Should Writing Be a Priority in Your Homeschool?

This post is part of a series sponsored by WriteShop.  I received compensation, but all thoughts, opinions, and ideas are my own.

Writing was one of my least favorite subjects in school. The main reason I didn't like it was the fact that it is subjective. I didn't understand this until I experienced writing under a number of different teachers and professors. Some teachers honed in on grammar and syntax while others were really focused on the story or the research that was being shared. Since writing is subjective, I know that providing my daughters time to develop this skill will be beneficial in the long run.

As a homeschooling parent of two daughters in the middle school grades, I knew I would emphasize the importance of writing to them earlier versus later. My daughters began their writing careers at the age of 3. Now, they couldn't "write", but they drew pictures and dictated their stories to me. By including writing into their lives early on, I believe it will reduce the struggle of transitioning to formal writing. Journaling continues to be an important aspect of our homeschool environment. Recently, we added WriteShop Printable Writing Collection to our homeschool writing curriculum arsenal for variety.

Why should writing be a priority in your homeschool?

Writing regularly solidifies grammar skills.

I don't always speak the same way that I write. What do I mean?  I can be lazy in my speech which means I might mix words up or use fragments. Although I still do these things, I don't as often because writing helps you to be a better speaker, and I know what is correct because of writing. Writing causes you to slow down and focus on the message that you are trying to share. When you write and expect someone else to be able to read and understand it, you make sure that all the right verbs and nouns, punctuation, and capitalization is there. Writing provides homeschooled students the opportunity to get hands-on grammar experience instead of having to learn through rote worksheets. I believe my daughters have a better grasp on grammar because writing has always been a part of their lives.

Writing fosters creativity.

My daughters love sharing stories, and WriteShop Book E has been amazing in helping them pull out stories that they didn't know that they had within them. When I first introduced writing to my daughters, it was informal. They would simply journal even when they focused on a specific topic like a particular animal. They were able to write about the topic from their viewpoint. Now that we are focusing on genres in writing, I have noticed that they are becoming more creative since they don't have to form the entire story, if any, from their real lives. They have learned the beauty of adding to their stories to make them more vibrant. Unlike their journal entries, they are excited to share their stories with us after they have typed up their final writing draft.

My fourth grade daughter working on her fable with WriteShop Book E

My fourth grade daughter working on her fable with WriteShop Book E

Writing strengthens communication.

Children need time to process their thoughts just like adults. Writing makes room for this processing time because it is a form of communication that can't be interrupted from others unless they're writing in a loud environment. I became a better communicator once I started writing. When I write, there isn't fear about hurting someone's feelings or the worrying about if my perspective is wrong. Oftentimes my writing is just for me, and it is a way for me to process my thoughts about specific things. Once I have a clear understanding of my perspective, I am able to communicate better orally about the particular topic, thought, or idea. I've noticed that when my daughters are having a hard time with something, they often will take time to journal, too. Writing can also provide the opportunity to release negative thoughts and document memories that one wants to hold on to forever. 

Do you encourage writing in your homeschool?