Writing Challenges

“My child hates writing. How can I make it more enjoyable for her?”

The starting point would be to find out why your kiddo hates writing. Does she not have the fine motor skills to form letters easily and properly yet? Does she struggle to sit still (a kinesthetic learner)? Are the assignments/workbook pages more difficult than are appropriate? Are you learning too many things at once (letter formation, sentence structure, parts of speech, spelling, grammar, etc.)? Once you can evaluate why your child dislikes writing so much, you will likely have a clearer path forward to make writing less distasteful for her.

“What would you recommend for a kindergartener who is struggling with writing?”

At this age, you're just going to be focusing on teaching reading skills and also handwriting. If your kiddo is struggling with penmanship, developing his fine motor skills is going to bring up the legibility of his letter formation naturally. To that end, Kumon maze books would be an excellent place to start for a beginner, followed by Channie's My First Letters and Italic Handwriting (or A Reason for Writing).

“Do you have any products or tips to help kinesthetic learners with writing?”

Depending on your child's age, you may find some strategies to be more helpful than others.

If you have a younger child who is learning to write, using sand or chalk or just tracing with their fingers can be a fun way to use those kinesthetic tendencies. At a young age (4-10 or so), reading broadly and comprehending what they read is going to be a valuable skill for heading into writing in middle school, so don't worry about forcing writing extensively until your child is older.

If your child is older and already knows how to write but hates doing it, you can use a few different strategies. Focus on one goal at a time; for example, if you're just trying to get your child to write something, then don't critique their spelling and grammar. If their science or history requires a lot of written answers, let them answer the questions verbally or take dictation from them; that way, when they must write for their language arts or English, they will have the words to do so. In the same way, if you're working on plots or even essay organization, taking dictation is a great idea! That way, your child can think about the lesson without agonizing over writing down their response. Also, expressing how writing is used universally as an adult is also an important message to get across--if your kiddo has the chance to talk to adults about their jobs, help them see how every adult utilizes writing for their work.

Finally, teaching your child to type, even at a young age, can be hugely beneficial! We recommend the program Touch Type Read and Spell for a great typing program; we also carry Typing Instructor if that looks like a better fit for your kiddo.

Even by using some of these tips and tricks, your child may never truly love writing, but perhaps you can make writing less painful for both of you!

“I struggle with teaching writing as this is not a strong subject for me. Do you have any tips?”

Writing can be a difficult subject to teach! The good news is that as your children grow into their middle school and beyond years, they will become better at working independently. The programs we put in our kits and recommend to our customers rely heavily on children working independently, with little teacher feedback, especially in the older grades.

Another way to think about teaching composition is that you are a more mature learner this time around! You can learn right alongside your child and learn to recognize good writing just as well as he can. If that doesn't seem manageable for your family's situation for whatever reason, please know there are companies who will teach and grade your student's writing from beginning to end. Homeschooling parents who have taught composition themselves also offer their private services to grade your student's compositions. Both of these options can be found online.

Another option is to work with a homeschool group (or even just the homeschool families you know) to find another parent or homeschooled high schooler or graduate who would teach writing or just grade essays. This option may be the most budget-friendly and would also give your kids the opportunity to learn to work with a different teacher and/or fellow students.