As we have not done much formal writing this academic year so far, I've been brainstorming about how to incorporate more of it into our studies after Christmas. First of all what we have done:
Becky and Sean have been practicing cursive several times a week.
B and S have also been working fairly steadily in workbook for phonic/spelling
S has taken to sending e-mails to his friends and even composing an occasional e-mail to Homestarrunner hoping against hope it will be published! He also wrote a 3 page stand up comedian act! He frequently writes out little cartoon balloons for his cartoons, so in this unschoolish way he's been writing.
B writes all the time! She is always adding captions to her drawings, writing little notes, writing on the whiteboard here or on the wall by her bed.
J has done very little writing so far in his high school career. He's the one I feel really badly about. He truly needs help in this area and I just haven't focused on it at all. Bad mommy!!!! So I need to remedy it. The most writing he's done is answering study guide questions in a our lit studies and writing out Latin/English translations in our Latin class.
W has written papers and such in the past so I know he can write at a high school level, but he's done the same amount as J so far this year. However, he is going to be doing Learn to Write the Novel Way with Writeguide for his last semester in high school. Probably the biggest difficulty there will be getting him to be consistent in sending daily e-mails, but other than that it is kind of out of my hands!
So for the Spring 2010 semester I've been thinking that we'll focus on writing doing the following:
1. Writing with Ease. I've got Writing with Ease 1 for B; WWE 2 for S and I've got the original text with the basic outline for its approach that I could use with J. I'd have to plan that one out though. Will I do that? Not sure. I do like the idea of doing copywork and dictation with J. I think that would be very helpful for him. Or I could purchase the next levels of WWE, I'm pretty such they have 3 and even 4 out now. I'll have to check.
2. Once a week, probably on whatever morning it seems most doable, we'll have a different writing exercise. I was thinking one week we could use Imitation in Writing but what I'd do is have the kids read one of the stories and then rewrite in their own words. The next week I was thinking of doing a picture study. I thought of this because the most successful Socratic Discussion meeting we had was having the kids look at a famous painting and then write a story about what they imagine happening in it. The third week we could do a Free Write and the 4th week the kids could write a review on a book, tv show, computer game, etc whatever.
3. Josh is going to write a paper on the historical references in the Hittite Warrior. I think I'll schedule that for January. Josh will have to write another paper in May.
Addendum - since I don't have a real copywork dictation plan for J I thought maybe we could just focus on a particular author or theme for each month. For ex, G.K. Chesterton quotes for January, Lincoln and Washington for February. St. Francis de Sales for March, Psalms for April, J can pick for May.