I'm learning to add things to our homeschool schedule slowly. In the past, I would get a brilliant idea and then surprise my kids with it the next day and wonder why they were resistant. Now, I understand them a little more and have learned to slowly acclimate them to change.
I talked to a fellow homeschooler yesterday and asked her what she did for writing. I've been torn about writing because it is not something Brendan enjoys. He never knows what to write and gets frustrated when he tries to write a story for an assignment. We have gone through many tears and struggles over this the past few years. Another friend said that children don't need to write creative stories until they're older and have more experiences to draw from. Not that it's bad if they do - some kids are more creative than others. But that I shouldn't worry if he's not writing right now.
So I decided to not do any writing at the beginning of this year. We settled into our routine and things have been going well. Brendan has written a few stories on his own, just for fun, with no pressure for me. I was happy to see him do that and it gave us a chance to talk about punctuation and paragraphs and all that good stuff.
I wanted to start some kind of writing but wasn't sure what or how. My fellow homeschool friend said that her daughter has to write a sentence for each of her spelling words. I thought that sounded like a good idea (and cheap, too - no extra curriculum to buy!) so I thought I'd have Tori do the same thing and have Brendan write a short story with his spelling words. But this time, instead of just telling them about my great idea, I realized that they might be overwhelmed with this new assignment so I decided to start out slow.
Brendan has 20 spelling words every week. I had him choose 10 and write a sentence for each one. (At first he misunderstood and thought he had to fit all 10 in one sentence and wasn't sure he could do it.) Then I had Tori pick 5 out of her 10 and write a sentence for those. The assignment went smoothly and I was impressed with how much teaching I could do just with that extra assignment. Tori was spelling more words on her own and remembering to capitalize the beginning of the sentence and had to figure out the punctuation for the end. Brendan had fun coming up with some creative sentences and writing them out neatly.
I love it when a plan comes together.