Friday

My Homeschool Writing Scope and Sequence

Due to a recent Google+ hangout about writing from the iHomeschool Network and a super long thread about writing on the Well-Trained Mind Forums, I was inspired to make a rough scope and sequence for writing instruction in grades 1-8. I’m sharing it because I want to encourage you to think about doing something similar. It’s a very basic view of where I want my children to be as writers entering high school. It has made me more deliberate and focused with our writing instruction time during the school day.

Homeschool Writing Scope and Sequence
1st Grade:

  • Copy work (focusing on mechanics): Learn great sentence construction by copying great sentences.
  • Narrations: Tell me everything you can remember from what we just read. I will write it down.
2nd Grade:
  • Copy work: Begin copying multiple sentences at one time.
  • Narrations: Tell me everything you can remember from what we just read. I will write down a few sentences, and then you will copy it.
3rd Grade: 
  • Beginning summarizations: Instead of telling everything you remember focus on the main points or plot. 
  • Narrations: Begin writing your own. 
  • Teach and practice paragraph construction: Teach the basic paragraph construction of main idea with supporting sentences, and write one paragraph every couple of weeks on a topic or book.
  • Focus on writing strong sentences: This is the theme of the year. Every sentence should include strong word choice and vocabulary. At the beginning of the year this will be modeled through writing workshops with me. By the end of the year, it should be done independently. Strong sentences should be reflected in the paragraph that is written every two weeks.
4th grade: 
  • Written narrations and summaries: All narrations and summaries are done independently now at the rate of about two-three a week. 
  • Basic three paragraph compositions: Basically a report or essay without introductory or concluding paragraphs. Be sure and keep the strong sentences from last year. Write one composition every couple of weeks. Start out slowly with one paragraph and moving up to three by the end of the year.
  • Focus on writing strong paragraphs: This is the theme of the year. Focus on transition sentences between paragraphs and more advanced paragraph construction.
  • Focus on descriptive writing: Most of the compositions written this year will fall into this category.
5th grade:
  • Written narrations and summaries: About 3-4 a week.
  • Basic five paragraph compositions:  Adding in the introductions and conclusions to the three paragraph from the year before. Write one composition about every two weeks.
  • Focus on strong introductions/conclusions: This is the theme of the year. Learning how to hook the reader into your work and write a strong conclusion.
  • Focus on persuasive writing: Learning how to write persuasively and continuing descriptive writing from last year.
6th grade:
  • Written narrations and summaries: About 4-5 a week. 
  • More advanced compositions of varying lengths: Average about one every six weeks.
  • Focus on supporting quotes: This is the theme of the year. Finding and citing quotations and using quotations to make your writing more powerful.
  • Focus on comparison and contrast writing: Learn how to compare and contrast. Continue with descriptive and persuasive writing as well.
7th grade:
  • Written narrations and summaries: Five a week.
  • Compositions from each type of writing:  Practice writing descriptive, persuasive and compare and contrast compositions. Write 3-4 during the school year from a list of literature, history,and/or science topics. These should be in-depth and  researched with quotations where useful. 
  • Focus on refining all elements: This is the theme of the year. Focus on bring everything together: sentences, paragraphs, introductions and conclusions, and quotations.
8th grade: 
  • Written narrations and summaries: Five a week
  • Compositions from each type of writing: Practice writing descriptive, persuasive and compare and contrast compositions. Write 5-6 during the school year from a list of literature, history,and/or science topics. These should be in-depth and  researched with quotations where useful.
  • Focus on refining all elements: This is the theme of the year. Focus on bring everything together: sentences, paragraphs, introductions and conclusions, and quotations.

A few caveats about my list:

1. This list is compiled with Chipette in mind. I don’t even know if it will work with Magpie and Monkey. Your scope and sequence for your family or child should look different than mine.
2. I adhere to a mixture of Charlotte Mason and classical methodologies when it comes to writing philosophy. For that reason you won’t see a lot of writing instruction in the lower elementary grades.
3. I purposefully don’t list curriculum in my scope and sequence. This is for two reasons: new products hit the market every day and different kids might need different things. I do have ideas of what I want to use for each year, but I don’t hammer them in stone.


Feel free to use my ideas as a jumping off point to create your own. And I highly encourage you to watch the iHomeschool Network’s Google + Hangout about writing instruction in your homeschool. So much good information is there.

Proving the pen is mightier than the sword in the tree house,


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5 comments:

  1. i like how you laid that all out. :)

    I'm going to pin for future knowledge. :)

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    1. Thanks, Annette! And feel free to pin away!

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  2. I love this. Thank you for taking the time to write it all up and sharing it with us. This looks a lot like the scope and sequence I have in my head. I am printing this up and putting it in my school binder. You've saved me so much work:) What writing curriculum are you currently using (i know you didn't list any for the said reasons, but would you mind sharing what you are currently using for the grade you are at?) Thanks!

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    1. I knew somebody would call me out over not listing what I was using!!! LOL! Since Chipette is only at the fourth grade level for this plan I'll share what we've used so far that fits this s&s plus I'll list some things I'm looking at as we move forward.

      For 1st and 2nd I really like Learning Language through Literature Levels 1 and 2 by Barefoot Ragamuffin (NOT Learning Language Arts Through Literature). I stumbled upon LLtL by accident, but it perfectly fits my goals for grades 1 and 2. Level 1 covers narration, copy work and mechanics instruction. Level 2 brings in beginning grammar, but still covers narration and copy work as well. I want to write a review of this program soon since Magpie is using it and enjoying it so much.

      For third and fourth we have been greatly enjoying Classical Academic Press' Writing and Rhetoric curriculum. It is a perfect fit for Chipette and I can see us continuing with it for the foreseeable future as long as they keep those levels coming out as we need them. I wrote a review of the first level, Fable, which you can find under the Reviews tab above.

      I also use No More "I'm Done!" as a resource to put together our writing workshop time. Even though the book says it's for K-2, I find using picture books to point out the 6 traits of writing works well with Chipette even if she is in 4th. Plus she still likes picture books too!

      We've been working through Igniting Your Writing which I picked up on a whim from a Currclick sale. It's been surprisingly enjoyable and exactly what I wanted to work on forming strong sentences and paragraphs. We alternate it with Writing and Rhetoric (2 weeks of W&R, then 1 week of Igniting). I have Chipette do the intermediate and basic exercises in Igniting Your Writing and plan on circling back in a year or two to do the advanced assignments.
      For the future I've been planning on continuing with W&R plus maybe adding in Writing with Skill. There's also a second Igniting Your Writing book I might consider since the first one has gone so well. I like the look of Cover Story by One Year Adventure Novel. I've got some creative writing ideas pinned on my Pinterest writing board as well.

      So there you have it, and now you know why I didn't want to share because it's such a hodgepodge of things that probably doesn't make sense to anyone else but me! It really isn't as jumpy as it sounds...I promise. :)

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  3. Thanks so much and God bless! See you on TWTM forums :)

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