Teaching Elementary and Middle School Writing, without a Formal Curriculum

Do your kids love to write? Or see it as a chore?

Although writing is a very important skill to learn, I purposely don't use a formal writing curriculum in our homeschool. And I also don't "require" my kids to write.

I learned through painful experience in the early years of homeschooling that requiring writing was a sure way to kill any enjoyment my kids had in writing. So, instead of forcing my kids to write, I focus my efforts on creating an environment that naturally inspires my kids to want to write in their day-to-day lives.

In this post, I'll share some of the things that have worked well in our homeschool, so that you can use these ideas as a jumping-off point in crafting your own inspired-to-write environment for your kids.

An Environment Full of Words

Getting the environment right is more important than finding the *right* curriculum. When kids see language and writing as relevant and important in their own lives, they will be more inspired to choose to write and learn how to write well.

Read Aloud Daily

Reading aloud is one of the most important pieces to teaching writing. Read alouds give kids a natural feel for what good writing sounds like, without getting bogged down in dull lessons and technical details. I make time to read aloud stories daily, and also read non-fiction books/articles aloud several times per week. This gives my kids ongoing exposure to good writing, and has led my kids to naturally know how to write stories well.

Lead by Example

Kids naturally emulate their parents, so it is important for our kids to see *us* writing if we want *them* to write. This really helps kids to see that writing is a real part of life and makes them more motivated to write.