Every homeschooling parent hits the skids now and then — and that’s when the questions pour forth: Am I a good teacher? Are the kids learning anything from me? Why is it so hard to raise a successful writer?
Writing is a subject that can quickly make the most confident of homeschool moms feel like a complete and utter failure. And when you get into this funk, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s going south and fail to notice things you’re doing well. (And there are things you’re doing well!)
That’s right! You may not know that you’re already doing things to raise a writer. You may have the most resistant or reluctant writer at your kitchen table each morning, but throughout the day and week, that same child is learning from you as you live out these four important actions:
1. You equip your child with writing supplies.
What homeschooler’s house isn’t happily overrun with writing supplies? Most likely, your drawers spill over with markers, pencils, and crayons. These tools—along with paper, spiral notebooks, blackboards, and dry-erase boards—equip and encourage your children to express themselves in writing.
In pleasant weather, you watch them take to the sidewalk with chalk to draw pictures and write words. Letter magnets invite your littlest ones to begin forming words on the fridge, and older kids enjoy using magnetic word strips to compose sentences and poems. Even your teens type out stories on laptops and pour their hearts into diaries or journals.
At the beginning of each new school year—or any time, for that matter—it’s easy to create even more writing buzz simply by investing in some cool new writing tools!
2. You model practical writing.
We know it’s important to model reading for our kids, but it’s just as important to model writing. When your children see you scratching out a grocery list, planning a camping trip on a legal pad, typing a blog article, taking sermon notes, or penning a letter to your sister, they’re internalizing the importance of the written word in daily life.
3. You are your child’s best cheerleader.
Every day, you encourage your children’s attempts at scribbling, drawing, making letters, and using inventive spelling to write new words. This simple act of affirmation tells them that writing is both admirable and fun.
It’s not as easy to stay positive about their writing attempts as they get older (and their mistakes are no longer cute). But don’t stop looking for the good! Correction has its place, but your positive, encouraging words bring blessing into their lives and free them up to try new things when writing!
I love that you let your children be themselves—who God created them to be, not who you think they should be.
Author Cathy Lamb affirms: “A squashed spirit will produce a squashed voice. A squashed voice will never write.” In the best way you know how, you’re shaping your kids’ character, guiding their growth, and tempering their will without constraining their spirit.
You may not realize it, but you’re taking steps to call out the writer in your child!
3. You encourage reading in your home.
I know this about you: You make reading a priority with your children. By reading aloud, making trips to the library, and providing your kids with books at home, you’re helping them make a connection between reading and writing.
Reading opens up new worlds of imagination, mystery, and adventure. Quality literature exposes children to rich vocabulary, vivid description, and engaging narratives. While strong readers don’t always become strong writers, a correlation does exist: Reading can have a powerful effect on a child’s interest in writing.
You can raise a writer! On the worst of days, you won’t recognize the seeds you’ve planted, watered, and tended. You’re way more likely to see weeds, thorns, and bare spots! But from time to time, whenever a tiny bud appears, you’ll get glimpses of the writer within.
I’m believing with you for the day when that writer comes into full bloom!