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Welcome to Homeschool.com’s Friday Freebies Series! We know just how much homeschoolers love those amazing free printables, free unit studies, free planners… free everything! So, because we happen to love freebies just as much as you do – here are your handpicked Freebies for this Friday Freebie edition! (Say that fast 3 times!).
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Eclectic method of homeschooling is a mixture of various approaches. This philosophy utilizes a combination of approaches to find what works. A little of this and a little of that.
Eclectic is Custom Education
The aim of Eclectic homeschooling is to provide a customized education. Many modern education reformers suggest that education should be customized to fit the learner.
“There isn’t any known way to bulk-educate. It’s all custom work.” ~John Taylor Gatto
“One Size Does Not Fit All Some of the most brilliant, creative people I know did not do well at school. Many of them didn’t really discover what they could do—and who they really were—until they’d left school and recovered from their education.”
“People should be free to find or make for themselves the kinds of educational experience they want their children to have.”
Relaxed Style–It Fits
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all education. Even with the variety of educational philosophies and curriculum options, it’s still hard to find one that fits. Eclectic homeschooling takes a relaxed approach to finding what fits.
Attitude: Many homeschoolers don’t adhere strictly to one particular education style or another. Some may start out on one path and find that their plans don’t work as they anticipated.
Some philosophies share similar ideals and methods.
Eclectic method lets you relax your mindset and trust your gut.
Schedule: Some homeschoolers find that a more traditional schedule and structure feels safe. We can check off the boxes that we “did school today.” Letting go of the school-at-home model can take time to adjust. You could relax your schedule to do four days of seatwork learning, and designate Fridays “off” for an unschool or project-based learning day. You could take a break from your usual schedule for periodic unschooling.
Eclectic approach lets you relax your pace and content.
Budget: Everyone loves a bargain. Especially homeschoolers! Packaged curriculum programs can be pricey. Out of necessity, many homeschoolers piece together a plan with freebie and sale items. You could collect curriculum hand-me-downs for the future. Use these items as your primary guide or as a supplement.
Eclectic style lets you take it easy on your wallet and stick to a budget.
Creativity, innovation and personalization are essential for successful homeschooling. Some homeschoolers will adhere to a purist approach. Some will slowly morph into another approach. Others will settle into a mash-up approach all their own.
When Textbooks Still Make Sense: You might find that Unit Studies work well to integrate Literature, History, Science studies. You might utilize Charlotte Mason’s principles for living books, noble ideas and character development. You might prefer the unschooling philosophy of project-based, inquiry style learning. You might have several children with different ages that can do science and history together.
Many homeschoolers stick to a teacher-led, traditional school format for one subject in particular. It’s Math. No matter what style you follow, this is one subject that makes a lot of sense with a traditional textbook format. With multiple children at different ages, it works to have them each on their own Math level.
Classical Unschooling: The content of Classical education and the methods of unschooling can be appealing ideas. Some homeschoolers have developed their own mash-up version of these philosophies. Unschool parents might utilize “strewing” to spark student curiosity about classical literature and history. Some might implement some trivium-based lessons, followed by student-led discovery learning.
Most homeschool parents are not trained educators. Which means they learned about homeschool philosophies in an unschool, self-taught method. So, it also makes sense that children could also learn classical content with a self-taught method.
Charlotte Mason-style Unit Studies or Waldorf-inspired Unit Studies: You might find valuable elements from multiple approaches. You might like the flexible scope and sequence with Unit Studies topics. But, also like Charlotte Mason’s methods of living books, narration, dictations/copy work. Or maybe you like Waldorf’s focus on storytelling, nature and handicrafts. You can integrate the components that fit your educational goals.
Is Eclectic Homeschooling right for you?
Kim Andrysczyk is a secular homeschool veteran, homeschool group leader, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and an accidental blogger. She’s the self-appointed busybody of homeschooling in South Carolina, always on the lookout for new connections to people, places, and resources. Find her at The South Carolina Homeschooling Connection and Facebook.
