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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling by Subject
Language Arts for Homeschoolers

Fiction and Non-Fiction Writing Resources

by Julie Shepherd knapp, copyright 2006

Writing prompts, online tutorials, books, programs, and tutors
to help students improve their writing skills.

If you use a School-at-Home approach, writing assignments will be
included within your child's language arts curriculum.

If you are following an alternative homeschool approach writing
may also be addressed as part of the philosophy.  Many alternative
approaches give guidance to parents on how and when to teach children
to write, and what types of writing assignments will encourage the traits
valued by each of the educational philosophies, such as encouraging
children to keep journals, or write narrative descriptions of what they
have read or observed, or copy passages from great literature.  

If you are supplementing your current approach, or constructing
your own writing curriculum
you will find that there are many, many
different types of resources available to help you teach about writing and
to help your child learn basic and advanced writing techniques.  This is
actually a good thing, because children can be so different in their writing
likes, dislikes, and needs.

Some children seem to be naturals at
creative writing -- they are
enthusiastic about sharing their thoughts, and there are days when they
seem to almost bubble over with ideas for stories and other creative
writing projects.  Other children have a hard time with creative writing,
such as making up stories, but love to share knowledge about their
favorite topics, or about subjects they have researched -- they prefer to
non-fiction pieces, such as reports, research papers, how-to
articles, or opinion/persuasive articles.  

Other children don't enjoy sharing their ideas at all, find it hard to think of
topics to write about, and have great difficulty getting their thoughts on
paper.  These
Reluctant Writers need help finding their niche in the
writing world.  Some reluctant writers are actually just
who will become quite good at writing when the time is right for them.  
However, if you have a child who seriously struggles with both
handwriting and productive writing it is possible that he or she has a
disability of written expression, called
dysgraphia.  You can read more
about dysgraphia and other learning disabilities in the Homeschool
Special Needs section.

So, take a look at the resources in these sections and see if any of them
look helpful for your child's particular interests and needs.  Many online
vendors have
sample pages of each product, and most educational
publishers will send you sample pages on request.  If you don't see what
you're looking for here, do a Google search for "homeschool writing
curriculum" , or visit an online vendor such as Rainbow Resources and
do some more looking.

Writing Curriculum, Programs, Prompts, How-To
Books and Other Resources

Online Writing Classes and Writing Tutors

Creative Ideas for Writing, Fun Resources, and
Online Enrichment

Poetry Writing and Resources

How to Help Reluctant Writers and Children Who
Hate to Write

Related Resources

Creative Kids Magazine -- the nation's largest magazine written for
and by kids, kids can submit essays to the "Write On" section

A list of kids' Publishers -- from author Brooke Bessesen

WORD the Official Blog of Read and Writing magazines from Weekly
Reader -- tips and submission suggestions, kids' writing contests, etc.

(Son of) Citation Machine -- free online tool to put reference citations
in the proper format (choose from MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style)

Avoiding Plagerism -- from the OWL at Purdue

Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Recognize and Avoid It --
examples of good and bad paraphrasing, from Indiana University

Avoiding Plagiarism -- examples of paraphrasing and practice
paragraphs, from the Rio Salado College Online

Guiding the Gifted to Honest Work -- helping kids avoid plagerism
when writing reports by increasing the critical thinking needed to write
them (aimed at gifted but applies to all students) Young Writers -- helpful articles, tips on getting
published, contest announcements, links to other resources

A Teen's Guide to Getting Published: Publishing for Profit,
Recognition, and Academic Success a book by Jessica Dunn

StyleWriter software --  a word processing add-on that flags poor
writing, gives suggestions to improve writing style.  

Super Kids Software Reviews: Typing Programs -- a nice resource
for choosing a program

The Visual Thesaurus -- an online visual representation of thesaurus
entries, similar to "mind-mapping" or flow charts, subscription, free trial

Scored Writing Samples -- for grades 3, 5, 6, and 8 -- four types of
writing are analyzed for various elements and scored from low quality to
high quality, with explanations and comments, useful as a sample of
typical work at different grade levels.

Make Your Own Books - several options for easy, inexpensive  book
binding kits (a great incentive for story-writing!)

Informal Logic -- a review of the informal reasoning that occurs in the
course of personal exchange, advertising, political debate, legal
argument, and in other types of social commentary

The English Assignment that Ate the American Economy by Margot
Carmichael Lester -- how teaching the 5 paragraph essay is ruining the
development of real-world writing skills in American children

A Celebration of Women Writers -- lists women authors from 300 A.D.
to 20th century, includes many free online texts and biographical info
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language arts