We have been using a writing workshop model in our homeschool for many, many years. It has brought a lot of joy to our writing time. My kids are not at all intimidated by writing now… even high school essays!
I have a lot of posts about what a Writing Workshop looks like in our homeschool and also have a lot of posts about the various mini-lessons we used to teach the kids about some of the strategies of writing well.
For example, when the kids were little, I would cover the basics of writing:
- Coming up with story ideas
- Coming up with writing ideas (different writing genres)
- Characters – how to develop interesting characters, the difference between a protagonist and an antagonist
- Plot – writing a story that builds in suspense
- Show Don’t Tell – use details to really show how someone was feeling or acting (rather than writing “He was mad.”)
- etc. etc.
We still use the Writing Workshop model. There are times like today (Friday) when we’ll touch on some writing conventions. For example, we went over similes and metaphors, came up with our own examples and then the kids incorporated some similes and metaphors into their writing.
What did that look like today?
- We went over examples on the worksheets I made.
- They brainstormed their own similes and metaphors for 5 minutes or so.
- We reviewed the Four Types of Writing.
- We all spent 10 minutes writing an advertisement (persuasive writing) that used at least one simile and metaphor.
- I love how creative and humorous their writing can be!
These days, we don’t spend as much time going over literary conventions because we have other things to incorporate into our writing time. For example, a week or so the kids had a timed essay about historical bias. Not necessarily a topic they’d’ve chosen, right?!!
We tend to move between open-ended writing, timed essay writing, and assigned writing (things they work on for more than just 20-30 minutes that is). (Whereas just a few years ago 90% of our writing was during the writing workshop.)
Anyway, I just wanted to write briefly about our Writing Workshop
a) because I hadn’t talked about it for a while and
b) because we’ve been slowly going through some of the material in the Writing Resource.
Next week, for example, we’re going to talk about idioms before moving on to transitions, overused words and things like that. We’ll pepper that in with assignments from our literature and history. 🙂
UPDATE: If you are interested in the newly updated Writing Resource Packets (which obviously includes the material I was talking about above!) you can visit this post: Writing Workshop
I also will have a video about the Writing Workshop (maybe even by the time you visit that page!) ~Liesl
We’ve also been having a really great time with our history. I also plan to write about that soon too! Just that last week I caught a horrible virus (haven’t been that sick in *decades*!!!) and am a bit behind here on the blog! Lots to share, just too little time!
Just as a sneak preview… we are finishing up our Colonial America Unit. We’ve been reading The Scarlett Letter (and are almost done!) and the kids worked with primary resources – reading actual transcripts from the Salem Witch Trials. It’s been a great unit. More soon! (Plus, I’ll be sharing a bran-new packet!)
If you are interested in how we use Literature Textbooks in Our Homeschool, you can visit this post. Obviously that ties closely to our Writing Workshop!! 🙂
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. ~Liesl
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Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl