Have a frustrated writer in your #homeschool? Use these tips to teach #writing! via jennyherman.com

Teaching Writing Without Writing, Part 1

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Are you trying to teach writing to a child who hates writing? This series is for YOU!

I’ve got two boys, one with Aspergers and one “neurotypical”, both who hate writing. I find it interesting because they went through a stage of filling multiple notebooks with comic book drawings and story lines. Yet when it comes to “writing class”, they tend to shut down or tear up or both.

So, I’ve resorted to finding non-traditional ways to teach writing. I’ve gotten lots of great ideas from Carol Barnier’s book The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles. This book is great for other subject areas as well. But let’s get back to writing.

When you have a frustrated writer, you’re going to need to spend time walking them through the process multiple times. Just accept that, remind yourself that the time you take to walk with them will pay off later, and grab some hot chocolate. It’s just the way it is.

I want my boys to learn about the research and writing process, but I can’t do it in a traditional way. Taking notes and then turning it into an outline, then writing paragraphs and sections and pages and pages would take us more than a year of kicking and screaming. So, how could I teach them about research without taking notes?

Enter…sticky notes.

Yup, simple sticky notes saved the three of us from much frustration.

Our first time walking through this process, we studied our home state. I checked out lots and lots of library books about our state. Then over a week or two I gave the boys time to read through them. I also gave them a pad of sticky notes. Instead of writing information on note cards and gnashing teeth, I told them, “When you find something interesting, put a sticky note next to it.” Voila! They’re still learning the basics of the research project, I just removed the note cards!

There you go…the beginning of teaching writing without writing. If you come back next week, you can see what we did next.

In the mean time, head to the library for books and the dollar store for sticky notes. What topic will you and your kids study with sticky notes? I’d love to hear!
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Jenny Herman

Jenny Herman wants to live in a world where dark chocolate dispensers reside on every corner. As a homeschooling special needs mom, she’s been featured in Autism Parenting Magazine, Wit and Wisdom from the Parents of Special Needs Kids: Mostly True Stories of Life on the Spectrum, and various blogs. If she survives the onslaught of testosterone in her home, she may take a moment to blog, read a book, try a new recipe, or loom knit a gift. You can find Jenny’s book The Power of One: Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life on Amazon.

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