It is important that your child writes at least one “paper” a week. For younger students (grades 1-3) this will consist of a short paragraph. For intermediate students it will consist of much longer paragraphs, and then multiple paragraphing. Our goal, in this remedial writing program, is for each intermediate age child (4-8) is to write a four page paper by Christmas, and a six page paper by the end of the year. This will require weekly writing assignments that are carefully structured and sequenced to make the child successful with each step. I use a “Writing Without Curriculum“ or I sometimes call it the “ Right Brain Writing Program” that I created specifically for kids and teenagers who needed more structure to write sentences, paragraphs, and papers. I created this easy to use writing method when I was teaching bright, hard working students in a Remedial Language Arts program. (to receive an email copy of this beginning writing program, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Whatever the age of the child I will start with writing very good sentences, then paragraphs and then multiple paragraphs. This can only be accomplished with MUCH adult involvement. Using a BLANK PIECE OF PAPER, (not a workbook page or worksheet), help the child use the webbing process to build a paragraph. This is not the “typical webbing” that most people are used to. It uniquely leads the student to see the “whole” paragraph or paper before he/she even begins writing it. Put as few words as possible on the webbing, just to remind the child what to write in each section.
You do the writing on the webbing, not the child. You write short reminder words on the webbing while the child provides the ideas. (This if often like a visit to the dentist’s office, in the intensity of work required on your part, to elicit responses from a reluctant writer). Then have the child choose the transition expressions to use on the paper, and write them on the webbing. The next day (or two) the child will write the paper using the webbing as his notes. Then you will correct it, using ONLY POSITIVE comments and markings on the paper. Giving a child a point for every good thing on the page, is very encouraging to the child and will pay big dividends in the amount of writing you will continue to get all year. Each week continue to expand the amount and quality of the child’s writing. Remember that we do NO RE-WRITES. In remedial writing, it is the process we are focusing on, not the product.
After your child is writing paragraphs easily, and with a good order and flow, you can change to any “regular” writing program. There are many available that will show a child how to do persuasive writing, expository writing, etc. Your child will now have gotten out of the “no writing hole” and you can proceed at a regular pace of writing instruction that most curriculums follow. This will be one of your most satisfying experiences when you see the final product…a writing child after a year of using these remedial writing techniques. After the child has gotten very good at webbing, and writing good paragraphs, you can proceed to use any good writing curriculum that you have.