section deals specifically with composition skills - writing
letters, reports, essays, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Grammar and mechanics (capitalization, punctuation, and parts
of speech) is covered in Teaching
Grammar. Handwriting is covered in Teaching
these subjects overlap, it works better in a homeschool situation
to spend a day or two each week focusing on one of these subjects
at a time. (See Sample Curriculum
Plan for a recommended schedule.)
traditional English curriculums spend too much time on grammar
(probably because it's much easier to correct thirty fill-in-the
blank, multiple-choice worksheets than it is to correct thirty
handwritten compositions) resulting in students who know everything
about diagramming sentences, but develop very few skills in
composition. As a homeschool parent; however, you can focus
two or three days per week on composition lessons, using these
compositions to also reinforce grammar skills, and the other
days working on specific grammar instruction. The result will
be that your child will not only learn proper grammar, but
he will also develop excellent composition skills.
for Composition Instruction:
the writing skills to be able to communicate effectively
in school, business, and personal applications.
to give and take constructive criticism.
how authors write and get published.
God as to whether or not He has given the student a calling
Guidelines for Composition Lessons:
a purpose for the writing assignment. Focus on only
one or two new techniques per assignment (topic sentences,
vivid verbs, idea starters, descriptive paragraph…)
an audience for the writing assignment: portfolio, friend,
letter to editor, publication.
them write what they know about or what interests them.
more time in writing instruction than in grammar workbooks.
You can teach grammar using their writing assignments,
using simple worksheets as needed, and by teaching
a complete grammar course once in 4th-6th, once in
7th or 8th, and once again in high school.
them write frequently.
a variety of teaching resources to keep interest going.
Provide them with different types and color of paper, make
booklets, use ideas from Writing
more information on teaching composition, see my Composition
Mini Workshop (pdf document).
track of your composition instruction with The
to Sample Curriculum Plan to see
a sample schedule.
to Composition Curriculum Recommendations