Sarah’s Mom Tips: Reluctant Writers

Don’t worry about having children write before they are ready. The Thinking Tree spelling books are really good for children who are not ready for writing, they color the words and write the specific words and they also do a lot of drawing. As the books advance some of them give the child an opportunity to do creative writing. If your child is not ready for the writing the BEST BEST BEST thing to do is ask the child what YOU should write for him. When the child sees you writing it stirs something up in their minds and they begin to develop the ability and desire to write.

If I am writing a story for my child (think 3 sentences) and I arrive at a word that I know that they know, I would say, “How do you spell cat?” They giggle and are happy to tell me how to spell. Next I will stop writing when I get to a word that they can write, and just say “Your turn!” and hand them the pencil so they can add a simple word. One nice thing about this method is that the child will try to mimic your letter size and style. Another fun way to get a child writing is to have the child DRAW a small picture of the nouns in the sentence.

If you do get to a place in any of the Thinking Tree Spelling books Or Dyslexia Games where the exercise is too advanced (for example the spaghetti lady causes dread) I would be an example and say, “You don’t want to do the spaghetti lady? That’s GREAT because I WANTED to do that one! Can I PLEASE do your spaghetti lady?”

This advice may go against everything you have learned from being in school yourself. If your child complains that something is too hard or too boring – DARE to do it yourself. Say, “Oh really? Can I give it a try? It looks interesting to me!” But if it is super boring, agree with the child, give it a try, and have fun. It’s okay to say, “You are right this is SOOOO boring. Let’s have a snack, and turn on some music! Don’t you think that music will make this more fun?” Now, if the schoolwork is totally irrelevant, and you are unwilling to do that kind of work yourself, maybe you should pitch it. I know we worry about the money we spent on nice curriculum – so put it on the shelf and tell your children they can use those books to “play school” with their friends or stuffed animals. If you are trying to FLIP to FUN-Schooling and spent all you had on something boring, and it’s not in your budget to buy a homeschooling journal – let me know. I can help you with a PDF version of a journal.

When I was a kid in 1st to 5th grade I HATED spelling tests. I got Ds and Fs on my report card in Spelling. No one knew it was dyslexia. I could not memorize; but when I would take a spelling test I would forever remember the spelling that I came up with on the test – WRONG or RIGHT. I was so emotional while being tested that the negative feelings burned the misspelled word into my brain. I would have 45% correct on the test, and the teachers NEVER worked with me to correct the mistakes. That is why I now create spelling books that work for visual thinkers. I would advise you not to give spelling tests to a dyslexic child. Just look at their creative writing projects when they are 11 years old – and take notes of all the words that they need to learn. If they write, color, trace and say the letters WITH the correct spelling SEVEN times they will remember the correct spelling…by the time they are 14 years old. Most spelling problems do self-correct by age 14 if the child does a lot of reading. That’s why we have just a few spelling books that cover the words that are foundational to learning to spell – AND are commonly confused or misspelled.

Take a look at some of our beautiful journals, sure to inspire your child to write:

How to Flip to Fun-Schooling!

 1. Choose a Main Curriculum Journal – For Library Based Homeschooling
These are the most important Thinking Tree books and usually have over 300 pages, you will use them with library books, documentaries, audio books, tutorials and any books you have on hand that your child can use for research. This will be the CORE of the child’s learning experience. They should use this book at least 3 days a week, along with a collection of books and videos. 
How to Pick a Journal: Let your child choose the one with the cover that inspires them the most. Just make sure the age level is correct. If the child chooses they will feel ownership of the learning experience. 

2. Choose a Spelling Activity Book, or Vocabulary Book  
The spelling books have poems, activities, and specific words that the children practice. The spelling books introduce each word in about seven different ways. The student will master these words without memorizing. We make sure we cover sight words and commonly misspelled words in our spelling books. 

The Main Curriculum Journals have spelling games and copywork also- Students will learn to spell many random words this way. They will learn many words from their library books, this way they will be able to spell words associated with their “Major” and special interests. 

3. Choose a Theme, Special Interest, or “Major” and Make a Fun-Schooling Basket.
They should study the “Major” for at least ONE full day per week. Let them study and explore their passion without distraction from other subjects. They need to dig deep. 

You can find lots of themed learning books at your library or choose to use Usborne Books.

Thinking Tree does cover many popular themes. Here is just a sampling: 
Fashion Theme
Animal Theme
Horse Theme
Bible Theme
Cooking Theme
Nature & Wildlife Theme
Minecraft Theme
Travel Theme
Drawing & Doodling Theme 
Musical Instruments Theme
Cat Theme 

4. Choose a Fun-Schooling Math Book on Your Child’s Level
This will help your child to get over the fear of math, and maybe choose a math curriculum after they overcome the fear. Include math 2 or 3 days a week, math can really mess with the mind and cause children to have learning issues in other areas, so don’t push it every day if your child is struggling:

5. Choose a Creative Writing Journal for Kids 10 and up and Choose a Copywork Journal for Kids Under 10 

There may be enough creative writing and copywork in the Curriculum Journal, but for some kids these books are fun and inspiring! 
MOM TIP: Do not correct your child’s grammar or spelling when they do creative writing, BUT do correct the copywork.   

6. Start Your Mom-School
Be an Example to Your Children! Choose a Mom Schooling Journal and make a Mom-Time Basket.
You may need a Mom-Schooling Journal &  Fun-Schooling Planner.

7. Choose a Few Subjects to Study as a Team
Add Important and Required Subjects and Choose Books to Use with the Family as a Team – If you want to add in “required” subjects the fun-school way, add some of these awesome books, maybe one day per week, they are very deep and intensive, yet fun. We use one book for multiple kids, and work as a team with these. Don’t use these on the same day that your child uses the homeschool curriculum journal, unless they want to:

Science – Nature Study
Science – Experiments & Research
United States – Geography & History
World History – Make Your Own Timeline
World Geography & Social Studies – Travel Dreams
Money, Business & Economics for Teens
Occupations for Kids

8. Document Your Child’s Work if Needed
This happens automatically if you use a Curriculum Journal. If you live in a state with strong requirements, or if your child is collecting high-school credits, you can use our 10 or 12 Subject Portfolio for your child’s best work in every required subject:

9. Relax and Enjoy Homeschooling
 If you are stressed out or confused, read my book “How to Homeschool” 

10. Get Help and Learn from Other Fun-Schooling Moms
Join over 26,000 Fun-Schooling Moms in our Private Facebook Group. We love to encourage each other.  If you have a questions ASK them. Moms who are experienced with fun-schooling will answer.  
Visit Linda’s website to learn more about each Thinking Tree Book, and watch videos about each book: https://training6hearts4him.blogspot.com/

11. Help Your Child Overcome Serious Reading and Writing Problems
If you have a child with symptoms of ADHD, Dyslexia, or has reading delays, memory issues, attention problems, and writing problems, reading confusion, letter reversals, or a fear of reading aloud –  use www.DyslexiaGames.com

12. Let It Go! Let It Go! Here are some Ted Talks on Education that will Help! 
If you are doing something that doesn’t work, brings stress, is confusing, makes your child cry, or is boring… DUMP IT.