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To encourage creativity and good habits for your budding writer, why not set up a homeschool writing center—a comfortable, low-cost space where your elementary-age kiddos can work?
Whether you homeschool at the kitchen table or set aside a separate writing area in your homeschool classroom, make it as inviting and inspiring as possible. Providing a place that is quiet and organized will help spark the imagination and foster a love for the written word.
Here are some practical ways you can build either a portable or permanent writing center.
First, consider how much room you have. Are you homeschooling in tight quarters, or do you have a school room at your disposal?
Portable Writing Center
A portable writing center is perfect when space is limited. You can store writing supplies in a:
- Large backpack with pockets
- Cleaning supply tote or caddy
- Large plastic box with a lid
- Rolling cart with drawers
Semi-Permanent or Permanent Writing Center
Having a designated school room or area in your home lends itself to more permanent storage solutions, such as:
- Over-the-door pocket shoe organizer
- Stacking letter trays for paper
- Storage cupboards, tubs, bins, or baskets
Equipping Your Writing Center
Next, gather your writing supplies and store them in or near your chosen writing center. Before buying anything new, look to see what supplies are already lying around the house. It’s a good idea to keep these supplies separate so they’re always handy at writing time.
Desk or Tabletop Workspace
Start with a good work surface! Keep this space clutter-free to help kids concentrate.
Post your manuscript or cursive alphabet chart at eye level to serve as penmanship models.
Chart Tablet or Newsprint Pad
These are great for writing out a young child’s dictated stories.
- Chart paper: Primary chart pads come lined or unlined. You can also find them spiral-bound for easy turning. If you have an easel, you can hang your tablet.
- Newsprint pads can be clipped to an easel or laid flat on a desk or tabletop.
Include one or more of the following.
- Children’s dictionary
- Electronic speller
- Children’s thesaurus (we love this Usborne Children’s Thesaurus!)
Tools for Brainstorming and Writing
- Crayons, markers, pencils
- Grade-level lined paper for kindergartners and primary students, and wide-rule notebook paper for upper-elementary kids
- Plain white computer paper
- Correction tape
Tools for Publishing Final Drafts
- Glue, glue sticks, tape
- Rubber stamps, stickers
- Scissors, stapler, hole punch, yarn scraps
- Solid-color construction or scrapbooking paper
- Old magazines, calendars, and catalogs to cut and paste
Creating a writing center is just one of the many ways WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior seek to nurture a love of writing in elementary-age children.
Once all your supplies have been collected and put away, you and your child can enjoy a creative workspace that’s quiet, comfy, well equipped, and organized!
Photos: Ben Ostrowsky (storage cube), used with permission.