The Ultimate Guide to Coaching Writers in Your Homeschool

Blog, She Wrote: The Ultimate Guide to Coaching Writing in Your Homeschool

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Our Writing Instruction Philosophy

I latched on to the idea of “coaching writers” very early on in our homeschool. Our goal for our students is to have effective written communicators. That’s the same goal for each child, but each begins at a different place and requires different coaching to reach the goal. Some of our students have been intuitive writers who are good spellers and need just some fine tuning. Others needed a little more coaching to reach the same goal. The trick is knowing your student well enough to see what they need along the way.

In elementary school, we work on basic sentence structure and putting ideas together. We work on spelling and grammar conventions. As our students get older, we add on more skills and help them to practice the skills in authentic ways. We don’t use a formal grammar program. We simply write. We talk about what needs improvement and what grammar needs work and why. Grammar outside the context of real writing is not easily mastered or remembered. I have found that teaching grammar as the tool which helps our readers understand what we’ve written as we intended it is the most effective method.

By the time our students are in middle school, we use a variety of curriculum to further develop their foundation. The standardized tests have come back very positive. Their skills are solid and our job is to build on them as they get older to master specific sorts of essays and writing.

Using Writing Conferences to Coach Writing

Ideas for Coaching Writers

I try to come up with ideas that allow my students to work with words. Here are a few of my favorites:

Blog, She Wrote: High School Skills- Analyzing Text

Resources for Coaching Writing

Blog, She Wrote: Other Worlds- Writing Fantasy & Science FictionCurriculum for Coaching Writers

We don’t use a formal curriculum regularly until middle school. Here’s a list of our favorite curriculum for older writers.

  • WriteShop– This program is very effective at breaking down the writing process and using pre-writing activities at all levels. Pre-writing activities help students to organize their thoughts. I love the tools the authors share for teaching self-editing skills.
  • Cover Story– A steampunk themed program to teach writing through the publishing of a magazine. Your student gets to pick the theme of the magazine and write on a topic of his choosing.
  • Essay Rockstar– For parents who want a partner in mentoring their students in writing. You can do one module at a time or sign on for the full course.
  • One Year Adventure Novel– A creative writing course, taught through video instruction and reading together. By the end, your student will have written a 12 chapter adventure novel. We LOVE this course. It’s been a great community of families and they offer a summer workshop and webinars throughout the year. You can see my review of OYAN here on Curriculum Choice.
  • Other Worlds– The Fantasy & Science Fiction Module for One Year Adventure Novel to be taken once the OYAN curriculum is complete.
  • Excellence in Literature– All you need for high school English, this program has five volumes and is a valuable resource for reading and writing about literature.
  • Brave Writer– I’m new to Brave Writer, but the coaching skills provided throughout this program reinforces what I already know to be successful in our homeschool.

We love words at our house and we love to coach our writers. I hope you’ve found some tools here that will useful to you in your homeschool.

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