Because I homeschool, what we do each year is down to me. Whether I plan or not – whether we learn certain concepts or not. To be honest – sometimes it can feel overwhelming.
But, over the last 15 years of homeschooling I have learned one important thing (Hopefully that’s not the only thing I’ve learned!) – – I absolutely have to make a plan! If we don’t – we are sunk!
Yes, it takes time.
No, homeschool planning is not easy… But I’ve tried to pull out all the fluff and get down to exactly what I need to succeed in my homeschool planning.
I guess you could call it the “Homeschool Planning – Lite Version.” In any case, I’ve ditched everything that I didn’t absolutely need to have to make my solid plan and to my pleasant surprise, it seems to work well!
In this video, I’m going to share with you my process for making my yearly calendar overview, my BIG yearly goals all the way down to my weekly plans. It’s pretty simple, but one thing I found that makes it easier is using the Sanity Saver Planner pages that we created. They are simple and straightforward as well, and really help you focus on what needs to be accomplished. If you’re interested in grabbing that planner to help you with creating your goals and, of course, ultimately your yearly plan – you can get a few sample pages of the planner here and purchase the full Sanity Saver Homeschool Planner here.
Hip hip hooray, it’s summer! So, how do you keep your writers writing when the sunshine beckons? Well, the key is to keep things fun and relaxed. Yes, you can still be the cool homeschool mom and keep your writers’ momentum going strong all season long! Get started with these summer-inspired writing prompts.
Elementary School Writing Prompts
Summer is so exciting! Fuel your younger writer’s enthusiasm for summer with delicious and delightful prompts. Descriptive writing gives developing writers great opportunities for growth. Challenge writers to expand their vocabulary by using a thesaurus to find new and more powerful adjectives, adverbs, and verbs to add to their descriptions.
Ice cream is arguably one of the best summertime treats. Inspire your young writer with a chilly, tasty experiment; and dig in together to discover which ingredients make The BEST Ice Cream Sundae in the World. Then, ask your child to describe the yummiest winner.
Three cheers for the red, white, and blue! Celebrations abound on Independence Day; mouth-watering picnics with family and friends, lively parades and festivals, and flashy fireworks displays. What is your child’s favorite 4th of July celebration? Have him or her write about the event using a variety of colorful, descriptive words.
Middle School Writing Prompts
Creative writing is a great way to both inspire and motivate your tween and new teen writers, especially during summertime. First, discuss how sensory details help draw readers into a scene. Then, encourage your writers to use their naturally vivid imaginations to reveal what they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste.
Summer is often family vacation time. What is your child’s all-time favorite vacation destination? Is the atmosphere relaxing and quiet or busy and noisy? Cool or hot?
What types of activities are going on? Are there historic landmarks, crashing ocean waves, or maybe both? Well, you get the picture. Even if your child has more than one favorite, he or she can combine all that greatness into one exciting trip: My Ultimate Summer Vacation is…
Happy anniversary! July 20th marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon for the first time ever. Wow! Imagine you are one of those courageous men. You are standing on the moon! How do you feel? What do you see? Do you hear any sounds? Are there any distinctive smells? Maybe you can feel your own heartbeat pounding anxiously inside your chest. Write about your experience.
High School Writing Prompts
There’s an art to telling a great story whether it be fictional or a real-life personal narrative. Challenge your high school writers to hook readers with a dazzling first line. Have them keep interest growing with interesting dialogue and vivid descriptions, and wow their readers with a memorable or surprise ending.
Play ball! Baseball season is in full swing in summer. So, don a cap, grab a hot dog with all the fixin’s, and imagine sitting in the baseball stadium cheering for your favorite team. It’s the top of the ninth inning and the score is tied. Are fans on their feet? Is it noisy? Tense silence? What is playing on the Jumbotron? Describe the events of this final inning and the scene around you.
