Writing Drills and Skills for Homeschoolers

One of the constant items that homeschoolers request at conferences and exhibitor venues is writing curricula. Good writing tools are in high demand, and there are lots of writing curricula available to review. Sometimes, however, good writing skills come just from the habit of regular writing! Setting up regular writing drills does not have to be difficult nor cumbersome, nor does it need to involve large sums of your curricula budget, but the key is making writing drills a regular part of your homeschool routine.

Writing skills will naturally develop over time, particularly as students gain exposure to new ideas and deeper issues that they become more aware of as they grow. But with regular writing and evaluation added into your program, homeschool students will develop the ability to "think on their feet," and be able to coherently develop lines of thought and reason while they are also developing the solid mechanics of writing. Sometimes the biggest challenge is just getting started. The more confidence they have in their ability to begin the writing process, the more effectively homeschoolers will write. If they are familiar with writing "speed drills" because they are doing them regularly, then the process of getting started on any writing project becomes far less intimidating and students can move forward to increase in writing skill.

Assuming that you are using a solid program for teaching foundations in grammar, punctuation and capitalization, begin to incorporate writing drills into your homeschool daily or weekly routine. These can be fun and easy. One such writing exercise that lends itself to a variety of drills is based on the 26 letters of the alphabet. Essentially, students use the letters of the alphabet to compose targeted sentences. Time restrictions can be added in order to enhance the analytical thinking skills that will be necessary for standardized writing tests in high school, and timed tests later in college. Drills can even be done in group settings or set up in teams if you work with coop classes in your homeschool program. Once the writing drill is complete, students and parents, or their peers, can review the sentences for writing style, grammar corrections, punctuation, etc., thus reinforcing the self-checking and proofing skills that all good writers need.

With regular practice, writing becomes far less daunting, and much more effective. It doesn't take too much time to add this in, but so many homeschoolers lose time worrying over finding the "perfect" writing program instead of just writing! Don't make this mistake, too. To increase writing skill - write! Look for supplemental programs and writing templates that move into deeper writing styles if you want, but work on quick thinking and analytical writing skills in the form of regular drills, too. Even young students will enjoy these drills when turned into a game, and they will learn much from them!

To see an example of the "Magic 26 Drills," visit the National Homeschool Website, click on the "Daily Exercises" button, and request your free copy of the drill instruction sheet. Have fun, and keep writing!

Mrs. Camille Rodriquez is a wife and mother, with experience as a pastor’s wife for more than a decade and as a homeschool mom for almost 20 years. Visit her website at National Homeschool Academy.

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2 Responses to “Writing Drills and Skills for Homeschoolers”

  1. Rebecca,

    If you will email me, camille@joyabides.com, I’ll be happy to send you a copy of the drills -

    Camille Rodriquez

  2. Rebecca B says:

    Is there a web address for where one can obtain the Magic 26 Drills? I have tried to find it on the internet with no luck. Thank you for your help.

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