool writing curriculum, think about your needs, wants and goals in the following areas:

  • Do you want a program that focuses on inspiring creativity, or a program that focuses on structure and mechanics?

  • Do you want a program centered around a particular writing project such as a novel, or one that provides a variety of writing assignments?

  • Do you want a program that integrates the study of other subjects such as history and science? Would you like writing assignments to correlate with other subjects you are studying?

  • Do you want a homeschool writing curriculum that teaches your child to write by studying and imitating famous writers?

  • Do you want a program that directly teaches the student or one that will teach you how to teach your child?

  • Do you feel comfortable evaluating your student's progress? Do you want your child to receive feedback from teachers outside of your home?

  • Do you need a program that caters to students of a wide range of ages?

  • What type of program fits your child's learning style? Will he or she perform better with a workbook, DVD or online writing curriculum?

Homeschool Writing Programs

Most complete homeschool curriculum providers, such as Bob Jones, Rod and Staff, and A Beka, incorporate the study of writing into their language arts programs. Here are some additional options for teaching homeschool writing:

Classical Writing
Igniting Your Writing
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Learn to Write the Novel Way
Write Shop
Writer's Jungle
Writing Strands

If you feel confident in your ability to teach your child to write, you may decide to develop your own home school writing program. No matter what program you choose, remember to move at your child's pace. As the saying goes, "Slow and steady wins the race!"

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