HomeAboutAdvertiseBooksResource DirectoryCurriculumArticlesContactKids PagesFollow Beverley Paine, The Educating Paine, on Facebook



Tap into Beverley's
Educating Parent
experience through her books

You are being redirected to Always Learning Books where you can purchase Beverley Paine's books on how to home educate your children

 


Download your free copy

Download Beverley's free The Educating Parent Resource Directory for information about getting started, support groups, blogs and an extensive list of books about homeschooling and unschooling



Want to learn how to write your
own education plans to suit
your unique children's
individual learning needs?

 

Looking for quality curriculum
and teaching tips ?

 

Over 1000 reassuring and
informative articles to help
build your confidence as an
Educating Parent

Beverley's books are excellent for building confidence as a home educator says Tracey, homeschooling mum.

Looking for support, reassurance and information?
Join Beverley's The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook or Yahoo online groups.

Ideas for Encouraging Writing

Beverley Paine

Cut a blank exercise book (one that uses recycled paper, of course!) in half, watching out for the staples. One of the now small books should have two staples holding it together - the other will need some extra binding! You can make one narrow and one wide to overcome this.

With your child cover the larger book (or if they are independent, let them do it) using anything you like. I like brown paper and last month's dried flowers, all covered over with plastic (recycled clear bread bag, perhaps). Or one of last week's art masterpieces. Or the birthday wrapping paper from last year.

This can become the child's first daily journal or diary. I like using blank paper for very young children because most of what they record are pictures! Thomas used to draw what happened in his day, and I'd scribe for him. Eventually at about age eight he liked doing most of the writing for himself, with me having to spell most of the words. Sometimes he'd draw lines to write on, and other times he'd used a line card placed under the page.

We have lots of daily journals stored away now, all fantastic records of his journey through life and all showing brilliant progress (over time, his time) in his writing ability. You can find more ideas about getting started with Writing in Beverley's Practical Homeschooling Series .

Journals

A journal is a personal history of ideas and activities. We use unlined hard cover books as journals, to allow for illustrations and pasting in of photos, clippings and pictures. My children love to illustrate and decorate their writing page, or doodle creatively around the words. I see this as encouraging and valuing art as much as writing! It is good to encourage the children to see the journal as a record of their lives and thoughts, a place to write, draw, do diagrams and paste in various things - from dried flowers and leaves to tickets. Most children love the increasing bulkiness of the journal as stuff is added.

Diaries

Adults keep diaries for all sorts of purposes - I've kept a food diary, and a weather diary, to help me track my allergies. Thomas has been most interested in the weather diary and designed his own, keeping track of the temperature, barometer readings, clouds, humidity and wind speed every hour or so for over a week. This became a full blown science project... meticulously recorded in his diary.

You could purchase a Homeschooling Diary for your children to record their home education studies in, especially if you are following regular curriculum subjects. These are good for young children because there is only a small space for each day which allows the children to keep their entries short and sweet. This is really popular with most children. I have used Memo Books for the same purpose - a page a day. It isn't hard for a child to complete a page of that size!

Over the year the diary becomes a comprehensive record of their home learning program. The organisational and managerial skills developed will stand them in good stead as they approach their late teens, and look at tertiary studies or employment.

"I Can." and "I Feel." Books

I cut A4 blank exercise books in half (I needed to add another staple to hold one of the resultant books together). With these A5 landscape oriented books we made " I Can" books. Each page with "I can...". Thomas would fill out the rest, or when he was four to six years he'd just draw a picture and I'd scribe. Sometimes he'd 'write' for himself, filling the space with scribble or sometimes strings of figures that were close approximations of letters and numbers.

As he grew and his skills developed he began to finish the sentence himself. Sometimes a story would evolve out of the "I can" statement, and I would need to record for him, the writing often spilling over on to the next page. I encouraged fiction as well as actual abilities.

These books are always great fun to look through years later as they really trace the development of the child - physically, socially, intellectual and emotionally!

