Reluctant Writer Activity: Silly Sentences Printable
When you have a reluctant writer, it can be hard on both of you! One of the writing resources that I’ve found helpful with my daughter is my What a Silly Sentence! activity. You can get your own free copy at the bottom of this point.
Learning to write is a hard to task for a lot of young learners. There are a variety of reasons, that I won’t get into here, but it can be a frustrating time for homeschool moms and children alike!
Why Does My Child Hate to Write?
There are a lot of reasons that your child might be a reluctant writer, especially if they are young. But, most of them don’t actually have to do with writing. So, if you can help them with these other obstacles, hopefully they will grow to love writing.
Limited Spelling Ability
One reason that a lot of students struggle with writing in the early elementary grades is their limited spelling ability. They may know some sight words from kindergarten or maybe you haven’t focused on spelling that much, yet. Students can get very frustrated if they constantly have to ask for help when they are trying to write.
An easy fix for this is to provide a word bank. You can make a new word bank for each writing activity on a scrap of paper. Or, you can create a poster where you add frequently used words. Assuming your child can read, they can glance at the spelling words poster if they need help spelling a word. This helps them boost their writing confidence and lower their frustration level.
Low Writing Stamina
A second reason that a lot of students dislike writing when they are first learning is that it takes a lot of focus and young learners can tire quickly. They have to focus on how to spell the word, to write neatly, use proper punctuation and capitalization, etc. We, as adults, often take for granted just how much work goes into writing.
Shortening writing tasks is one way to alleviate this problem. When my oldest daughter was having trouble with writing in first grade, we just went back to the basics. I would let her choose a short (about 4 or 5 words) sentence from one of her favorite books and she would copy it neatly onto a piece of paper. We would do this a few days a week for a few weeks and then she started to have a better attitude when writing opportunities arose, so we moved onto slightly harder activities. Just watch your child and increase the difficulty as they are ready and willing. Just try to be patient – often young children want to learn just as badly as we want them to.
Another reason that some young learners are reluctant writers is that the subject just doesn’t interest them. In the beginning of first grade, I was (trying) to use a spelling workbook, but my daughter would balk at every single page that had an extended writing activity. It gave her a word bank, it wasn’t too long….what’s the problem?! Just write a few sentences. But, writing a few sentences about a picture that she didn’t care about didn’t interest her.
So, I created What a Silly Sentence. Kids love to be silly and adding some silliness to a writing activity can sometimes do the trick for reluctant writers. The activity provides a word bank, but if your child wants to use other words, by all means add to it! Students choose words from the word bank and create silly sentences. There is space on the bottom half of the activity to write the sentences.
When you are teaching a reluctant learner it can get frustrating. Just remember that it is probably even more frustrating for them. I hope you found this reluctant writer activity helpful! Try to be patient and try some new activities until you find something that works.