Using Your Child’s Interests To Sharpen Their Writing Skills

The Beyblade will spin.

The Beyblade is spinning.

The Beyblade spun.

After watching the videos by Andrew Pudewa, a really cool guy who works with IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing), I have concurred that his advice is correct!  He knows a lot about kids and their, “I don’t want to write,” attitude. He gives logical and scientific answers for why – and gives practical tips on how to get your kid interested and make progress, even if it seems slow by the world’s standards (so what?).

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Taking some of his advice and taking some of the advice I have read from the book Wild Things, The Art of Nurturing Boys, I am taking the thing my son is interested in most right now, which is Beyblade spinning battle tops, and using them in our school work.

The other day I had him disassemble his masterpieces, lay them in the order you would need them to be in if you were a beginner at building them, and then told him to create a mini manual for me.

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His handwriting isn’t the greatest but this no longer bothers me. I don’t try to correct his spelling, grammar or handwriting right away either, as it is a hindrance to the creativity and motivation department. I do that part later on.

Each person has to do what is best for them, but I do know Andrew Pudewa had much to say on this matter and it was so inspiring to me –  like a breathe of fresh air!

I don’t now if I found his studies and advice extra awesome because I am a writer myself, but I did, and I was “amen-ing” him the whole way through those videos us moms watched as we prepared for the Essentials class (with Classical Conversations).

Some of the things he was saying, I had already been implementing in my daily journaling and blogging!

So if you are a mom who is feeling guilty for not doing more, are concerned there is something wrong with your child’s level of learning or simply need some encouragement to pass on, I kindly urge you to check out some of his stuff.

Not only did this assignment surprise my son, it sparked his natural energies and creativity.  He immediately laid down and being working on it. 

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I have also used things like this when doing his KWO (key word outlines) we have been learning about this year.  You can read a sample of one hereNote that they are only for preview and not print.  It is a lot to take in, so if the first few pages are confusing, try scrolling straight down to page 10 and see exactly what  mean by KWO.  It is really neat and you learn a lot by using this method.

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Pst…this eventually turned into a Physics lesson!


Do you have any cool ideas for getting kids pumped about writing?

Feel free to share them below, I am always seeking out new ways to show my kids learning is fun.

M.E.Weyerbacher


4 thoughts on “Using Your Child’s Interests To Sharpen Their Writing Skills

  1. I was a former public educator and one of my hardest transitions has been trying to figure out what good instruction I can pull from my experiences and knowledge and alter to make it fit for homeschooling. It’s still something I’m working on. But for writing, I love the work of Ralph Fletcher. He emphasizes living a writer’s life, more than worrying about finished copies of things. I have been using writing notebooks with my kids where they can record bits and pieces of life that they can use in their writing later. I’m fortunate that my oldest really likes writing and she’s starting to get the concept of a notebook. My son isn’t getting it as much but he’s young and has time. And if it doesn’t work for him, we’ll can it. But Ralph also talks about letting the writer find a way of writing that works for them, and not making all kids do it the same. Which I get is hard in public school, but at home, it’s much easier. A lot of his work is more for older children, but can be applied to younger kids. I just try to let my son (since writing isn’t his favorite) write about what he enjoys, and we worry about grammar and spelling a bit more for when he is “publishing” a piece of writing. His notebook is a place to try stuff out and not worry about those things so much. Just a few thoughts.
    Love the idea above! My son would dig that!

    1. I love the idea of “the writer’s life” ~ we just started note-booking as they call it, this year. We actually started off doing each subject that way but it got a tad overwhelming. But I agree, having one handy to jot findings down, no matter the style, is a great way to let kids be in control yet still learning. I remember the first few weeks we took them outside and let them draw a picture at the top of the page (sometimes we just cut printer paper in half and stick glued it on and let it dry instead of paying extra $$ for the ones at stores) and then write a few sentences below describing it. I will check out the Ralph guy for sure. I am in this season where I am trying to “de-checklist” myself. I used to be so engrossed in making sure we got everything done that I lost my joy in it all and the kids were getting burned out going from book to the next. This year I have really tried a different approach, attitude – fun, more laid back and more involved/experimental learning…but boy sometimes I have to fight off that liar voice that says I am not doing enough. It is hard to believe that voice still even tries, considering us moms get up early and go all day pretty much lol. (my reply was so long, can you tell I need a mom’s day out?) 🙂 God bless you and have a great weekend!

  2. My son is a beyblades fan! I’m going to try this with him and look into the other text you mentioned. I’m driving back from out of town and will get to it when I have better reception. What a neat idea about the manual. I need to do that! Thank you and have a great day!

    1. Matthew will be excited to hear another boy likes them. He has a hard time finding kids around here who know about them and keeps begging me to form a local tournament to draw kids together LOL. Glad you liked it, let me know how it goes with him! God bless ya!

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