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How to Teach Writing Sentences in your Homeschool


How to Teach Writing Sentences in your Homeschool

Teaching Writing is one of the most intimidating obstacles for many homeschoolers! One of the hardest parts of this daunting task is figuring out how to get started and finding your groove. The more laborious it is, the less fun it is for the parent and the child, and the worse the situation becomes. When a subject is hard and frustrating, everyone dreads it.

What is the best way to overcome the blues of teaching a child how to write?

Make it fun!

What started out as a way to help my youngest learn the parts of a sentence turned into a favorite writing prompt for everyone, including those in middle school and high school. Each of them benefited from seeing, hearing and experiencing the delight that came from constructing detailed sentences.

I believe an appreciation and enjoyment of the written word has to be nurtured while teaching the mechanics and structure of writing. Putting thoughts on paper can be very hard for many people, especially our kids who struggle with dyslexia or dysgraphia. Even those kids with incredibly vivid and active imaginations can struggle finding the words to really say what they see in their mind’s eye.

Parts of Speech

The parts of speech fit together to make our sentences engaging and entertaining. In the early years, it is enough to teach kids that every sentence has a “who” or a “what”, and what they do, or did. Then it begins to get more interesting as we add describing words and places or times of day.

I loved Evan Moor’s Write a Super Sentence. It started us off with some cards that we separated into individual jars.

Nouns – car, truck, dog, cat . . .

Verbs – ran, jump, roll, skip . . .

Adjectives – green, happy, crazy . . .

Places – in the garden, at the playground . . .

Times – in the morning, after lunch . . .

Put them all together

We all had fun making many others up and we continued to add to them until we found ourselves with jars full of dozens of cards to choose. By picking a card from each of the five jars, we could create hundreds of sentences and never have anyone write the same one.

It’s for big kids too!

These silly sentences turned into hilarious stories as the older kids began adding more content. We would spend about twenty minutes writing at whatever level we were capable and then we would read our sentences or stories aloud.

Make it a family event

To change it up on some mornings, each of us would write only a basic noun and a single verb on a strip of paper and then challenge the others to make the sentence interesting and engaging. These were always wide open to interpretation and sometimes had to be clarified with more than a sentence. We shared many great laughs over these sentences.

One fun example

I challenged my kids to make “thunder rolled” an interesting sentence.

This became:

The loud thunder rolled with the lightning.

Or:

Thunder rumbled and rolled across the cloudless sky.

Or:

Thunder galloped swiftly across the field and rolled in the dirt.

Both of these writing exercises taught my kids that words can be fun as well as taught them how to construct an interesting sentence with various parts of speech.

I hope you will try it out and enjoy a pleasant morning playing with words.


Michele Moore is a Mentor Mom with My Homeschool Hub. You can work with her one on one for customized homeschool help and support. You can learn more about Michele and schedule an appointment with her

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