Help your Child Write Their First Rough Draft

April 15, 2016

Hello from the homeschool convention trail! It has been a pleasure meeting HTHL families across the nation. I can safely say the homeschool movement is gaining in strength and sophistication!

Pictured: This was a fun moment! Read about it on my latest Home to Home post. Do you know the name of this type of bicycle? I didn’t until last Sunday.


Writing Contest1.002Don’t forget! Now taking April submissions! Click HERE for details! Can’t win if you don’t enter!

Weekly Writing Tips

Writing Tip

Writing Tip of the Week

Help your Child Write Their First Rough Draft

How can you support your child during the First Rough Draft step of the writing process? Here are three action steps you can do to help your child succeed:

1. Trust the work your child did in the pre-writing steps. 

Your child has spent a lot of time prepping and talking about their writing project. Each pre-writing step, Brainstorm, Make a List, and Webbing, are beautifully designed to help your child engage in connecting their thoughts and ideas with the written word. It’s time to trust that all their prewriting work will pay off.

2. Give ample time to complete this step.

The First Rough Draft step can’t be rushed. Don’t assign it on one of those crazy scheduled-down-to-the-minute-packed days. It also helps to arrange writing time after an outdoor or active playtime when blood has a chance to reach the brain and wiggles calmly subside a bit.

3. Avoid giving input, and don’t correct spelling and grammar during the First Rough Draft Step.

It’s easy to squelch your child’s journey through the writing process by correcting or giving input during this step. All authors agree, in the First Rough Draft step the goal is just to get your thoughts down on paper no matter how scrambled they might appear. As your child’s editor, wait for the First Input step to give input on content and the Second Input step to give grammar and spelling corrections. Also, by not correcting during this step, you open an opportunity for your child to discover their own organizational or grammar errors in the steps that follow. When a child discovers their own errors, real learning happens.

The final points: The First Rough Draft doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be written. We can support our young writers by trusting the writing process, creating a relaxed space for your child to write, and saving our content input and our grammar corrections for the First Input and Second Input steps of the writing process.

Home to Home

Convention Memes big things.001

Back to the midwest again! Follow us from Cincy, Ohio to Wichita, Kansas: Click to read all about it! : On the Road with HTHL: Big Things in Small Towns

Also, don’t miss an episode of On the Road with HTHL Video Vlog!


Blog in the Making: April 20, 2016  This week, we took a few side trips including one to Bassett, Nebraska (Home of Harley and Harley’s wife on the HTHL Literature series) and another to visit four famous homeschool boys!

This week, April 15-16 : We will be at the APACHE Homeschool Convention in Peoria, Illinois. Beth’s Workshops: April 15, 2016-Friday 2:30: Treating Writing Allergies  April 16, 2016-Saturday 1:00 Finding the Pieces to the Puzzle (Special Needs).

Next homeschool convention? MACHE Homeschool Convention, April 22-23. We’re looking forward to meeting new homeschool friends!

 Want to see how we’re weaving across the USA? Click on HTHL’s interactive map! Click: HERE

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Visit Here to Help Learning’s store! Check out our NEW product, Island of the Blue Dolphins Filmed Study Guide

Also, Don’t miss….HTHL’s great writing program!

“As a composition professor for the past 15 years, I love your program! The steps of the writing process, emphasis on strong words, and necessity of feedback are concepts I’ve been trying to help adults understand for years, but you have successfully made them accessible and FUN for kids. If more students learned these concepts at a younger age, college composition could go back to fine tuning rhetorical skills instead of introducing them”

-Konni J.

Blessings! We hope you have a wonderful week homeschooling!  If you need help with our writing program, send us a support ticket. If you just want to ask me a question, click ASK BETH.

 Beth Mora & The Here to Help Learning TeamBeth-Mora-Profile-Picture

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