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Writing isn't my strong point and I'm feeling a bit lost on how to teach it. This is for a gifted 9 year old who writes "fine" but doesn't enjoy it either. Right now we have Writing Strands level 3 and "free writing" time (which usually results is a non descriptive step by step of what we did that day.) and summaries of books he has read. I feel like we need more/something different. How do you teach writing?

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I highly suggest taking the "Kid's Write Basic" course through Brave Writer.  It's a 6 week online class and actually you, the parent, is the student, not your kid...  It is an excellent guided class in how to teach writing to your kids-- very supportive, gentle, and fun. My daughter really loved it (the parent is the student but there are games and writing activities to do with your kids as the course goes on).  It's not a live online class, so it's also easy to fit into a busy schedule.  I didn't feel like it took a huge amount of time, especially not for what I got out of it.   While it won't cover all the topics you've listed, it will give you excellent tools to know how to help your child come up with topics, generate material, revise, etc.  The tools can be applied to all kinds of writing-- creative, academic, etc.


I just finished this class and feel in a much better place to help my DD than before.  They have many different instructors that teach this, but ours was named April Hensley and she was excellent.  



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Something I've found helpful for teaching different genres of writing is to trawl the internet for poor examples and also for amazing examples. 


My daughter and I sit and analyse and 'fix up' the poor examples. So, for essay writing, we'd be critiquing the introduction, topic sentences, formality of vocab etc. 

We cross things out, rewrite little portions etc. It's nowhere near as overwhelming as contemplating writing your own essay when you're a beginner. And it's pretty quick to do too.


The other thing I've done is make sure I do writing with my daughter. I don't assign a task and walk away. I sit beside her and try it too. It's easy to forget how hard it really is to sit and write and come up with ideas. This has been especially helpful for creative writing. 


Oh and one other thing we do is always have a novel that I'm reading out loud. Every now and then I pause and acknowledge a great bit of dialogue or some fabulous imagery etc. We don't analyse it to death, but just pointing out the odd bit here and there works for us.


The only bought resource I've used is Maxwell's Writing in English. Everything else I've just followed my nose or actually made myself (eg writing prompts and writing games).


Good luck! I know writing is hard.

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