Finishing Summer Writing Homework (GROAN)

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My fifth grader is supposed to be keeping a journal over the summer –that will be 1) graded and 2) used as an assessment.

Summer Writing Intervention

AJ does not want to write and it shows in her work. I can barely get a paragraph out of her. (But, at least she writes with lots of voice*!)
*voice = when the writer’s personality comes through his or her writing

What can a parent do?

Time to channel your inner teacher. Here’s what I did that you can do, too.

1. Read a picture book together. Look for something like . . . 
– 1st person
– strong voice
– strong word choice
– vivid sensory details
– make the reader feel happy, sad, mad, nostalgic
– shares about an event or place

picture book examples: The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume, The Raft by Jim LaMarche, The Leaving Morning by Angela Johnson, A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams, Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff.

2. Write out loud in your own journal. (see above – I read part of The Pain and The Great One and wrote out loud – focusing my own sister with details about what we liked and didn’t like to play together.)

3. Ask child to write like that, too. “Today I want you to write about _your sister_____  or something from your list of ideas. Think of how the the picture book author did xyz and try to do it, too.”

It’s not easy getting reluctant writers to write. She has 6 more entries to go — and wouldn’t it be great if she could stretch her writing stamina to write more?  Clearly, I have work to do to facilitate better writing.

Throw down the gauntlet for yourself. How are you going to get your child to write? 


Me, too. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Ideas for Required Summer Journal Writing

You Might Also Like . . . 
The Best Journals for Kids 
How to Help Your Kids with Writing Assignments
Why I Hate Homework & the Research that Back’s Me Up
Gifts for Writers

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One Comment

  1. My oldest is about the same age and loathes writing too. Lucky for her, no such writing assignment over the summer. Unlucky for her, I’ve insisted on some very minimal practice over the summer. Any topic, but an expectation to work on adding details, a constant complaint we got from her teacher. I had her work on it maybe 3-4 times this summer, but she still wasn’t happy about it. Hopefully she’ll enjoy it someday.