As we finish the year with gifts and goodies.... it brings up writing, especially Thank you notes. My kids HATE this time of year because Mom makes them sit down and put pen to paper to write Thank you notes to their family and friends for the lovely gifts they received.
I love it, because not only am I giving them a tradition(I had to do it to and when I was a kid...hated it) but they get to practice their writing skills.
Out of all the homeschooling lessons I have had to cover over the past 3 years, teaching writing is one of the hardest. Kids are SO computer oriented these days, they do not get WHY they need to learn how to write properly. And because Mom said so... well, that doesn’t always work. So, having a time of year to instill these reasons is all the better!
We work on writing 4 days a week. My Mom is in charge of their writing program for the most part, she comes up with the plan and I enforce it. We sit down at the end of their school day to teach writing. We learn writing prompts, punctuation, proper use of capitals, spelling and even how to read and write in cursive. They mumble and grumble about it but I notice as well as their grandparents that each year.... the Thank you's are written better and better. And they were also able to read all the cards they received which were written in cursive! Writing...... it's a good thing!(Sorry Martha Stewart..... had to steal it for this one!LOL)
I got my college degree in writing, and I STILL don't find it an easy subject to homeschool. Mostly because it is a largely subjective subject, and to teach someone to write means to critique their attempts, and NO ONE likes to be critiqued. I always made sure to add journal-writing to each year's curriculum, because this was a writing assignment they could feel completely comfortable with because I would never even READ it...much less critique it!
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