• Laurie Matthews, FPCS Sponsor Teacher, has created the first in a series of videos in which she will be coaching homeschool parents to teach various writing strategies to writing workshop image homeschool students. The first video will empower you to begin working on summary paragraphs with all ages of students in any subject.


    Summary writing is an excellent way to develop your child's writing skills! You can use this method to very easily incorporate writing into most subjects, and with any content. This video captures the Step Up to Writing curriculum's method including specific lessons and examples for 3rd-6th, middle school, and high school. Before starting the video, make sure to print the supporting PDF file.


    Video I: Summary Writing


    After you have watched the video and you are ready to start using the tools she has given you, you will can follow this schedule:

    • Day 1This will take about 30 minutes. Using the examples which are the most appropriate for your child, introduce the burrito fold method and take your child through the pages in the PDF. Include a mini-lesson about how to correctly identify titles in the "Identify" section. This is part of the PDF, and is discussed in the video. Select one chapter of a book which your child has recently read (you should read it prior to this), or a news article which you will both read together. Only develop the topic sentence in this day.
    • Day 2This will take about 15 minutes one on one, and then possibly 20-30 minutes for your child to write or type the first draft independently. Create the fact outline together. Go through the item which you are summarizing together and discuss the main aspects which need to be covered while you are creating the fact outline. Then send your child to write independently. Remind them that the topic sentence is the first sentence, and then each item in the fact outline turns into an interesting sentence or two.
    • Day 3This will take about 10 minutes one on one. Have your child read their summary paragraph out loud to you. Follow along with the fact outline. When they are done, give specific praise praise praise!!! "Wow! I am so impressed by the way you took _____ fact and developed that sentence! " or "These words ________ that you used help me hear your voice in your writing. I love that!" These very specific responses are what your child needs to hear in order to continue to push themselves when writing. Don't take the first one of these to the final draft stage unless your child wants to.


    The next time you pull this in as an assignment, you will only need to help them develop the burrito fold topic sentence and fact outline. You may need to do this every time, depending upon their age.


    Video Series 2:  Writing a strong paragraph

    FPCS has an exciting series of parent workshops to share with you: writing workshops that equip you to teach your child to write a strong paragraph! There are 5 videos in this series - the first two videos are lengthy, but definitely worth the time investment, with the final three videos taking less time to work through. The Workshop builds as it progresses, please follow the order of videos starting with #1 and ending with #5. (Step up to Writing documents referenced in the videos are downloadable PDF files below)