Another great half size book we've made is the "How I Feel" book. This one can be explored forever but does need a creative parent to come up with never ending possibilities, once the usual emotions are done. Start with pictures on love, hate, anger, etc, and then move to frustration, pity, etc. We started with pictures of how he looked when he felt like that, or of some of the things that made him feel like that. But you could explore poetry, song lyrics, compositions, letters, any writing form. You can even review extracts from what the child is reading - and comment on this, or films, television - anywhere where feelings are explored...

Postcards

Another great writing idea is fostering the love of corresponding with others - pen friends. There are so many pen friend lists available on home education web sites, or in newsletters, but you can start with just writing to your own friends - the people you see regularly!

Children love to receive mail and parcels, and are quite happy to write back, but need some guidance and support until the idea really takes off. I liked to keep it very simple at first, and we focussed on postcards. These have limited space so are quick to write, usually filled with short sentences. Thomas feels less intimidated with the amount of handwriting. The whole exercise only takes a few minutes. We even make our own postcards, reusing old cards with interesting pictures on them that are sent to us, or old photographs.

Over time the children began to send letters, drawings, homemade magazines, puzzles, etc, to their pen friends. The to and for of correspondence naturally reinforced the activity.

Varying Writing Tools

Writing can sometimes be even more enjoyable when the writing implement is varied. We have lots of different implements around, from lead pencils of varying grades and thickness, different types of colour pencils, biros, ink pens (cartridge and nib), chalk, texta (fine and thick felts), charcoal - all the regular art materials plus things like lemon juice and candles for secret stuff!

It is good to vary the colour and texture of the paper too. Our children really enjoyed making paper, and cards and envelopes appeared all over the place, resulting in a lot of letters sent. But just don't stop at paper and card to write on, try blackboards, brick walls, pavements, round surfaces...

Get them into writing signs!

For a while our house was covered in signs - children love creating signs. The first of these echoed the labels I posted on just about everything to encourage early reading, and progressed to a series of strong statements tacked onto bedroom doors. I have a long tradition of posting excellent quotes on the wall, and even messages to myself. My children have naturally picked this habit up, and enjoy using word processing programs to print out their signs.

The computer as a writing tool

The computer offers a whole new array of writing incentives, with a bonus for Thomas of not having to laboriously produce handwriting, which he still finds tedious. His keyboard skills are gradually improving.

The spell checker has a limited, but useful, role to play in his writing. Mostly Thomas uses the computer to compose and send email messages to friends, or to put together pages for the local homeschooling newsletter. He also has several stories going, one with several chapters, and another with illustrations from clipart and paintbrush.

The joy of using the computer is being able to print out books, labels, signs, projects - all of them looking very professional. My children regularly incorporate photographs into their work now.

I like the children using the computer for word processing and drawing as they are becoming familiar with the processes and skills involved. Their innate sense of fun and drive to explore helps to expand their knowledge of the tool faster and more efficiently than I do! I know that mucking about on the computer is giving them the skills and confidence to put together that essential resume or job application later on....

Weaving writing into dramatic play

Role playing games are another great way of introducing writing in our children's lives. I remember one great game that went on for more than a week. The children constructed a shop in our living area, which slowly evolved into a whole street of shops!

I became immersed into the play from the beginning, helping out with props and costumes and making suggestions, like designing and printing play money, forms for the bank and post office, menu cards for the restaurant, travel brochures for the travel agents and a magazine of hair styles for the hairdressers. We even put together a small newspaper. The amount of writing that was done in that week still astounds me!

Our Family Excursion Book and other Home Education Recording Methods
As a family we put together an excursion/holiday journal where we paste leaflets and brochures from the places we visit, and each person draw pictures and/or write up reviews, or our feelings and thoughts about the occasion. This has become an important aspect of our home education recording regime, as valuable as our photograph album. We start a new book, usually a scrap book, each year.

