How to Help Inexperienced or Struggling Writers with High School Writing Requirements
So, how can you help young writers with their high school writing requirements?
Remember, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!
So, if you find a method that helps your teens and we have not mentioned, share it in the comments! That’s what community is for! We can learn from one another! (Because YOU are our 7th Sister!)
Start with a growth mindset
Teens often need to be encouraged when they feel like they are poor writers. Instead of saying, “I’m bad at writing,” try, “I’m learning to be a good writer.” Talking hopefully makes a difference in the way the brain works. For more growth mindset ideas, check this post.
Take a giant step back
Remember, you are homeschooling your teens in order to do what is best for them. You get to choose the educational goals. So if you are setting your teens’ goals, then do not pressure yourself to have “grade appropriate” writing to start with. Take a step back:
- Make assignments short
- Make them simple
- And as often as possible, make them interesting, meaningful or fun
For teens with struggling with writing because of special needs:
- Feel free to make the compensations they need:
- Dictate writing assignments for first drafts to mom or using Dragon Dictation or other dictation app. (We are not affiliates, btw.)
- Do journaling daily or weekly where students can free write with no need to be graded. This can be done by hand, dictation or dictation app.
- Create a verbal progressive story (instructions in YouTube below)
- Check out SPED Homeschool’s website or Facebook group for lots of ideas and support
- Adapt curriculum to your teens’ needs. Do lessons together, dictated and then grow into eventually working independently
- 7Sisters Introductory Poetry and Introductory Short Story Writing (Family Narratives) can be good fits for the short lessons and achievable success
- Here’s more favorite curricula for teens with special needs
For teens who are inexperienced writers
If teens are capable of writing competently but simply have not had much experience writing, start simple and give them the tools they need.
- Start them with Introductory levels of high school writing curriculum. Give them time. They will catch on and be ready to move on to longer, more complex writing projects.
- With inexperienced but capable writers, you can usually plan on covering all four suggested writing projects:
- Short Stories
- Research Paper
- Grade generously to start, the writing experience is the goal.
- Then move to using a rubric.
- Teach your teen to edit their rough draft using the same rubric you will use.
- Then they can give their edited paper to you. You can use that rubric to grade also.
- Rubrics keep both you and your young writer working on the same writing goals.
- 7Sisters Writing Guides include rubrics.
- In case your novice writer is shaky with grammar, you can help them out by giving them 7Sisters Grammar Granules.
For teens who are reluctant writers
They can write but they just do not like it, so they complain. Try:
- A different curriculum and aim for some interesting short assignments to start with.
- You can get some ideas from this post from our friend, Betsy.
- Step back and do some of the fun lessons listed in the special needs section above. Then move into using writing guides.
- 7Sisters Introductory Poetry Writing and Short Story Writing Guides are simple starting places. Then add Essays and Research Paper (try our freebie download of a report-style research paper for reluctant writers).
- Check here for more on essay writing with reluctant writers.
Try 7Sisters Homeschool’s Writing Guides
- as short as is possible
- aimed for success with each year building on concepts that students learn the year before
- levelable so that average to honors students can adapt the guides to their needs and goals.