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Writers’ Workshop at Home: Support for Families

My child won’t write! He won’t pick up a pencil, no matter how much I demand, cajole, threaten or beg….”

Do Kids Get Too Much Homework? - Learning Liftoff

Is this what you hear from families who are trying to facilitate remote learning at home? That has been one of the biggest complaints from families at my school. It makes me so sad to hear because writing can be such a joyful part of a child’s literacy experience. It’s my favorite part of the school day! I love learning about each child’s life. I love watching them open up and say more. I love when their eyes light up when they realize their words are affecting another person. I love it all!

I want families to experience the joy of writers’ workshop, but even more importantly I want children to be writing every day. Which means they need to be writing on the days they are learning from home.

So I created the following videos to support families. Please feel free to use these videos in their current form, or use them as a launching point to create your own. Either way, I hope your writers are writing every day!

Writers’ Workshop for Families: Introduction

In this first video, I share the idea that writers get better at writing by writing. The following  videos help families to reach that goal. 

*In the video, I refer to “this video” because originally this series was all in one long video. I chopped it up into smaller videos so it wouldn’t be too long. So when I say “this video” I really mean “this series of videos” but I chose not to rerecord the introduction because of one word. 

Writers’ Workshop for Families: Finding Topics

In this video, I provide some guidance for families to support their child as they choose topics. 

Writers’ Workshop for Families: Accepting Approximation

In this video, I encourage families to accept their child’s approximations and celebrate what they are doing well. 

Writers’ Workshop for Families: Structure

*In this video I explain the structure of writer’s workshop and explain that children aren’t all expected to master the content of the mini-lesson on the day it is presented. I encourage families to let their children write even if it’s not focused on the teaching point of the lesson because the most important thing is that the children are writing.  In addition, if a child is attempting to follow the mini-lesson, but gets stuck, it’s okay for them to focus on something else so long as they keep writing. 

Writers’ Workshop: Teaching Just One Thing

In this video, I speak to the parents who want their kid’s writing to be perfect. The ones who can’t help but push their kids to have everything “right” in their writing. I encourage them not to push their child, but if they must teach them, then teach them “just one thing.” So, they might encourage their child to:

  • Focus on a small moment
  • Find 2-3 words to correct spelling
  • Correct capitalization/punctuation on 2 pages
Writing Letters to Your Child - 3 Essential Ingredients - iMom

1 thought on “Writers’ Workshop at Home: Support for Families”

  1. Wow, Melanie! This is an incredible resource for families and teachers! Thanks so much for putting it together and sharing in such a generous way.
    Shine on,

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