Happy Parents’ Day! On the fourth Sunday in July, we honor our beloved parents. Whether you are a young man or a young woman, your parents are a big presence in your life. What interests do you share? Do you have the same taste in music and enjoy dancing and singing along together during concerts? Or perhaps you both love cheering on your favorite football team clad in team colors and waving giant foam fingers. Write a story about an amazingly fun time you shared with your parents.
If you’re looking for more ideas to keep your summer writing going, check out the Time4Writing blog. To focus on a specific writing skill, like grammar, mechanics, or essay writing, try an 8-week Time4Writing course. All of the courses are online, so you can travel and learn at the same time. Have a great summer!
Have you heard of geocaching? It’s a relatively popular real-world game for finding hidden items with the help of GPS coordinates. Geocaching is known as the world’s largest treasure hunt, and a lot of the fun comes from not only finding the item, but also from trading it with something of equal value. The Geocaching app involves various styles of caches and navigation difficulty. If your kids are itching to spend more time outdoors this summer, geocaching could be a great idea!
Though it is considered a game, it is simply a highly-popular outdoor activity for people of all ages, and it’s even enjoyed worldwide! Geocaching is so fun because it combines the intrigue of treasure hunting with the mental and physical challenge of the outdoors.
How to Go Geocaching
Thanks to the Geocaching app, it is now a simplified and streamlined process. Back in the day, geocachers would need to find coordinates in their area on various websites, but now the app makes it easy! It looks like there are numerous features with the app as well, such as premium or basic levels. Simply download the app, create an account, and find a geocache near you with the geocaching GPS. In reality, players don’t even need to use the app for geocaching. They just need an account to see the map with the location and a handheld device with GPS! In the end, it’s simple enough that you could probably even simply Google “geocaching near me”!
The fun doesn’t just lay in finding the geocache, though. Once players find the cache, be sure to sign the logbook so others can see that you were there! Then, you can usually trade an item of equal value in the cache for extra fun. These geocaching gifts can serve as a unique memory of your experience! If you want, feel free to record your experience at the geocache on their website! The experience is definitely something the whole family can enjoy together.
Benefits of a Geocaching Homeschool Field Trip
Why use geocaching as a summer field trip? As homeschoolers, we are always looking for the chance to make everything educational. Geocaching is a fun game, but there are also several educational benefits that come along with it. In the end, it makes for the perfect summer field trip. Your kids will be playing, exploring, and learning all at the same time! Finally, geocaching is purely about exploration, and therefore that lack of structure makes it great for a summer activity when we feel more casual in our learning. Not to mention, many of us don’t want to spend a lot of time outdoors in the cold! Here are a few reasons to choose geocaching as a field trip this summer.
Enjoy the outdoors. We all want to be outdoors during the summer, and this gives us the perfect chance! It can be difficult to give energetic kids enough opportunities to burn off their energy during the school year, so the more outside time during the summer, the better! Plus, soaking up Vitamin D is always a good thing.
Encourages exercise. Not only does geocaching get us outside, but it encourages exercise. We have all heard by now how unhealthy it is to sit all day and on average, most of us could use more activity. Geocaching is a fun way to get some movement without it feeling like a workout!
Helps us find new places. It’s always fun to go on adventures and discover new areas. There’s so much more in our cities and states than many of us ever know. Geocaching helps us get out and explore!
Teaches geography. Geocaching can be a great opportunity for teaching geography. After all, players must follow GPS coordinates to find the cache! Use this chance for teaching how to follow the map, look for landmarks, and find their way to the cache — with parental guidance, of course.
Learn more about your own neighborhood. Caches may even be in your very own neighborhood, which is how geocaching can help you learn about different areas nearby. You may find a meadow, alley, birdhouse, or tree that you never even noticed previously!
It’s a fun activity for the whole family. As mentioned earlier, geocaching is a great opportunity for getting outside and exploring as a family. The younger kids can either tag along or try to interpret the GPS, while the older kids can lead the way. In the end, everyone loves a good treasure hunt! If you are looking for inexpensive ways to spend time outdoors as a family this summer, geocaching may be a great option.
