“Why is writing such a difficult subject in our homeschool?” I have been asked this over and over again, especially this year. Writing is not working for a lot of kids right now. Here’s how you can help.
These are just some of the words parents have used to describe the current state of writing assignments in their home.
I have a conversation about it almost every day, either with families I support, children I tutor, or in my own home.
Writing is not working for a lot of kids right now.
With no exception, every child I know completing distance learning at home has seen an increase in writing assignments. It makes sense. When a child is not able to participate in complicated classroom projects or discussions, the only real way for a teacher to gauge learning is through written expression.
For the child, doing pretty well with writing, this might be a bit of a concern, but it works.
For a child already struggling with writing, this is an outright disaster.
And it’s happening to those of us that have homeschooled all along, too.
As anxieties increase and routines change, many children who have struggled to write all along are finding it almost impossible now.
If your child struggles with writing, it’s the worst right now!
I want to help as much as I can in this area. I have heard you, loud and clear. This is a really big deal in so many of our homes, every day.
Today, I want to discuss some of the reasons why writing can be so difficult for our kiddos, and most importantly, how we can help them in the struggle.
Why Is Writing So Hard For My Child?
Writing is actually a complex set of processes that require coordination of function.
What this basically means is that a lot of things have to happen all at once in order for us to take thoughts and turn them into words on a page.
In order to really help your child with writing, it’s important to figure out which component (or components) of writing are contributing to the struggle.
Writing struggles can be caused by a variety of functions.
- Motor coordination and fine motor skills
- Language based processing differences
- Sensory issues related to touch
- Attention issues
- Executive Function Ability
Knowing that your child may be struggling in one area vs. another can be a great help in determining how to eliminate some of the stress your child is experiencing.
For example, some children struggle most with figuring out what they want to say, while others lose track of their thoughts when the fine motor skills associated with handwriting come into play.
Ask Your Child Why Writing Is Difficult
- Do you prefer creative writing and story telling? Or making lists?
- Would you rather type or hand write?
- Would you like for me to type it for you as you dictate?
- Do you need to move while you think of what to write?
Gathering this information is essential. It informs the approach you take in helping your child feel more successful as a writer. It also diffuses the stress and anxiety our children associate with writing.
Please know, although I was compensated for my time in writing this post, I only share resources that I think work well for families like mine!
What Can I Do To Help My Struggling Writer?
In my experience, one of the very best ways to help a struggling writer is to add an element of fun to the mix. This is especially true for a child who is already resistant.
Creating an interactive, multi-sensory learning experience to help our child learn to write may be ideal, but how do we actually do it in our homeschools?
Night Zookeeper For Homeschool Writing
Night Zookeeper is an award winning and award winning creative writing platform that helps improve the writing skills of 5-12+ year olds.
This creative and interactive program provides plenty of benefits:
- Improved Core Writing Skills
- Personalized Feedback from a dedicated team of tutors
- Weekly Lessons that incorporate interactive video elements and games to teach your children key skills.
- Publishing Opportunities and weekly competitions with real life prizes!
- FREE Monthly Educational Printable
Dedicated to helping kids practice and learn to write every step of the way, it encourages vocabulary word and grammar practice as well as creative story telling.
All of this in done with the multi-sensory approach so many of our children require to really engage in learning.
The best part? Your child receives feedback directly from the program!
Need Writing Support For Your Child?
Although my youngest is just outside the recommended age range, his learning differences made the writing practice appropriate for his level and ability.
In fact, every child’s learning experience is customized to their own unique level, so the five year old will interact with the platform differently than the twelve year old.
Individualized and multi-sensory learning focused on having fun? If your child struggles with writing, this is a great option!
And right now, you can take advantage of Night Zookeeper’s generous offer for Different By Design Learning readers.
I encourage you to give this a try. Creative writing is something that we often dismiss as an “extra”, but I am finding that for my son, it helps instill confidence and inspires intellectual curiosity. It encourages him to think deeply and is helping him write across all subjects.
We are both learning that writing doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, it can even be fun.
More Resources And Support For Homeschooling Struggling Learners
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.