Getting children to condense their thoughts into a written format is so important that any amount of work you have to do to get kids to enjoy the process is worth the effort. The alternative is that those brilliant ideas and amazing thoughts and insights kids have are lost forever!
Make it fun! Fun works so well for us that the hardest part is being creative enough to find the fun in everything. We finally succeeded in getting our young homeschooler to enjoy writing so much that he actually stated that “I actually like to write now”.
Here is our secret:
It started as a typical writing assignment about learning to bake bread — a typical assignment. He couldn’t get excited about it, and to be honest, neither could I. So we put paper and pencil down and began ‘brainstorming’ about all of the different ways to describe his experience, including some very funny ones. I took the lead and told him that I would write a story about his day that would make him laugh. I asked him to write a funny story, too so that we could put them together and start writing a book. Soon, we were planning for how many pages our book would have and how many chapters we would need. Now, we brainstorm about ideas for the next ‘chapter’. Of course, we take turns ‘illustrating’ our book, too!
When we are finished, I will have him practice his typing by typing the text into an MS Word document, scan the illustrations onto the computer and self-publish our book!
We have used Lulu.com with great success and have written about it in a previous post. It is fast, easy and very high quality at an affordable price.