A home school mom asked me for some writing ideas to keep skills up during the summer. Here are a few that we have enjoyed.
Ideas for Writing
Conversational journal I am not exactly sure what else to name it, but the idea is that you purchase a small spiral bound notebook and write a question in it. For instance, it has been raining quite a bit here lately and I am beginning to feel quite waterlogged! A question I asked one of my sons was, “Can you think of a rainy day activity you would like to do? Why?” His response, “I’d like to go with my friends and jump around in the water and take photos. Why? Because if I wait until we have a sunny day to take pictures it may not ever happen!” Good answer since we have had rain 10 out of the last 11 days. Now, some of you may be wondering how do I get my child to write when (s)he doesn’t like to do it? I believe it is all in the timing. When the guys were younger I would put the notebook on their pillow and the rule was that the notebook needs to be on my pillow by the following evening with a response. I would send them up to bed 15-30 minutes before lights were to be out for the evening. I don’t know about your children, but to delay bedtime was a huge issue with my family. This was a great way for them to delay while at the same time having them write and communicate with me. The other rule was: “Ask me a question.” We had some great “conversations”. You respond back to them and put the notebook back on their pillow. Collect the notebook and start another conversation as often as you like. I have actually kept some of these notebooks since they are a time capsule of sorts. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised to see the response you get from your children. There may be resistance at first, but be persistent and you will reap a reward.
There are great templates on our word processors for creating a family newsletter. Include vacation pictures and add captions, include activities you did around town, why not add some family funnies (comments or incidents that occurred), or interview one family member. Send electronically or do it the old-fashioned way! Addressing envelopes is actually a language arts objective. Be creative and have fun. You can use this as part of your portfolio review (written narrative).
Writing is more than just creative pieces. It is communicating an idea or thought in a written manner. If you have a child who is totally resistant to writing a paragraph then how about creating lists? (birthday,potential summer activities,friends to have over or visit, my favorite foods lists, places to visit, favorite books, etc.) What about making up hints for a treasure hunt either outside or inside for a rainy day or have your student create a list of things to find on a Nature Walk?