• November is National Novel Writing Month! Use it in your Homeschool.

    November is National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. This is the perfect time to have your homeschooler work on their writing. Make it fun, make it a challenge. Everyone in the whole family can get involved.

    Writing is an essential part of life. From learning to write, then understanding its concepts are foundations to reading, and eventually note taking and organizing your work, writing helps prepare you for many different careers. Even seemingly non-writing careers involve writing. A police officer must write reports and fill out important forms that may help put away bad guys. A fireman needs to understand how a fire started and write descriptions of a fire or accident they investigated.

    Having a reluctant writers as a homeschool student make this hard, as you are both the parent and the teacher. I know. I have two boys and I was lucky with my older son being decent at writing. My younger son was and still is a challenge. He HATES writing. It isa daily challenge (aka argument, tears, frustration, pencil throwing, full-blown meltdown). As a homeschool parent, we want to help our child learn and grow doing what they love BUT, there are also things that they must learn to do in order to move forward with their life, their schooling and eventually a career. But it’s so hard when they fight you on it. He was a lover of school otherwise. But writing and his aversion to it, stumped me.

    We tried journaling. Not bad. It worked if he felt in the mood. If not, he would write a few sentences and call it good. Yes, I could force him to write more, but it usually resulted in garbage writing. That didn’t accomplish anything. He learned nothing. He was mad at me and I felt defeated as a parent.

    We tried daily word prompts. I bought books full of them online and made a jar he could draw from. I found websites that delivered them daily to his inbox. Again, he would do one if he liked the subject, but if not, it was a waste.

    His grandmother got involved by having him write weekly emails to her about things that he had seen and done during his homeschool week. He would write the bare minimum. “I went to the park with my friends. We played football. We went to PE. Mom made spaghetti for dinner. Hope you and grandpa are good. Love, William.” And Mom grinds her teeth in frustration.

    I finally decided to step back as his teacher. I signed him up for Time4Writing. I was no longer the teacher. I no longer had to fight him daily. It was worth EVERY PENNY! I am sure you want me to say he is a flourishing writer now…. but you would be wrong. He survived the class. He CAN write. He still doesn’t like to write, but he can at least write.

    Once he had the fundamentals of writing under his belt, we decided that next November we would do the NaNoWriMo as a homeschool project. Myself and both of my boys would write the whole month. I was not expecting a novel. I just wanted a good story. I wanted something more than one paragraph or even more than one page. I wanted them to take the writing skills they had learned and apply them to a story. Write, edit, rewrite and create something that they could read to us at the end of the month.

    It was fun. Mom got a chance to write. The boys got a chance to have the freedom to create something that was from their mind. And we all learned about each other, writing, and the ways to use it in life.

    Writing is a life skill. It is essential to be able to know the basics. Taking something like NaNoWriMo really puts a fun spin on it. Try it in your homeschool for the month of November. Be sure to let us know how it turns out!
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