Homeschool supplies can be a huge part of your home school budget. You can go crazy buying every kind of marker, stapler, folder and paint. And don’t mention the printing and laminating! I’m as stationery mad as the next person. But I really think that learning can happen in so many ways. And you will be surprised how much there is around the house.
Today I had another homeschooling session with my special needs twins. And I followed the steps that I usually do to ensure a successful activity. I decided to concentrate on writing, as this is something that the boys struggle with. Part of this is their need for motor skills practice, which I mentioned in a previous post. But for this activity I decided to keep it simple and just use stuff around the house. After all, you really just need paper and a pen to write with. But of course I also have to engage the boys and make it fun, so we did quite a few activities.
Homeschool Supplies for Writing from the Bathroom
I hoped to intrigue them with the first activity. And as with most things, being able to make a mess got them super excited. I stuck down some wax paper on the table and sprayed some shaving gel. First I let them get used to the feeling and then I got them to write their names in the foam.
The activity went well in that it got them interested and they even did some writing. They managed to form their letter quite well with their fingers. Unfortunately the foam was a bit too sticky and I think they got a bit freaked out. They couldn’t resist rubbing their hands in it rather than just using a finger. And then they constantly asked to wash their hands. But we rolled with it and quickly moved onto the next activity.
Homeschool Supplies for Writing from the Kitchen
The second activity involved doing basically the same but this time with flour. Much more successful! They were able to write their names, clean their hands and start from the beginning easily. I did consider using sugar but quickly stopped myself. My boys are hyper as it is. Imagine giving them a massive sugar injection and then asking them to concentrate? Not setting myself up for success!
Homeschool Supplies for Writing from the Stationery Cupboard
Our last few activities were a bit more serious. I used good old coloured card, makers, pencil crayons and scissors. The last activities went like this:
Spelling their Names
- First I tore up A4 card into pieces.
- Then I wrote the letters of their names on the cards.
- I put them in a pile and asked them to pick out the letters of their names.
- Lastly I asked them to spell their names with the cards.
They did really well. Granted they have know the alphabet since they were 2. But it was great to see that they can spell their own names. All the letters were that right way round as well. Good job boys!
The Name Ladder
- Firstly I got an A4 piece of card for each of them.
- With a marker I started on the top of the page with their names.
- Then I wrote their names again, each time leaving out a letter. Think of ‘Bingo was his Name-O’ but in writing.
- The last line meant that they would have to write their names out in full.
Phew, it was a quite a tough one. By this stage they were quite tired. And it was already almost 2 in the afternoon. But they eventually managed to write their names to a fashion. This is definitely something we need to work on. I can see how they struggle to hold the pencil. And some letters like ‘s’ and ‘a’ are a bit tricky. They can get quite frustrated and then refuse to carry on. But I kept my cool and they managed to finish. Baby steps towards our goals!
Learning Lessons from our Writing Activities
I think all homeschool activities with the kids are positive. As we move towards our first homeschooling year next year, I can see how they like to learn and what engages them. I am also getting a much better sense of what they can do and what they need help with. And there are also practical considerations which are coming to the fore. What I learnt from our around the house writing activities:
- Have more difficult activities in the morning when kids have energy.
- You really don’t need loads of gear to have a good activity but be prepared.
- Change an activity if something is really freaking them out.
- Give them frequent breaks to blow off steam.
- Don’t despair if something doesn’t work the first time.
You can see some pictures from our day on my Instagram.
What are your Tips for Homeschool Writing Activities?
I would love to hear from you. Do you have any tips for teaching special needs kids to write? Please drop me an email or comment below.