Filling In The Gaps in Your Homeschooler’s Writing Skills

March 16, 2018
Written by:
Jamie Gaddy

Sponsored post by Time4Writing

What’s the hardest subject you have to teach your homeschooler? For many homeschool parents, writing is at the top of their list.

“I’m truly at my wit’s end. We’ve tried three different writing programs, and I swear I think my daughter has hated each one more than the last. It’s not even the curriculum, though. She can’t admit that she doesn’t have the organizational skills to even put together a short essay. She’s in seventh grade, and I feel like she should be farther along in her writing than this.” ~Gabby, homeschool mom.

It’s true. No matter what curriculum you use, there always seem to be cracks in the plaster where some writing rule or technique falls through. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because there was some foundational writing skill that a student missed out on early in their schooling. Other times, there was strong instruction, but not enough opportunity to practice the skill. Once in a while,the student has a learning difference that makes a particular aspect of writing difficult to grasp.

“When my son was in third grade, we labored over grammar – punctuation, pronouns, capitalization. It’s something that comes so easy to me, but it just did not click for him.”  ~Omara, homeschool mom.

The challenge for parents is to first be able to identify exactly where the gap is. A writing skills checklist can come in extremely handy for this dilemma.  Knowing where the gaps are will help you not only get a better picture of exactly where your students are, but also strategize on ways to make your instruction even better going forward.

“My oldest son was in seventh grade before I realized that he almost never broke up his paragraphs.  He could make his writing come alive, and it was interesting to read, so it wasn’t until he started printing out some of his writings that I realized the poor kid used almost ten sentences per paragraph.  I had no idea!” ~Kathy, homeschool mom

Identifying the issue is really half the battle, though. Once you have a sense of what needs to improve, you can put together a plan of attack. There are a number of great resources you can find online including Time4Writing’s free writing placement test. To start the free test, simply sign up for a complimentary Time4Writing account, and you’ll have access to the course placement assessment. This brief multiple choice test will help you and your student narrow down what writing skills they have mastered and which ones still need addressing. It will also give you a recommendation for the Time4Writing course which will best remediate your student’s writing issues so he or she can improve his or her skills right away.

Whether it is making sure they understand what makes a good sentence, keying in on the components of a strong paragraph, or brushing up on the mechanics of writing, Time4Writing has a course that will ensure that your children aren’t missing any of the crucial elements for effective writing. Teaching writing doesn’t have to be the hardest homeschool subject.

Time4Writing offers 8-week online writing courses for students in elementary, middle, and high school. Each interactive course is led by a certified writing teacher who gives prompt and personalized feedback on all assignments. Courses are accessible 24/7 from any device with an internet connection and come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.


Jamie Gaddy

Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been a part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional school and homeschool became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, editor, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children in Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience to help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected].