Our writing curriculum – though effective – has just not been very exciting. The kids have never been very enthusiastic about the daily assignments. I have known for a while that I needed to make a change. I was familiar with the workshop format and had used it a little with my own kiddos, but with only two – it just wasn’t effective.
A few months ago, I read Heather’s post Workshops Work! A Parent’s Guide to Facilitating Writer’s Workshop for Kids and I was immediately intrigued. Hosting a workshop for our homeschool community may just be the solution. Perhaps this was just the spark our homeschool writing program needed.This post contains affiliate links.
What is Writer’s Workshop
Writer’s workshop is a time for writers to gather together and share their work. Sometimes workshops incorporate mini lessons and give participants time to write and some, encourage writers to bring pieces they’ve already written to be shared during the workshop. The format of workshop can vary and of course evolve over time.
Like Heather, our workshop is based on the model from the book Workshops Work!: A Parent’s Guide to Facilitating Writer’s Workshops for Kids by Patricia Zaballos. Her approach to workshops give kids a reason to write, such as having an audience and something to say. She provides tips on how to create a safe, supportive, peer-to-peer experience. Upon reading it, I was convinced this format would work.
I thereby posted an invitation on our local homeschool forum and awaited their responses. I was delighted to see that many were interested; though some wanted to wait for the following school year, others were as anxious to get started as we were.
I began hosting workshop just a few weeks ago. We had to be out of town last week, so the group has only met twice thus far. Already, however, it has been a success and I look forward to getting to know the kids better and growing together as writers.