Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Starting English

My son struggles with even the most basic writing task. I don’t mean he whines about doing it or procrastinates until the last minute. We’re talking a full blown shutdown. He would start with the best intentions, but quickly become stuck and unable to put together even a simple sentence.

The first month of home school, we focused simply on his writing fluency. Writing fluency is all about his being able to easily form thoughts into complete sentences and put them down in written form. I used the suggestions from Reviving Disengaged Writers, by Christopher Lehman, to help him start getting something on paper. He could write on any topic as long as he produced ten typed lines a day. The first day, he generated a list of ideas for future use, but all the entries that month were about Mind Craft. And that’s O.K.

By the end of the first four weeks, he was able to easily write ten (or more!) lines on any topic of his choosing. We were not worried at this point about paragraph structures, editing, word choice or any other mechanics. It was all about getting the ideas from his head to the paper. Anything more will come later this year.