Keeping the Writing Rolling

Jun 25, 2020 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


Summer has arrived! The slower pace of the season brings with it opportunities to read for perhaps hours on end, go swimming at the beach or pool, and enjoy your favorite grilled foods. And in the midst of all of this, you want your students to continue writing. But how? We posed this question in our Facebook Group Homeschool Help as well as to some veteran homeschool moms, and they dished up some great suggestions.

Some of the following ideas are best suited for students who have worked through the nine units of Structure and Style. Using the appropriate structural model for each writing project, these creative ideas can be simple to accomplish. For students who are new to writing, are younger in age, or perhaps have some learning challenges, instead of expecting independence, work alongside them to write content together. It’s a pleasurable way to enjoy some quality time while you work together to create a written keepsake. Hopefully one or more of these ideas will pique your students’ interest and keep the writing rolling.

  • Copywork – While not technically creating new content, copywork can be enjoyable, and it also offers the benefit of strengthening a student’s fine motor skills as well as exposure to vocabulary, syntax, and style. Here are a few options to consider:
    • Poetry – Select a classic poem for your student to copy, or even better, allow him to select his own. There are a host of excellent options supplied in Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. You can even download the first five poems of Level 1 for free by visiting To make the copywork even more special, print out a page with lines and a border that your student can color in.
    • Gallery Wall or Gifts for Grandma – Have students copy a beautiful quote, scripture, poem, or other message on the bottom half of a page, and then color a picture above the text. Put the page into an inexpensive frame, hang it on the wall, or send to grandparents. Or use the printed border paper idea shared above. Provide a special frame or spot for each child, and update the “gallery” regularly, sending the “retired” pieces to a grandparent or a special friend. Don’t forget to grab a photo of it first!
    • Foldable Books –These are a great way to combine creativity with writing. Young students can create a book and then copy the text that you provide. There are lots of imaginative ideas for creating these books that you can find on Pinterest and across the Internet. This PDF offers just a few suggestions. Older students who have already learned how to apply the structural models could create these unique foldable books to capture their ideas about the stories they are reading (Unit 3 or 9), about their favorite animals (Unit 4 or 7), or about a place they recently visited (Unit 4 or 7).
  • Postcard Summaries (Use the structural model for Unit 5.) – Go on a local field trip to the zoo or a historical site, and pick up a few postcards. Rather than mailing them out, have your students write a short summary of what they saw or thought of when they were there. There’s not a lot of space on those cards, so the task isn’t intimidating. Afterwards, they can place their cards in a special notebook of memories. For younger students, you could also dictate a few sentences for them to scribe.
  • Delight-Driven Reports (Use the structural model for Unit 6.) – One parent related how her child wrote an in-depth report about his favorite Avenger, including a rough draft and final copy. To cap it all off, he even drew a picture for it. To give it the prominence it was due, the mother laminated it to keep it preserved. She shared that her son had a blast doing the research and editing. This is a great example of how you can harness a child’s innate interests to engage learning.


All of the above mentioned ideas feature either copywork or supply an IEW structural model to complete the project. The following ideas correlate with IEW’s Unit 7 model, Inventive Writing. It is important to understand that prompt-based writing is very challenging for students who have not yet learned to write with Structure and Style. Does this mean you can’t incorporate these suggestions? Certainly not! Just do them together! You help create the content and function as the scribe.

  • Letters – 
    • Instead of giving a generic card for special occasions, consider writing a letter. One mom shared how her family felt it was so meaningful to receive a thoughtful letter, perhaps with a sweet drawing, rather than an expensive card. She stores them in a special keepsake box.
    • Create an ongoing mother-child letter, back and forth. Composition books work well for this. Mom or Dad can write their child a letter, ask some questions, etc. Then the child would write back. The notebooks would create a legacy of memories. Note, though, that this project would not be suitable for young children. Save it for a bit later, after they have some Structure and Style under their belts.
    • One family mentioned that they used to write paragraphs for their family Christmas letter. They also sent some of their narratives to relatives as letters, perhaps sharing a story about a recent vacation, for example.
  • Journal – Another parent found and printed out a list of daily journal questions that went along with the month. Her kids would write the answer to the question with a single sentence or several, depending on their age and interest. In Primary Arts of Language—Writing, dedicated time is spent each day writing in a family journal, with the teacher/parent taking dictated sentences and writing them down for the student. Many people have shared how much they and their children have enjoyed this aspect of the curriculum.
  • Write a play – A parent shared that after her children attended a week-long drama camp, they spent time at home writing a script and producing their own little play. She wrote, “I am sure little children do this with their imagination all the time; they just don’t write down the script. It was fun to see their attempt at writing and also the gathering of props, to practice acting, etc.”

Did you find some inspiration for your own children? We hope so! If you aren’t yet a member of this truly helpful group, consider joining today. It’s a great venue for veteran homeschoolers to share their wisdom and for homeschooling newcomers to receive support and encouragement. If you have other ideas for keeping kids writing this summer, be sure to share them there!

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