Your kids will love these hands-on homeschool writing center ideas! Homeschooling is all about flexibility and family activities, right? So even thought most of the following activities will appeal to upper-elementary kids, try them on your younger and older children, too!
Even if you’re using a formal homeschool writing program, these fun activities can extend learning and enhance skills you’re teaching during daily writing lessons. Dive in and find some new ideas for inspiring the bigger kids.
1. Rainforest Review
Collect a basket of items related to the world’s rainforests: nonfiction books, magazines, posters, and advocacy materials. To learn more about the importance of rainforests, have the children read and browse through these materials.
Then ask each child to write a simple paragraph or two about their discoveries. Make sure they draw pictures, too! Invite them to share what they’ve learned with family members.
Related activity: How to make word banks about nature
2. It’s a Wonderful Life!
Provide small construction-paper booklets. On each page, have younger children draw pictures of special events in their lives. Ask them to write a few sentences to go with each picture.
Related activity: Help kids write about a favorite childhood memory
3. Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
Fill a basket or box with recent local and national newspapers. Read through a number of articles together for ideas on the content and format of news stories. Pass out newsprint, colored paper, and colored pencils. With your children, create a family newspaper. Mail it to Grandma!
Related activity: Create a historical newspaper
4. Vocabulary Web Contests
In the middle of a large sheet of paper, write a single noun, accompanied by an illustration. On the paper, each child takes turns writing down words that describe or are associated with the noun. For example, the word in the middle might be strawberry. Children would add words to the poster like tasty, red, squishy, snack, fruit, sweet, soft, or ice cream. The more words, the better!
Related activity: Synonym bingo
WriteShop Junior is rich in graphic organizers, hands-on activities, and engaging writing lessons! Try Book D for 3rd and 4th graders, Book E for 4th and 5th graders, or Book F for 5th and 6th graders. Still not sure which level is best for your child? Check out this helpful guide to skills covered in each level.
5. Reader’s Theater
Provide a number of reader’s theater scripts for your children to read aloud. It’s a fun way to practicing oral expression and fluency. Then, write the next act by choosing a favorite script and planning more adventures for the characters. For free scripts and ideas, start here:
- Reader’s Theater Scripts by grade level (1-5)
- Reader’s Theater Scripts and Plays
- Aaron Shepard’s Reader’s Theater Tips and Scripts
Related activity: Costume closet: Fun for young writers
6. Literary Journals
Encourage older kids’ independent reading of novels and short chapter books. Set aside one day each week to write and draw in special journals about the books they’ve chosen for “fun” reading.
- Draw-and-write story journals for early writers
- Composition notebooks for boys
- Composition notebooks for girls
Related activity: Writing about books
7. Sell the Sequel!
Invite children to plan, draft, and write a sequel to a favorite novel. Which characters will appear in the sequel? What’s the new plot? When finished, let them design a book jacket.
Related activity: 10 ideas for creative book reports
More hands-on homeschool writing center ideas
- Homeschool Writing Center Activities for Elementary Ages
- Creative Writing Center Ideas
- More Writing Center Activities for Your Homeschool
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For over two decades, Janet Wagner was an elementary and middle school teacher. She also had the honor of helping homeschool her two nieces. Janet and her husband live on the family farm in North Carolina. She enjoys a flexible life of homemaking, volunteering, reading, tutoring, and writing for her website.