Early in our home education odyssey I learned that the bulk of the record keeping necessary in maintaining a smooth flowing learning program can be done by the children - that we, as parents, don't have to take full responsibility. A lot of the record keeping, charts, diaries, lists, checklists, etc, offer enormous scope for learning skills that will be invaluable later - especially organising personal papers, etc. And it is great encouraging the children to come up with ideas for recording too.

One of the recording tools we use is a folder where I collect up all the stuff they draw or write, over a week or a month. This gets filed away, ready for pasting into scrapbooks, again blank exercise books, for each child. Most often I am in charge of pasting - the children usually aren't motivated enough to do this, but are happy when I do it. I have April's very first 'people' drawings in there, from many moons ago now! The children's scrapbooks are another treasure from childhood.

The Writing Centre
We have a Writing Centre set up in the activity room where all the different types of things we can write or draw with (including charcoal, chalk, food dyes, inks and paints) are next to shallow trays made from recycled cardboard boxes, containing different kinds of paper and card to write or draw on in many different colours and sizes. Just having constant free access to all this stuff kept the kids actively exploring writing. My job way to keep it topped up and varied, and the pencils sharpened occasionally!

The writing centre also had many examples to follow, and I'd regularly change the displays of types or forms of writing. Whenever I'd come across something unusual, like a different font used somewhere, or texture, I'd show the children and we'd talk about it or have a go for ourselves. I mostly collected samples from 'real' life, or sometimes I would make them up myself, pasting them on card and storing them in a home made card file for easy access by the children.

Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you? Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating offering encouragement and reassurance to families wanting better outcomes for their children.

Thank you for your gift contribution!

Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people."
Vanessa

"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!"
Davina

"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others."
Lesley

"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
2am in the morning, I 've been encouraged!"
Louisa

"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful."
Gythaa

I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.

Welcome to the
World of Home Education
and Learning without School!

We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!

The information on this website is of
a general nature only and is not intended
as personal or professional advice.
This site merges and incorporates
'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

Advertise with The Educating Parent

cover of Getting Started with Homeschooling by Beverley Paine DIY Getting Started with Home Schooling Pack
Beverley Paine's best selling comprehensive common sense manual detailing how to write your own curriculum tailored to your children's educational needs
PLUS 9 of Beverley's popular practical home educating series booklets!

Great value $60
Natural Learning
and Unschooling Pack

Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review

Only $29 or $33
Select A4 or A5 Diary

Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.

Access all the content plus BONUSES from the Australian Homeschool Summit

Stocking all of Beverley Paine's, the educating parent's, books!

30% discount off ReadyEd Publications for homeschoolers until 31st December 2016

Find out more about Brain Builder by clicking here!

Link to Educate and Assist for home educating familiesEducating the World One Student at a Time AOIA Online Education

Supervised school of distance education

click to go to the Sunshine Collective providing ‘Brilliant Boxes’ to families of pre-schoolers and primary school aged children, throughout Australia

Belinda Cowie Whisper Waters Educational Resource for Home Educating FamiliesSTEM tutoring

Click here to go to Home Learn cover the 'core' with room to explore! Sydney Dance/Sports Classes for home educating students

Maths Mentality helping parents understand primary school mathematics

 

animated Australian flag

Without revenue from advertising
by educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!


Support Centre
Contact Us | Join a Support Group | Beverley's Books | Resource Directory | Blog | Donate

About The Educating Parent
Beverley Paine | April Jermey and Always Learning Books | Advertise with us

Sitemap

What is Home Education Why Home Educate Getting Started & Registering Different Ways to Home Educate
Life as a Home Educator Resources & Support Teens and Beyond Curriculum and Teaching Tips
Unschooling & Natural Learning Travelling & Home Educating Other: just for fun, general, etc Children's Pages
     

animated smiling faceThank you for visiting!

Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
The opinions and articles included on this website are not necessarily those of Beverley and Robin Paine,
nor do they endorse or recommend products listed in contributed articles, pages, or advertisements.
Site Map
. Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2017.