Like most of you, I’m the wearer of many hats. We may not all wear the same hats, but each one we slap onto our heads identifies those areas that make us unique! Though my homeschooling days are behind me now, my hours are far from quiet as I help run our busy WriteShop business serving customers, working with stores and schools, marketing, traveling, and (of course) writing!
When I’m not working, you might catch me tinkering with the Sunday crossword, reading a mystery novel, or rummaging through my pantry in search of chocolate. If there’s no chocolate, cookies will do.
With my amazing husband of 39 years, we have three grown kids with wonderful spouses, and a passel of grandchildren who hang out with me as often as I’ll take ‘em! The oldest is 14, and he already towers over me. How did that happen?
Having learned the hard way to teach my own writing-phobic son to like (and eventually love) writing, it’s become my joy to help other parents feel more equipped to teach writing at home. It is my prayer that our gracious God will continue using me to encourage each of you as you forge your own path.
Need a Speaker for Your Homeschool Event?
Is your homeschool conference or co-op group planning to include some practical, writing-related workshops? With over eleven years of speaking experience at homeschool conventions and co-ops around the country, I can present a number of different sessions aimed at helping parents teach writing at home.
- Practical, easy, fun!
- Outstanding presenter! The best!
- Wish we had more time!
- Great ideas.
- Thank you for such encouragement.
- Great info. Best speaker I heard today!
Kim Kautzer’s Workshop Topics
Inspiring Successful Writers, Part 1 (Grades K-6)
Your kindergartener loves to tell stories but can hardly hold a pencil. Your 9-year-old is producing a novel. And the blank page reduces your 11-year-old to tears. What’s a parent to do? Kim will encourage and equip you to teach each of your children, whether reluctant or advanced, by breaking the writing process into manageable steps. Above all, discover how to infuse teaching time with fun so that your children will find joy in writing.
Inspiring Successful Writers, Part 2 (Grades 7-12)
Parents agree—inspiring kids to write well is one of the most intimidating tasks you face. Even if it’s your weakest area, you’ll be relieved to learn that you CAN train your junior high and high schoolers to write. So come discover a fresh approach to teaching composition skills and elements of style. Learn to objectively edit and evaluate writing so you can encourage your struggling, reluctant learner while challenging the one who’s more articulate and motivated.
Ten Stumbling Blocks to Writing
“I hate writing!” Is this the cheerful response you get when you give your kids an assignment? Then you’ll want to find out ten common stumbling blocks to writing and discover what students need in order to overcome their anxiety, fear, or lack of confidence. Learn how the steps of the writing process can actually motivate your most reluctant children, and gain tips and tools for encouraging their success.
Teaching Writing: The Big Picture
While homeschoolers tend to excel in so many areas, writing remains an admitted weakness. This session presents a general overview of writing for K-12, with the goal of encouraging and inspiring the insecure parent. The workshop covers the steps of the writing process; what to teach and when; the importance of editing; content, style, and mechanics; and more. It’s a look at the big picture with helpful and applicable tips a parent can use right away.
Writing Strategies for Special Needs Kids
It’s not just your child. Truth be told, most students struggle with writing at some level, but when a child learns with difficulty, the challenges are even greater. Poor spelling, illegible handwriting, attention and processing disorders, and physical limitations interfere with the ability to communicate on paper. Typically, the result is short, disorganized, writing that’s riddled with errors. The good news? You know your child better than anyone and care more deeply about his needs—there is much you can do! If your child has mild to moderate learning challenges, this workshop will offer practical ideas and steps you can take to instill both confidence and writing skills in your LD child.
Effective Tips for Teaching Timed Essays
College classes, SAT tests…does the prospect of writing timed essays send you and your teen into a tailspin? Take heart! This workshop, geared to parents of 8th-12th graders, discusses various types of essays and gives practical suggestions for teaching this important writing skill. Gain tips on brainstorming, simple outlining, and organization of a timed essay, and learn the secret to reducing the fear factor!
College Prep: Is Writing on Track?
Is writing one of those subjects you keep starting and stopping? Does your child drag his feet, fail to finish assignments, or complain night and day? Or are you the one who has trouble following through with lesson planning or editing? For high schoolers, there’s more to planning for college than simply getting accepted, and becoming a good writer is at the top of the list! Learn how you can equip your kids by encouraging strong writing skills and good study habits that will serve them well in college.