Minimizes screen time. If you are looking for ways to minimize screen time without cutting the fun, give geocaching a try! As long as an activity is fun and engaging enough, most kids won’t complain about the break from technology.
Get social with Geocaching events. The Geocaching website also hosts occasional social events for players to meet each other! If you are looking for social opportunities for yourself and the kids, this could be a fun option!
It’s a challenge! Geocaching is mentally and physically challenging. Players must exercise their minds to follow the map and find the geocache, and also physically make the trek. Certain geocaches are more challenging than others and may end up in unexpected places.
It explores the beauty and peace of nature. Since geocaching takes the players outside and in a variety of locations, it gives us the chance to commune with nature. Every once in a while, we all need to unplug. Geocaching, while still utilizing a GPS, is a fantastic option to connect with nature and take a reprieve from the busy daily schedule.
New to Scripture writing? It’s a great way to incorporate copy work or cursive writing practice into your homeschool, or to add an extra dimension to your daily quiet time! Designed for older elementary, teens, and adults our monthly themed Scripture writing guide will have you thinking about the truth of God’s word and how it applies to your life. This month’s theme is our leaders. What does the Bible say about them? How should we pray for them? Enjoying God’s Creation requires effort, and this month’s theme is sure to give you insight into the truths that will help you live it out!
Scripture writing works great as a penmanship copy work calendar or even as a memorization tool. Perfect for your homeschool morning basket! We all know how inspirational copy work can be to start the day, and our Writing Truth series is just that – inspirational! You simply give your student a copy of the month’s Writing Truth printable and they can easily cut off the “bookmark” portion and place it in their Bible. Then each day, simply turn to the assigned reference and copy it out in their best handwriting. This doubles as handwriting practice, copy work, and a time of inspiration. Want to go deeper? Use the copy work as the foundation for an illustrated journal or even an in-depth Bible Study! Use a sketchbook to incorporate painting, sketching, and other creative ways to illustrate the reference of the day.
Click the image to download!
Interested in more great Christian Homeschooling freebies and articles? Sign up for our Christian Homeschooler Newsletter now!
If you have a teen, most likely the discussion of driving has already surfaced here or there. As soon as a kid enters high school, it doesn’t take long for them to start asking for the car keys. As parents, it’s hard to accept that our kids are already old enough to drive.
Once you have accepted the hard truth that it’s time for your kids to learn, the next step is to consider your options. While public school kids can often learn via driver’s ed offered at their schools, the options are slightly different for homeschoolers. Whether you want to teach your teen to drive, or you’d feel better with a full driver’s ed program, there are a few things to consider.
5 Steps to Prepare Your Teen for their Driver’s Permit
If your teen has already been asking about learning to drive, you may be wondering where to start. After all, there is a lot to consider and it’s probably been a while since you went through the process yourself. Thankfully, as long as you first look into the legalities with your state and insurance, the rest is fairly hassle-free. To simplify it, we’ve condensed the learning process into five steps. After you’ve checked these off, your teen will be well on their way to getting their license!
Look into your state’s requirements. Each state varies with their age-ranges, requirements, and types of instruction, so consulting with your local DMV should be your first step.
Check with your insurance company. Certain auto insurance companies will require a policy change for teen drivers once they get their learner’s permit. However, other companies won’t require a change until they get their license. Additionally, insurance companies often offer discounts or promotions for teen drivers!
Download your local DMV driver’s manual. With this manual, you can help your teen study for their permit test.
How will they learn? As they study, or after they get their permit, decide on their mode of instruction. Here are three options:
Teach your teen yourself. This is the best option for budget-conscious families and it does work! However, it often involves a lot of stress for both the teacher and the student. Most states will have parents keep a log of the number of hours their teen drives in daytime versus nighttime as well as freeway, highway, and city driving, etc.
