Thursday, November 07, 2013

Writing Expectations

This is one of those homeschooling walls I hit my head on over and over until I figured out what worked for our family. Amazing what you can figure out in 12 years. I'm just glad we have younger kids so I can apply my knowledge to the other kids.

For 1-2 grade, they do narrations that I type up.  For 3-4th grade, they do narrations that I type up (~ 1 paragraph).  The 3rd graders use half of the narration for copywork (and we paste the other half onto the paper.  The 4th graders start with the full narration as copywork and work into writing out their own narrations through the year.

For 4-6th, I expect 1 paragraph once a week in history.  We don't do any re-writing, but I will show them 1 major editing thing that I'd like them work on for the next week. 

For 7-8, I expect 2-3 paragraphs once a week, with the student starting to type them. I have them submit it to me half-way through the week, we edit it together and they have to rewrite it to submit it by the end of the week.

 For High School, I ask for 4 - 2page papers, double-spaced & footnoted per semester plus one 4-6 page mini-research paper, double spaced & footnoted per semester.  The mini-research paper has to have at least 3 sources and one of the sources must be from a print book (not a webpage). 

The high school grade divisions don't come in paper length, but in expectation.  I may let a 9th grader off the hook for research papers & footnotes.  I may let a 10th grader off the hook for research papers.  I'm more picky grading 11th & 12th grade papers and they don't get out of anything. 

Often, I will alternate expecting a history paper every other week with expecting a literature paper every other week.  More academic-minded kids will have more than one paper assigned per week - but that depends on the kid and is the exception, not the rule.

(Only in my dreams do I get all this done with all 5 kids each week.  I'm much better at holding the older kids accountable and hit or miss on the younger kids.)

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