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My daughter has been very resistant to writing. She can do it just fine, it's more of an "I Hate Writing" mental block resulting from a traumatic experience with her third grade teacher.


So, this past year I took it really easy on the writing assignments. I thought she might have needed a break. She did do some creative writing on her own.


Any suggestions for what to do to get her over this? For creative writing, I was thinking of starting off the year it with a unit of poetry. I thought that might be a little different and help to loosen up her creative writing. Any other ideas?


As for research papers, how many do you require of your children over the course of the year?

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What about something like the One Year Adventure Novel or something like that a little bit out of the box and creative? I thought there was a similar type program for elementary kids but I can't seem to find it- maybe someone else will have some good ideas.

Good luck!



Edited by pwhaley
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She doesn't need to write research papers for 5th or 6th grade. Get the audio for SWB's talk on middle school writing. Your dc SO does NOT need to write research papers, lol.


She's rising 5th or rising 6th? If she's rising 5th, I would do Writing Tales 2 and add in light grammar (you've got MCT, check) and some editing. If she's rising 6th, well then it really depends on how resistant she is. WT2 is so fun, it still might work. Just adapt it a bit if it seems young to her. Pick up the pace and do both drafts in one week. Or what I did one year with my dd was go back and do the models again, only this time we found 3 versions of the models and analyzed and rewrote from a different one each day, trying to imitate something about the new version. For instance with the Pitcher and the Crow there are LOTS of versions available freely online. I printed out 3, and we imitated one each day a la WT2 and CW Homer. We talked about where the emphasis was, what techniques were used, and what the results of that were. Final day she did a rewrite that was her own, just any way she wanted picking out any element she wanted to imitate or be creative with. Just tons of fun and different.


The thing you might do over the summer is Listography. It's a little book you can get on amazon with lists ideas, just lots of cool prompts. It's in the form of a journal. Great for that age and something you could do together or individually, as you wish. Helps them work on thought to word, word to paper in a more interesting way. Listmaking is a technique used by therapists for language expression issues, but it's good for anyone.


I think if you listen to SWB's talk on writing, you're going to figure out where her holes are and why she's struggling. You can buy the audio recordings and download them from PHP. If she's uber-creative (like my dd), the thing to do is use SWB's ideas and amounts but do them in more *creative* ways. Being creative doesn't doesn't mean they have to do creative writing. They can be creative in how they OUTPUT their non-fiction writing. For instance WTM wants you to do book summaries from 4th grade on. Well that sounds really BORING the way WTM describes it. But if you go to the Mrs. Renz 4th grade book projects website (google to find), you'll get the coolest, coolest ideas. You print off a bunch of those and use them. Then she's doing the same writing, but it's in a more creative way: hamburger books, book jackets made on the computer, etc. etc..


She's also at an age where she could start scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is a FABULOUS way to bring writing and creativity together in the curriculum. I've got my dd doing a state scrapbook. She reads a variety of books about the states, makes notes, makes an outline, and then puts her sections onto paper and decorates the whole thing. Maybe I can get pics if you want, hehe. Her handwriting isn't much to speak of, but she has always been pencil-phobic for a variety of reasons (low tone, blah blah). This is pulling her creativity into it and getting the same skills as any more bland project (you did hear multiple sources, notetaking, outline, etc., right?), but it's creative and motivating.


WTM wants students from 5th up to learn outlining. You can do it like WTM says, with some history spine, blah blah, suck the soul. However if you MEET SWB and talk with her, turns out she sees that as having a lot more flex. She has adapted it to her dc with higher interest materials as needed, and I took that advice and have been having my dd do mind-mapping on the ipad using articles from Muse magazine. Muse is chock full of crazy science stuff, all for kids. My dd is a history person, but she enjoys it. She has outlined articles on fainting goats and myths about mosquitoes. They have really short articles all the way up to multi-page essays to let your dd see the structure of a good essay. And it's just zany, interesting stuff, lol! And of course any time you can use the ipad instead of a pencil, well that's all the better. Colored pens are better than pencils too, hehe. Crayola makes these magic notebooks that you write on with their special pen. When you write, the ink appears as swirls. Way cool.


Creative writing is fine too, but I like short prompts for that so it's a concise assignment that actually gets done. Hate undone projects, sigh. We've used the writing prompts in Jump In. There's a book "Don't Forget to Write" that has AMAZING prompts and starters for you, and your dd is a FABULOUS age to do them. The book is a little pricey, but definitely check it out.

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You might take a look at Jump In. It is a nice blend of writing types broken into small easy steps. Great for someone with a block about writing.


Save OYAN for 8th grade at least, preferably high school. Ds did it this past year and I highly recommend it, but it is a long commitment to a single project with a lot of work along the way

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