It’s spring fever…. You don’t quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! –Mark Twain
Spring has sprung…along with a serious bout of spring fever! Warmer weather, refreshing spring showers, tender shoots of grass, and unfurling buds issue a siren’s call to your children, who want to ditch school in the worst way and just plain frolic.
How can you help them stay on task while allowing them to revel in the joy of an April morning? For a welcome break, why not take writing outdoors now and then as the weather beckons? Tote notebook and pencil to park, field, or yard and try some of these refreshing ideas. You’ll find that none require your student to write a full-fledged composition—but they do make great writing warm-ups or entertaining exercises for the more reluctant writers in your family.
Spring Journaling Prompts
Sometimes, all a child needs is an idea. A writing prompt is designed to be a springboard. Have her pick a topic and begin to write. Whether she ends up with three sentences or three pages, let her just write. Don’t red-pencil her journaling efforts—save your comments for actual writing instruction. Here are some friendly questions to prompt the writer in your child:
- What three things are you the most thankful for during spring? What makes them so special?
- Write about three things that you most enjoy about springtime.
- How do the pleasant days and freshness of spring affect your mood and attitude? How does spring make you feel positive and hopeful?
- What do you feel or think about when you take a walk on a spring day?
- Write about your favorite spring memory.
Vivid description makes writing come to life. Encourage your kids to practice using strong nouns and verbs, colorful adjectives, and precise adverbs. Instead of writing a composition, they should aim for a list of descriptive phrases or sentences.
- Sit on a bench or take a walk in your neighborhood or park. Describe some of the sights you see. Which paints a more vivid mental picture: Flowers blow gently in the breeze, or Golden poppies nod sleepily? Pink clouds drift in the sky, or Rosy wisps of cotton candy drift in the sky? Specific words do make a difference, so pick them wisely!
- Close your eyes and listen attentively. Do you hear the chipper chirp of a bluebird? The lazy drone of a honeybee? The rustle of leaves in the elm tree? Write descriptively about what you hear.
More descriptive writing ideas:
Now that spring is in full force, I hope you take advantage of pleasant days to take your schooling out of doors—where you can let your children’s creativity bloom!
Copyright © 2011 Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.
Kim Kautzer is a regular contributor to TheHomeschoolMom blog. A veteran homeschooler, author, and conference speaker, Kim loves to help parents feel more confident about teaching writing. With a heart to inspire and equip apprehensive parents, Kim encourages homeschoolers that teaching writing is much more objective than they think, and that with the right tools at their fingertips they can lead and motivate their struggling writers. Award-winning WriteShop, her unique and successful writing program, has been honored as one of Cathy Duffy’s 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. Kim and her husband Jim homeschooled for 15 years. Two of their three children have graduated from Christian universities, and their son is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology. The Kautzers enjoy their passel of grandchildren and their empty nest in Southern California. Kim blogs about writing at In Our Write Minds.