"Help! My kids are terrible writers. Do you know of a writing curriculum that would help?"
I have been asked this question many times because I happen to love to write, as do several, but not all, of my children.
There are plenty of grammar, spelling, and phonics workbooks, but you can't really teach good writing skills with a workbook. Contrary to popular belief, good writer are not born good writers, they are taught to write well. Often, the only barrier to teaching your child to write well is the confidence factor.
This book may help you to feel more confident as you instruct your children in the art of writing.
This book covers letter writing and journaling in a fun way. Students even write an autobiography. The Write Stuff Adventure teaches children the art of interviewing with family history and news article assignments. The basics of journalism are covered in this wonderful book. My favorite thing about the book, though, is the way it teaches students to write essays. What a great job Dean Rea does in teaching how to write the essay--the best I've ever seen.
Students,even as young as fifth grade, can use this book on their own. Dean's style is friendly and engaging, easy to understand. Your children can easily understand the assignments and come to you for help or simply to correct their papers! The assignments are interesting and fun! This book is NOT intimidating, but, boy, will your children learn to write!
The first section, Simple Things, has some simple easy assignments such as writing about Thanksgiving from the turkey's perspective, writing a letter to grandmother, or writing about your favorite dessert. The second section, Personal and Family History, provides assignments that you'll want to hold on to as keepsakes and/or put in a family scrapbook. Here are some of the assignments: an autobiography, a memory list, my favorite pet, and the day I was born. Now that I have lost both parents, I wish we had more of these interviews as keepsakes.
The next section, The Essay Made Easy, gives great instructions on how to write a good essay. It goes into writing a thesis statement, organizing the essay, making transitions, and polishing the essay when you have completed the rough draft. The rest of the book teaches the art of interviewing and writing articles from interviews. It also touches on writing all kinds of news stories, features, advertisements, and using pictures. This section would make a great foundation for a unit study on newspapers and creating your own family newspaper! Remember I mentioned earlier that Dean is a retired newspaper editor, so he knows well the subject he is teaching here!
We all want to teach our children to communicate clearly, especially in writing! Most of us would rather talk face to face, but we cannot always do that. "Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that..." (I Timothy 3:14). Paul wrote instructions to Timothy in case he was delayed. In fact, Paul's letters to the New Testament churches make up most of the New Testament. God chose to write His Word in a book, the Bible. If our children are going to grow up to be world-changers, they must learn to communicate clearly in writing! Do not become weary as you teach your children to write!
I have mainly used this book as a supplement, but it would make a great writing course too! If you're looking for something that crosses ages and grades, really teaching your children to write well, then this book would be a great investment. We have used it for years and plans on using it for years to come!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)