Your Child’s Writing: Garden or Weed Patch?
Is your child’s writing dry and listless, like a neglected weed patch? Or does it take shape, flower, and bear fruit under her patient care? Writing, like gardening, requires time and attention. As Kim walks you through each step of the writing process, you’ll discover how very like a gardener each of your children is. Help them appreciate their role in the writing process as they grow their garden of words!
Gone Fishing: Tips and Ideas to Motivate Young Writers
What’s the secret to raising enthusiastic writers? Hook them while they’re young with fun, appealing activities that teach foundational writing skills. Kim will share engaging prewriting games, clever brainstorming ideas, and creative publishing projects that will make your K-6th graders eager to write and proud to be published!
Don’t Wait Till It’s Too Late
When it comes to subjects that are hard to teach, it seems that the faster time whizzes by, the more we drag our feet. Teaching writing can be one of those combative, energy-intensive subjects we keep putting off. Kids are lazy. They suffer from “blank paper” syndrome. Or they just plain fight us every step of the way. This workshop takes a hard look at the things that suck life from our homeschooling efforts (writing in particular) and suggests ways we can reinvest in our children’s education with purpose and conviction.
Growing Your Child’s Writing Vocabulary
Whether you have infants, teens, or in-betweens, Kim shares dozens of ideas to help you develop, encourage, and strengthen your children’s vocabulary. In particular, discover how simple tools such as reading aloud, asking questions, and playing word games will boost your students’ ability to use words more powerfully and precisely in their writing.
Writing Across the Curriculum
Did you know that writing doesn’t have to be taught as a “separate subject”? This practical workshop will leave you with a wealth of ideas not just for compositions, but for projects and activities that combine writing with art, music, drama, poetry, history, science, and more. You’ll come away with suggestions for a variety of writing activities suitable for mixed ages and grades.
Writing games aren’t just fluff! Learn the importance of using pre-writing activities and warm-ups to help your children become more productive and fluent writers. This is a hands-on workshop where you’ll have a chance to practice with a number of these engaging activities. For elementary, junior high, and high school.
Help! How Do I Grade My Kids’ Writing?
Children see their writing as extensions of themselves: “Criticize my writing, criticize me.” How then can we offer suggestions to our kids without crushing them? Is it possible to take the subjectivity out of editing and grading? Kim not only gives practical tips and tools to edit and evaluate student writing, she demonstrates the importance of teaching kids to become self-editors as well. Kim will cover editing and grading for all ages, including self-editing, parent editing, using a grading rubric to evaluate progress, and overcoming your own fears and insecurities about giving feedback. Learn how much to say and how to say it in a way that equips your children to become better writers.
The Lazy Student: What’s a Mom to Do?
No matter how much time you allow, why is it that your student waits till the very last minute to tackle a writing (or other) assignment? Is it procrastination . . . or just plain laziness? Either way, you can’t seem to figure out how to motivate this child! In this session, Kim helps you discover the similarities and differences between procrastination and laziness, and offers practical advice on helping your dawdler set—and meet—academic goals and deadlines.
Writing Skills: More Important Than Ever!
For better or worse, your teen’s writing skills can influence his future in college and beyond. Because of poor skills, many students must take remedial writing courses in college–if they get admitted at all. And in the workplace, employers are not only passing over applicants with below-average writing skills, they consider writing ability a key factor when offering promotions. As a homeschooling parent, you can prepare your child for college and the work force by teaching fundamental writing skills now, while there’s still time. Join Kim for an encouraging seminar as she offers tips and suggestions to help you prepare your student for the future.
When I Am Weak: Homeschooling Through Crisis or Depression
Homeschooling can be challenging enough when the sea is smooth and calm. But what do you do when depression, a wayward teen, or some other personal crisis blows in the dark clouds and stirs up a few towering waves? Is it even possible to navigate the waters of homeschooling when you can barely stay in the boat yourself? Our trials are unique, but God is constant and unwavering. Kim shares her personal story, bringing light and hope to your situation, tips for staying on course in a storm, and encouragement that you can finish well.