I am an 18-year-old homeschool graduate who has a passion for writing! Thus far, my passion has been an energizing catalyst, enabling me to become a published author. With a sincere attempt to rein in self-pride and boundless enthusiasm, may I joyfully share with you some of my accomplished goals? To date, I have written for acclaimed historical magazines and popular homeschooling blogs, and I have written a study guide that became a bestseller. Writing is part of who I am and how I’m able to express myself. But it wasn’t always this way. In my early homeschooling years, I truly disliked anything related to the subject of writing.
I didn’t enjoy writing when I was younger, and viewed the subject as irrelevant to “my world.” I was a difficult student when it came to the subject of writing and used to say things like, “Why should I have to write about something that I don’t enjoy?” and “This is so boring.” After much resistance, I finally learned to love writing with the thoughtful help of my mom. As my teacher, she began to incorporate the topic of history into our writing curriculum. Her new approach was brilliant! History has always been a great interest of mine, and writing allowed me to express that interest.
Every Child is Unique
Every child (every person) has passions that are unique to him or her. No one understands these passions better than a child’s parents. I believe that these should be embraced and celebrated when teaching writing. The writing curriculum my parents chose for me incorporated various stories from history. These stories would be used as examples from which I was to rewrite and embellish, using the new techniques I’d learned. Other lessons in this curriculum featured poetry and Scripture which to me were both similar to history in that they were presented in a similar format.
Fortunately, history is already filled with great stories. It was easy for my parents to find a writing curriculum that incorporated my interests. I suggest you also find a curriculum that explores subjects similar to your child’s interests. These might include science, literature, music, the arts, etc. Then, find a way to modify the curriculum with your child’s interests in mind. This might involve replacing example stories with ones your child would find more interesting.
Their Writing Has Value
Regardless of age, children must understand that their writing has real value. It is best to instill a love of writing at a young age but that passion can be discovered at any age. As children grow older and begin to mature, they may realize that some things in life are of no real benefit to them. Writing should never be one of these things! It is especially important for older students to understand the value of their own writing. The best way to show this is by giving them a “reason to write.” Regularly sharing their work and allowing them a platform will provide them with confidence and motivation.
Human beings respond to incentives and not just material ones. Something as simple as showcasing your student’s writing to a group of family members could provide him or her with a sense of achievement. The idea that other people are now enjoying something your child created could strengthen his or her confidence and instill a desire to communicate. Older students might enjoy signing up for programs dedicated to teenage writing, or seeing their work published on educational blogs.
Instilling a Lifelong Passion
I am a firm believer in the idea that one learns best by doing and teaching others. Writing gives a student the perfect opportunity to do this through research and self-expression. By creating fervent writers, we are creating lifelong learners. These are both life skills that ensure opportunities for the rest of your child’s life.
When teaching your children how to write, first seek to instill a lifelong passion for the subject. The ability to write well is a skill that goes beyond a child’s homeschooling years. Just as I have been able to express myself through writing, so too can your child! My passion for writing has allowed me to become a published author, and I graduated high school less than one year ago. So much can be made possible through learning the skill of writing, and my story is only one example of that.
Copyright 2019, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms.