Sunday, March 01, 2015

36 Weekly Writing Prompt Ideas for Homeschoolers {Printable}

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A little over a year ago, I decided to spice up our Mondays with writing prompts.

Best homeschool decision ever.

Why? Because I have seen my kids' creativity soar. It's been so neat to watch each of my kids' unique writing styles develop over the past year and to see how their personalities flow through the pen onto paper. I like that they look forward (mostly) to reading their work out loud and hearing their siblings' prompts, too.

My oldest likes to write fiction prompts, each story featuring different characters and scenarios. Because of the 15-20 minute time limit and the nature of his writing, he doesn't get to develop an entire story, but some of them could be best-selling novels in the making!

My middle child sticks mostly with the same group of characters he's created - Mr. Dr. Billy Bob Snow, Jelly Joe, Giant Jim, and a few others although he's likely at times to throw in a famous person here and there. Each prompt is like another chapter in a continuous story. He has a knack for humor and usually makes us laugh.

My youngest started out writing stories that were more like personal narratives, but she has shifted to creating stories that feature her ginormous collection of stuffed animals as the main characters. Each prompt is most likely going to be some kind of "Animal Town" adventure. Sometimes she even adds an illustration to her story if she has time.

How to Incorporate Weekly Writing Prompts

First, come up with a handy list of writing prompt topics (or print our list below). I came up with some of the ideas, but I did have my kids submit their ideas as well. I wanted to give them opportunities to write about things that interested them. I started out choosing which topic they'd write about each week, but then I added a twist and let the kids take turns picking a number off of the list. After they picked a number, I'd reveal the topic.

Second, pick a day and time that works best for everyone to have 15-20 minutes, or however long you decide, to write without interruption. We started out with Monday mornings around 9:30ish after Bible and read aloud/Good Mythical Morning.

Third, after everyone is finished writing, have your kids take turns reading aloud their work. In the beginning, I wrote, too. It was always interesting to see how 4 people could write so differently about the same topic!

Fourth, have each child store their writing prompt treasures in a special place. I choose not to grade their prompts. I don't even look at them. I want my kids to really enjoy these writing assignments without dreading grammar and spelling corrections, etc.

* My one writing prompt rule: Write about anything you want as long as it somehow relates to the topic.

A Few Notes About Our Prompts

The following list comes from prompts we've actually written about with the exception of the three starred ones. We haven't gotten to those yet. And right now we're trying out something a little different - picture prompts. I'll have to write about that in another post. ;)
I think most of the prompts are pretty self explanatory, but let me elaborate on a couple of them.
  • Animal Perspective - for this one, my kids had to write from the perspective of an animal. Basically, they had to pretend to be that animal and write from its viewpoint.
  • Real Imaginary Creature - they had to write about an imaginary creature they wish they could bring to life.
I hope this gets you and your kids excited about writing prompts! I'm so glad we've taken the time to add them to our homeschool schedule. Feel free to view and print our list of topic ideas.

Linked to: Thoughtful Thursdays, Hip Homeschool Hop, Literacy Musing Mondays, A Little Bird Told Me


Unknown said...

I like how these are very open ended. What ages do you think these would work for? I found you on the hip homeschool hop.
Thanks for sharing.

Brandi said...

Hi Kim, I think these would work well with lots of different ages - as long as the kids can write sentences on their own. My own children were about 15, 12, and 9 when we used the writing prompts.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for getting back to me!

Mary Hill said...

Hi, thanks for linking up with us at Literacy Musing Mondays. I am so glad you are joining us. I love this post and the prompts are so great. I clicked on it because well I love to write and am always looking for writing inspiration. I selected your post as my favorite for the week. Is this your first week? I don't read every post because we divide them up amongst the hosts. Thanks again.

Brandi said...

My kids loved doing these. We've kept all the writing prompts since they loved them so much! I've been linking up for the past couple of months - great link up!!! Thanks for taking the time to read mine. :)


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