Homeschool Writing
published on 1/12/2011 by Kim A. Howe, M.S.

Children don't become strong writers by accident. While it is true that some children like to write more than others, even those who love to write need to be taught how to write both correctly and effectively. In the literature unit for The Cay, we introduce children to the idea of using hooks to draw in their readers from the very first sentence of their writing. One Moving Beyond the Page parent recently posted a very interesting link into IdeaShare that discusses this aspect of writing in more detail. The link takes users to an NPR broadcast from June of 2007 that provides many great examples of opening lines in adolescent literature by Avi, C.S. Lewis, and others.

View the Article
Great Opening Lines to Hook Young Readers Follow this link to listen to the broadcast or read the transcript. Thank you to Denise of El Dorado Hills, CA for the great idea.

This is a perfect opportunity to highlight two important aspects of Moving Beyond the Page.

  • The 6+1 Traits of Writing Method
  • IdeaShare

The 6+1 Traits of Writing Method

Moving Beyond the Page takes a balanced approach toward writing that utilizes what have become known as the 6+1 Traits of Writing. By focusing on all six traits (plus presentation), children are encouraged to develop all of the skills necessary to become great writers. Here are the traits:

  • Ideas
  • Organization
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Fluency
  • Conventions
  • Presentation

To learn more about the 6+1 Traits of Writing, you can follow these links:

  • Research Summarizing the 6+1 Traits Approach to Writing: This PDF download summarizes a number of research studies related to the 6+1 Traits model used by Moving Beyond the Page. References are included.
  • The Traits: This is a very practical website that shows teachers how to use the 6+1 traits model and how to score writing assignments using this model.
  • The 6+1 Traits Writing Model: This Power Point presentation gives a very simple overview of the 6+1 traits and provides examples that we can use to encourage each trait with our children.


If you are a Moving Beyond the Page user and have not heard about IdeaShare yet, you should check it out. IdeaShare is an area of our website that enables parents to share ideas and sample work that augment Moving Beyond the Page lessons. These ideas include the following:

  • links,
  • books,
  • videos,
  • sample work, and
  • other ideas from parents just like you.

In addition to ideas from other parents, we also use IdeaShare to post corrections and provide clickable links to all URLs printed in our curriculum. To get started, visit IdeaShare, select the unit you are working on and start sharing:

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