Choose Your Own Adventure: Teaching Writing Your Way

Find the Audio Version of this Session HERE

Choose Your Own Adventure: Teaching Writing Your Way

By Sarah Dixon Young (

*Objective: to equip you with the tools you need to coach your child to be an effective communicator, taking into consideration different teaching styles and different learning styles

  1. Teach your children to love GOOD, TRUE, and BEAUTIFUL stories.
    1. Use picture books with all ages.
    2. Give free reading time where books are not assigned
    3. Audiobooks
    4. Limit other media input
    5. Model your love of good stories
    6. See Resources List for more ideas
  2. Don’t rush writing.
    1. The mechanics is complex
    2. Muscle training, crossed dominance, and motor skills
    3. Activities to strengthen future writing skills
      1. Crossing the midline activities
      2. Tracking bubbling
    4. Repetitive, built-up skill: Copywork, dictation, narration, repeat!
    5. The middle school slump
    6. Slow and steady wins the race
    7. Don’t do every language arts subject everyday
  3. Emphasize Thinking.
    1. Good writing grows out of good thinking
    2. Use graphic organizers- especially for the spacial thinker
    3. Practice outlining main ideas and supporting details
      1. IEW Theme-based writing curriculum
    4. Consider teaching grammar using a foreign language
    5. We are not teaching curriculum. We are teaching children.
    6. No need to emphasize creative writing, especially in the elementary ages
    7. The world is full of words. What it lacks is ideas that glorify God and edify others.
  4. What should I teach?
    1. A- The alphabet. Make sure your student is familiar with the basics.
    2. B- Build with words like you build with legos. 
    3. C- Classify words just like we classify animals in science.
    4. D- Describe the 5 senses. Discuss great works of literature.
    5. E- Evaluate and edit your own work and the works of others
      1. 15 minute Fix It! Grammar (IEW)
      2. Sibling swap
      3. Model editing marks, not as points off or “wrong answers” but as the true work of writing
    6. F- Fit writing into your other subjects.
    7. G- Get the tools you need to be successful.
      1. Outsource? Online? Co-op? 
      2. Challenge great writers to be even better.
  5. Encountering Difficulty
    1. Dyslexia & Dysgraphia: Ford, Einstein, Disney
      1. Orton-Gillingham approach to Language Arts learning
      2. multi-sensory
    2. Only practice one skill at a time
    3. Short lessons. Short requirements.
    4. Focus on narration & thought organization
    5. Patience.


  • Books:

The Read-Aloud Handbook By Jim Trelease

The Three R’s By Ruth Beechick

Teaching From Rest By Sarah MacKenzie

The Read Aloud Family By Sarah MacKenzie

Caught Up in a Story By Sarah Clarkson

A Biblical Home Education By Ruth Beechick

  • Audiobooks:

Audible (also has an app)

Librivox (also has an app)

  • Homeschool Helps:

Read Aloud Revival



Writers on Writing Classes

Story Warren: Allies in Imagination

Raising Lifelong Learners

Homeschooling with Dyslexia

Dianne Craft

  • Curriculum:

Heppner’s Legacy Homeschool & Nancy Bjorkman

All About Reading

Explode the Code

Institute for Excellence in Writing

Fix It Grammar

Theme Based Writing

  • For the Aspiring Writer

The Habit with Jonathan Rogers

The Green Writer with S.D. Smith

Young Writer’s Workshop

The Rabbit Room

Sarah Dixon Young

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