Hire a driving instructor. Homeschoolers often choose to hire a certified driving instructor. This instructor usually has their own program to work with state requirements for your teen. They will drive with your teen and teach them while logging the necessary hours. Additionally, they will evaluate their skills and work on strengthening weak areas from a third-party point of view.
Consider taking a public school driver’s ed class. Sometimes, public school districts will allow homeschoolers to participate in their driver’s education classes. This could be helpful if your student tends to learn well with their peers, or they learn best from a mix of studying and hands-on.
Clearly define rules and expectations. All 50 states offer graduated licenses to teens, which means there will be certain restrictions in place until they are 18. Again, it’s important to check with your state as to the specifics of these limitations. Oftentimes, they involve only driving between certain hours or not driving alone with peers under 18, and so on. However, many parents feel more secure if they set personal rules with their teens. For example, should your teen’s phone be turned off while they are driving? How far are you comfortable with them driving alone? If it makes you feel more secure, consider a parent-teen driving agreement, such as this one from AAA.
Finally, when your student has completed their Driver’s Ed program with their permit — whether by logging hours with you personally, an instructor, or a class — they will be ready to take the final test for their license. Good luck!
5 Available Driver’s Ed Resources
It’s a stressful time. We get it. I remember how anxious I was when studying for my own permit and license. It’s a big time in a teen’s life and one that they will probably remember for a while! Here are a few resources to make the journey a little easier.
Has the school year left your homeschool room looking like complete chaos? A year full of studying, activities, labs, and research can do that! There you are, sitting at your desk, engulfed in pages of curriculum and scheduling, and you glance up at your school room. Papers are scattered, notebooks teeter precariously on the edge of a table, and your forgotten microscope is stuffed behind a basket of craft supplies in a cabinet. You don’t even want to try counting the number of pencils in need of a proper home. So, you take a deep breath and write a note on your to-do list to organize the room before the school year begins.
I don’t know about you, but I get such a thrill from organizing and summer seems like the perfect time to give your school room a makeover! Nothing has spoken to me more than watching Marie Kondo talk about organization and minimizing clutter. It’s hard as homeschoolers to keep clutter to a minimum, but it definitely is possible to stay organized! Here are a few suggestions as you reorganize your homeschool room for the coming year.
5 Tips to Organize the Homeschool Room of Your Dreams
You don’t have to be a minimalist to be organized. There are many great ways to organize a school room, even with multiple children. It can be a challenge as homeschoolers to keep school supplies organized. Homeschooling is a huge part of your life, so it’s okay if it’s clearly visible, but at some point, you may prefer a little separation for your own sanity. For instance, consider keeping your “homeschool bookshelves” and your “personal bookshelves” separated by only keeping homeschool-related items on one and personal on the other.
Here are some of our personal favorite ways to organize a homeschool room, even in a small space!
Keep Only Current Books on Your Bookshelves.
Structure your bookshelves so each shelf has a specific purpose. As an example, one shelf can be for library books, while another is for daily workbooks and textbooks. Another shelf may be for literature reading during the year, while a final shelf is for your own grading tools. Be sure to only keep current books on your bookshelf. Books from previous years should either be stored in bins elsewhere for re-use with another child, sold, donated, or tossed.
Declutter Old Items.
Here is a popular homeschool organizational concept: If you are bringing in a new item, cycle out an old one. This sort of minimizing practice helps avoid collecting unnecessary items and creating clutter. Try only keeping what your next child will need to use, in addition to all the records your state requires. Otherwise, as we mentioned above, sell, donate, recycle, and toss the old curriculum or resources.
Labeling is my saving grace! Labels provide a structure where there is none and a purpose for otherwise unorganized items. A huge part of homeschool organization involves keeping like with like and having a place for everything. Labels will help you maintain organization even mid-year. Use labels on shelves, baskets, bins, cabinets, etc.
Zone a Room for Schoolwork.
