Fun Writing Projects for Reluctant Writers

If your child is a budding sculptor or painter or just loves to draw or do arts and crafts, use her artistic skills to help her shape a story. Sculpt, paint, draw, or craft characters, buildings, vehicles, and landscapes. Listen to the stories that come forth as a result of creative play with her creations, and help her write a few of them down. Record her voice as she narrates her creative play, and play it back to transfer the story to print.

Digital Stories

Some reluctant writers simply dread the tedious process of manual handwriting. Give them the opportunity to create stories, reports, or poetry collections with digital presentation software such as PowerPoint or Kid Pix . . . and they shine! By teaching them to present their ideas through technology, you enhance their writing quality and build valuable work skills for the future.

Word Problem Bank

Young mathematicians can write story problems for a word problem bank. Store them in a card file box and have each child add to the collection each week to keep in sync with the math skills they are practicing. The children can draw one card per day (to solve) or draw several as a math assignment once a week.

 Movie and Music Reviews

Everyone, young and old, has opinions just begging for an audience. Let your child be a “critic for a day.” Read music and movie reviews and discuss how to present a useful opinion without libel. Try writing reviews of favorites and flops among new movies, TV shows, or music. Publish the critiques in a newsletter for your homeschool co-op to enjoy.


Cartoons let young artists tell a visual story with a few words of dialogue to develop plot or humor. Read comic books or newspaper funnies and note how the visual elements interact with the text to tell a story or joke. The visual focus frees the child from the need to produce lots of words.

Movie Time

If you have a young thespian on your hands, let him choose a setting, characters, and plot for a movie script. Design sets, costumes, and props. Recruit family and friends to play the parts, or create figures for an animated movie. Film and edit the movie and hold a premiere showing for the actors’ families and special guests.


Tamara lives in western Oregon with her husband, Christopher, and she homeschools William and Tessa. She taught elementary grades in public school settings for seven years. When she is not teaching or writing, she enjoys reading and volunteering at church. She considers teaching her children to “love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and their neighbor as themselves” as their most important educational goal. To connect with her, please visit her Facebook page at

 Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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