Lots of people ask me what method or philosophy of homeschooling we practice around here. Our learning journey is inspired by bits and pieces of many philosophies, ultimately landing us in the eclectic realm.
This is quite true of our ‘writing class’, as we don’t actually have one – though we sometimes write specifically as part of our home learning, much of our writing comes by way of life in general. Writing goes on in many places around these parts – in bed, on various bits of floor, at the dining table, in a closet nook, in the car. We write checklists, wish lists, notes, reminders, instructions, and more.
One of our favourite spaces is our writing station, with thanks for the specifics of the idea to Meg of Sew Liberated – a wonderfully inspiring mama and artisan. If the kids want to write a letter or craft a special card, they’ll often be found at the writing station that is stocked with blank cards, envelopes, rock crayons, pencil crayons, pens, craft stamps, and of course postage stamps. The thing that I am most thankful to Meg for is the idea to have a binder with pre-written mail labels, so the kids can find the name (and photo if you are more organized than me!) of their friend or family member and simply peel off the label and stick it on in the appropriate place.
Simple cream coloured lined paper strips that hang on the wall next to the station were perfect for writing the alphabet in upper and lower case for quick reference while in the midst of letter writing goodness.
When the kids are ready to mail their letter, they can find the address label for the recipient as well as a return address label. We pre-write our address on the labels, and leave a space for them to fill in their own name, so they can customize it a bit and be more involved in the process without having to write out the entire address.
To help guide the writing process for our little ones, we have also created a set of Tiny Writer printable sheets. There are sheets for a variety of levels, from a full letter with address up top, salutation, body, and closing – right down to a sheet with a space for the author’s name, a drawing, and their special finger-print signature. Included is a handout with one page of writing prompts with ideas for what to explore in your letter, and one page with questions to ask your recipient. These can be kept handy in a binder or on a clipboard, or can be cut out and placed in a jar. We cut ours out and to tell the difference between topics and questions, we coloured our question slips yellow. Please feel welcome to download the handouts for your own use.
We used the Tiny Writer printables for a fun project over at National Geographic called Letters to Lions.
Apologies for the poor photos – the lighting in the writing nook is not great. The upside is it made me realize we should get a light for this space!