How to Choose the Best Writing CurriculumJanuary 26, 2021
Welcome to the new year! It’s January and a traditional time for a fresh start. Maybe you’re thinking of changing from a curriculum that isn’t working out to one that better suits you and your family. Perhaps you’re homeschooling for the very first time. Maybe you’re looking at ways to supplement your child’s remote learning to make sure they don’t fall behind. No matter how you’d like to change things up this year, don’t forget about one subject that’s often overlooked: writing.
First things first: You don’t need to be a great writer to help your child improve their writing skills. There are many curriculum programs that concentrate solely on the writing process. From grammar to sentence structure, to paragraph building and more, your child can slowly start building up new skills while reinforcing the skills they’ve already mastered.
Find the Best Program for Your Child
It may come as no surprise, but not every child learns the same way. Some children prefer writing everything out and poring over texts, while others prefer game-based learning or one-on-one instruction. You may need to try a few different curriculum and supplement options before you find the one that works best for your child. There are also many ways you can combine your writing tools to get the most out of each. Here are a few of the most common.
Workbooks, textbooks and other traditional tools: Children begin their writing practice by using a pencil and paper. This is fine for the first few years, but introduce your children to typing as soon as possible. Many families use workbooks, textbooks, or both, as either a full curriculum or to supplement other writing lessons.
Online lessons: Some online lessons only focus on writing skills in certain grade levels, usually targeting lessons to middle schoolers and high school students. Look for online lessons that suit your child’s age or grade and that target the skills they’re working on building.
Apps/Software: Many writing apps work best for more experienced writers, although most word processing programs can work well to teach typing skills for writers of all ages. Keep in mind that many writing apps will check or auto-correct spelling and even fix grammar issues, so you may need to turn those features off as your child is learning.
Writing Lessons for Remote Learners
If your child is remote learning, they’re already used to learning online. Take advantage of your tech-savvy learner by continuing lessons online. There are many simple ways to boost skills that have fallen behind or to learn new skills that remote learning sessions haven’t covered. Apart from the online lessons and apps mentioned above, you can try the following to add some variety to remote learning.
Learning Games: Although often most suited for younger learners, you can find many interactive learning games online. Some writing skills they teach are capitalization, punctuation, and parts of speech. Be sure to check the site before you let your child visit; many sites hosting online learning games are ad-based, and you may not find them appropriate for your child.
Educational Videos: There are many videos online designed to teach writing skills to students of every grade level. From fun animations for younger children to more in-depth lessons for older students, you’ll find a variety of lessons available to you.
Social Media Groups: Best for mature students, social media groups and forums can be great places to get answers to tricky grammar questions or tips and tricks for building specific writing skills. Often populated by writers of all skill levels, your child can find both peer support and help from everyone from a professional writer to a writing professor.
When you compare online tools with other options, you may notice that online programs provide more versatility. Entertaining assignments, 24/7 access, personalized feedback, and teacher-led lessons are just some highlights. These benefits supply homeschoolers, remote learners, and students who attend traditional schools with the best blend of teaching methods available.
If you’re using this month as a transition period or just thinking about improving your child’s writing abilities, there are many resources available. The online option is especially useful because it also refines your children’s technical talents and gives their typing skills a boost.
After all, whatever plans your students have after they graduate, technology and typing will probably play a major role in their job duties. From crafting professional emails, assessments, resumes, and more, your child will one day create a communication piece that will highlight their writing skills. So, at the beginning of this new year, give them the tools that will improve their writing. It’s never too early!
Additional Homeschool Resources