We have really enjoyed our years of teaching Sonlight’s American History to our fourth graders. It is a wonderfully rich curriculum. I am sure you can agree that the books are some of the best you have read with your children. But, do you struggle getting your kids to compete their weekly writing assignments?
I’ve been there! Don’t give up the fight. Instead, give your kids the tools they need to succeed at writing. I am excited to share with you some great supplements that will help your children accomplish their work independently. In our home of eight children, independent seat-work is essential (to my sanity :)!
I have found the three-step method of Dictation Done Right to work well for my children. It helps them to get the most out of dictation–and to understand why and when they need to punctuate or capitalize a word.
Day 2–Learn a Literary Style or Technique
Each week your kids (or you, if you are reading the Instructor’s Guide) will be given a literary concept to instruct/practice and then apply to that week’s writing assignment. This is where your week of writing might start to fall apart before it has even truly begun. Are your kids understanding what the activity sheet is trying to teach them? Probably not.
In addition to these Writing Techniques and Analysis sheets that you will use on Day 2:
I have put together a new independent teaching tool called The Writer’s Edge. It will help you explain each literary styles and technique. Your kids will refer back to it for years to come!
DAY 3–Prepare to Write
This is the day you ask your kids to plan their approach to the essay, story or paragraph they will be writing on Day 4. And maybe, just maybe, you have a wonderfully diligent child who likes to mind map, brainstorm and outline her papers before she writes. Or, you might have a bunch of kids like mine who think writing should be done “on the fly” when “they feel like it.” Probably your kids are somewhere in between. I’m hoping to help you improve their diligence by giving them the tools they need to get those creative juices flowing and get their work organized so they can write on Day 4.
This year we are focusing on forming coherent paragraphs. I think these tools are some of the best I have used–I hope you will, too!
DAY 4–Let’s Write!
With each independent writing assignment, your students will be given prompts to help them use the pre-writing they completed on Days 2-3. They will also have a checklist at the end of each paper, asking them to review their work (an essential writing skill most kids want to skip :).
There is also a poetry booklet, research paper and travel brochure that they will complete this year with just a bit of preparation and coaching from you.
Your kids are going to be so proud of all the writing they accomplish this school year. And I am certain you will be thankful you had these resource to help you instruct them!
A Year of Creative Expression for Fourth will be half-off in my TPT store through Thursday!