If you don’t have an entire room specifically for school, trying zoning your living room or dining room for your homeschool area. Store your supplies in that area and hang school-related wall art to help your kids focus. Perhaps even consider a room divider!
Consider a Central Table.
It can be tempting to use individual desks but consider a central table for everyone to work on. This can help save space if you have a limited area. On another note, if you have a folding table, you can store it away and use the space for other activities if you like.
Our 5 Favorite Organizational Tools
In addition to these tips, here are five great organizational tools for your homeschool! These will help keep your homeschool room tidy naturally. I have to say, closed storage, bins, baskets, and decorative boxes are probably my favorite ways to organize everything in my life. The structure of designated “homes” for your things will make a bigger difference than you can imagine!
We’ve mentioned the wonder of labels, and with that comes the need for a label maker. Of course, you could always just purchase labels and sharpies, but we tend to need a lot as homeschoolers. If you find yourself grabbing for labels each week, a label maker may indeed come in handy.
3-ring binders are helpful for organizing each child. Depending on the age of your children, you could use a single binder for each kid, or perhaps a binder for each subject. Either way, these binders are great for storing notes, reports, papers, worksheets, and more.
Whether you have a dedicated homeschool room or simply a homeschool area, closed storage is always helpful. When the day is over or guests are over, it’s nice to neatly tuck away the homeschool supplies and close the door for a clean surface area. Especially if you are looking for ways to help your space look less cluttered and “busy,” closed storage can work wonders. I would recommend a few organizational cubes within your cabinets for tidy results, such as baskets, decorative boxes, pen holders, and even flatware caddies or trays!
Magazine holders are a close second favorite for me after closed storage cabinets. Specifically, magazine holders are an excellent way of organizing the contents of those storage cabinets or even bookshelves. You know all of those numerous workbooks, pens, and random items we find ourselves grabbing for daily work? They can now be neatly collected within a magazine holder, and those holders slide nicely onto bookshelves or cabinets. Use a holder for each subject or even each child! If you color-coordinate the holders, they can also be helpful for helping your young children find their own work to start on in the mornings.
If you do have a dedicated homeschool room, dry erase boards can be wonderful for keeping your area more organized and clutter-free. Have your kids use the whiteboard for solving problems or drawings, and clean everything off at the end of the day. It saves on paper and supplies!
Summer is an all-around favorite season for most people. In the U.S., it’s even more exciting for many of us since we get to celebrate Independence Day! The Fourth of July is a wonderful time for fun with friends and family. It’s exciting to celebrate our nation’s birthday and also a great excuse to have some of the most delicious food. To top it off, this July holiday feels like a special and unifying event when we enjoy fireworks together. For extra fun, we have put together several patriotic printables! We love printables as much as you do, and as homeschoolers, it’s only natural to capitalize on the possible learning moments. July Fourth is an excellent opportunity for learning!
In our printable pack, you’ll find a crossword, word search, word unscramble, a maze, a coloring page, a “Name the Presidents” page, and finally, a fill-in-the-blank fun facts sheet! Enjoy!
July 4th Printables Pack
Click below to view & download our FREE pack of Independence Day printables!
Fourth of July Resources
In addition to our fun printables, we’ve scoured a few websites to find a number of great Independence Day resources for homeschoolers! These include a quiz, several games, fun facts, suggested books, July 4th activities, and more! If homeschoolers love anything, it’s finding the educational meaning in just about everything. If your youngest kiddos have been asking “What is Independence Day?” this is the perfect chance to learn! These links could be especially helpful if you are currently doing a unit study on the 4th of July!
Writing skills can become weak when not practiced during downtime in the summer months. But, including summer writing activities doesn’t have to be boring and can be a lot of fun! These ideas can be used during the summer, while on vacation, or even during the school year! The sky’s the limit!
Try out a couple of activities that inspire your little Hemingway today!
Vacation and Summer Theme Writing Activities for All Ages
Write while on a real or a pretend vacation
Send postcards or letters from your town or state or a vacation spot to a grandparent, another relative, friend or pen pal. This can be about a real vacation or summertime activities or just what your little one would like to do one day.
