By 'real life' I mean not writing assignments out of a textbook or from me. Dd is 9. We are working on fostering some pen pal relationships, and she also does some emails to family members. She has done some journaling, but it's very random. Other than that though, I'm kind of drawing a blank on ways to foster writing skills in a way that really engages her.
Big TIA for any ideas!
Besides what has already been mentioned, all I could come up with off the top of my head for writing was short stories, novels, comics, reviews (for books, music, toys, etc.), and poems.
Does she like writing at all, or is it something she'd rather avoid? If she doesn't mind it, she might enjoy a book that gives "story starters" or other fun ideas for writing. Not "assignments", per se, but more like doing Sodoku or crosswords -- just for the fun and challenge of it. If she resists writing, then obviously that won't cut it.
If she is resisting, I'll offer a ray of hope. My dd was a reluctant writer for a long time. Before she turned 8, she would hardly do any writing at all. (I would take dictation for her often, when she was doing other work.) When she was 8 and 9, there was improvement. Writing seemed to get easier, and I got less resistance. She would do short answer questions without complaint, for example. But still, she didn't go out of her way to write any more than she had to. She'd reject an activity if it required too much writing. Then she turned 10. I have no idea what caused the change this time, but this year she is writing up a storm! Even in math, she'll write out the answer as a sentence: "If 4 friends want to share a pizza cut into 8ths, each friend will get 2 pieces." She would never have done that last year.
I looked at this thread because I feel like the next step for her is writing her own thoughts more, as opposed to answering questions or doing research-type writing. She has not yet done much of that, and I'm looking for ideas! Staying tuned!
Have you looked into having her create a 'notebook' or 'nature journal' Charlotte-Mason style?
My DC love to do this. I bought them nice drawing paper, nice colored pencils, a few three ring binders, and a hole punch.
Whenever something really catches their interest, like say a close encounter with a bird, or learning about Pocahontas, or lightening-- they will draw a picture of it and write about it briefly, and then use the paper punch and put it in the binder.
The binders have some pretty neat things in them.
I try to have them set one up for general things they study (storms, butterflies, etc) and another separate one for history related things, so they can kind of put those in chronological order. If they write about themselves, I encourage them to put them into the 'end' of the history one, in our 'present time.'
This has worked really well for them. I just suggest, "Wow- that was so neat! Maybe you could make a page about it sometime." and their eyes light up and they start planning it.
My brothers, at that age, did gratitude journals each night before bed. They wrote about what they were thankful for each day, what they liked best. They also started writing about what they didn't like each day. Boy was that fun to read!
If she has some local friends, you could have her write letters to them. Not pen pals, exactly, but almost a chain mail type things. My daughter sends out stickers and a "note" to her friends a few times a year. (She's 3, so not much writing going on.)
Homeschooling Mama to DD and one .
TTC #2. Hoping to !
Oh, comics is a good idea! Rain used to make those... If you're looking for just any sort of writing, how about lists and notes within the family? We've always left each other notes, like "Please buy more cheese!" We try to keep a shopping list on the fridge, too, that everyone can add to, but things like cheese sometimes require extra reminding.
Single mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler
Oh my gosh, these are such great ideas!!!! Thank you!!! I'm going to write these down and present them to dd and let her choose what to do. She likes choices, but isn't always great at coming up with the initial ideas.
We are possibly going to a nursing home for Valentines Day to hand out cards. I am going to see if it they will find a way for my boys (ages 5 and 10) to come by often and offer company or volunteer. I think a card or letter is a nice gesture and gives them something to look forward to.