Keep a travel journal, diary or scrapbook of your summertime travels and activities. This can be a combination of trips on the road, fun things done at home or just small excursions out into the backyard to write about any new discoveries.
Collecting postcards or pictures and putting them into a book with space underneath for your writer to inscribe their explanations is the easiest way to get started with this kind of project.
Your children may even want to pretend to be someone else and write about what they imagine that person would do during their travels. The postcards, travel journal, or scrapbook can be written from the perspective of a fictional character they like or one they have created.
Instead of a family Christmas newsletter letting everyone know about the latest with your family, have your children write a Summer Newsletter about your family’s latest news. Instead of pictures and clipart associated with the holidays, decorate your newsletter with a summer theme and describe everyone’s escapades.
Have your child interview a parent, a grandparent, or other older relative about what summer months or vacations were like when they were growing up. Your child will have a precious keepsake he can look back on when reading his notes from his time together with a loved one.
Instead of writing a travel journal or diary about a vacation or vacation spot, your children might want to make a travel brochure with a trifold piece of paper with drawings, captions, and information. They can present facts about the location and experience along with why others should visit on a vacation (a great practice in informative and persuasive writing).
Vacation and Summer Theme Writing Activities for Older Children
For older children who like computers, have them start a travel blog or summer blog/journal including pictures and information about the places or sights seen, even if they are local historical sites or attractions. Or, they can start a blog about a personal interest or hobby. They can have fun filling pages with information on a topic they know and love, as well as include pictures – maybe even of their own creations. If you have older children and you allow them to use social media like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, or Instagram, your children can practice writing skills with descriptions of pictures taken over the summer with “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, and “how” and fun captions or facts along with hashtags.
All Kinds of Writing Activities for All Ages
Writing lists is an easy way to have your children practice writing without feeling like they are really writing. They can make lists of different kinds –
books they want to read
topics or subjects they want to learn more about – could be a trip to the library for books and movies and a reason to read
television shows or movies they want to watch
foods they want to try
errands or grocery lists
to do lists for the day
bucket lists of things they want to do by the end of the summer – even if it’s just making every flavor of Jell-O on the store shelf and picking a favorite
List making is great practice in writing and categorizing, working with goals and brainstorming, all valuable skills.
Planning a fieldtrip to a local art museum (great for a hot day to take advantage of air conditioning but still get out of the house) during your free time? Have your child pick a favorite piece of artwork and write about it – what they like, what they think it’s about, why they think the artist created it, how it makes them feel, if it reminds them of anything.
Kids love telling and hearing good jokes! Have your children make their own joke books with folded and stapled paper. Make a trip to the library for some joke books or find great jokes on the internet to write into the book and draw pictures to go along with the jokes. (Puns and idioms are always fun to draw!)
Some children love drawing and creating their own comic books with characters they love or characters they create.
Do you have a budding thespian in your family who loves to act? Maybe they will want to create their own play and write scripts, tickets, signs, and programs. This will require a lot of writing.
Have your child start a story with a line or a few lines and then mail that piece of paper to a grandparent and ask them to continue the story with a few lines and return the story to your child. Continue taking turns adding a few lines and mailing it back and forth over the summer months and have fun reading the story in progress and the final story at the end of the summer. Everyone might be surprised by the twists and turns this story takes!
Whatever writing activity you choose this summer, remember to just have fun with it! Your child will get more out of it than you think possible.
Katie Glennon – Volunteer Contributor
Katie is a homeschool mom who graduated two boys who are now in college. Katie has an English and Secondary Education degree with classroom, online, and coop teaching experience as well as teacher training for grades PK through adult. Katie loves learning history through hands-on activities and science through nature exploration and has a passion for literature and the written word! Katie loves to share her experiences and joy for learning with other homeschoolers to help them make their journey more enjoyable and less stressful! Visit her at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage!