Supporting Writing Skills at Home for Children with Learning Differences

At Eagle Hill School, teaching students to write is an essential tool to enhance the student’s communication skills. Students with language-based learning differences often lack the language needed to describe or express a message in writing. 

To enhance the student’s language skills, both Lower School and Upper School students receive direct instruction on descriptive writing of objects, people, places, and sensory details. Practice using descriptive language helps students formulate longer writing assignments.

Upper School

Instruction for Upper School Students builds on the strategies in lower school and also works to improve students’ writing skills with expository writing assignments. An expository writing project can include reporting on an event, writing about a literary text, or persuasive writing on a particular topic.

Throughout the writing process, all students receive continuous instruction on grammar, spelling, mechanics, and sentence structure. They also receive instruction on the use of technology to support their writing. Upper School students learn to use technology as a tool to self-edit and make corrections in their writing. 

Lower School 

Students in Eagle Hill Lower School classes work on various skills needed for writing. Strengthening fine motor skills is important to writing with a pencil and paper and typing. Students will participate in activities such as cutting along a line, tracing activities, hand strengthening exercises, and lacing activities.

To foster creativity and target story writing skills, narrative writing is instructed using the Plot Mountain. This involves an outline with: Entertaining Beginnings, Details (Character, Objects, Setting), Building Suspense, Main Event, and an Extended Ending.

Older students in the Lower School often work on expository writing which focuses on introductory paragraphs, topic sentences, and connecting the main ideas with supporting details. Writing projects can include “How-to” essays and “Compare and Contrast” papers.

ehs-writing skills at ehs

The Writing Process

At Eagle Hill, we focus on instructing all parts of the writing process. Following a structured routine allows students to be more successful and independent in their writing. The following parts of the writing process are used across a range of projects: 


  • Guided questioning and group discussion to elicit ideas 
  • Activating background knowledge through the use of visuals and examples 
  • Selecting the most salient details to include in a composition 
  • Multisensory experiences during the brainstorming stage

How to reinforce at home: 

Provide a topic and have children think of as many related details as possible. This can be category or topic based. 


  • Implement pre-composition tools, such as a graphic organizer in the form of a pillar
  • Organize details in a logical sequence 
  • Color coding to organize our brainstorm into main ideas

How to reinforce at home: 

Practice categorizing by playing oral category games or using visuals. For example, name 5 red fruits while perusing the produce section at the grocery store. You can also sort toys or items of clothing by a specific category such as shape or size. 


  • Provide sentence starters to support syntax and vary sentence structure and length 
  • Refer back to the graphic organizer to ensure the incorporation of salient information 
  • Use questioning to help students elaborate on their ideas (why is this important? What does it look like/smell like/taste like, give specific examples)

How to reinforce at home: 

Encourage any form of composition at home, such as letter writing, making lists, or as part of arts and crafts. 


  • Use editing checklist to proof completion of assignment and use of strategies 
  • Read writing aloud or use text-to-speech to check for clarity 
  • Conference with the teacher to receive additional feedback and support 

How to reinforce at home: 

Have your child read their own writing aloud at home to a family member.

Eagle Hill's Approach to Teaching Writing Skills

Eagle Hill School's well-structured, multi-faceted writing instruction program offers an effective platform for students, particularly those with language-based learning differences, to enhance their communication skills. From fostering fine motor skills to promoting creativity through narrative writing and introducing students to expository assignments, the school's dynamic curriculum caters to all aspects of writing skill development. The instructional routine also integrates technology, allowing students to leverage digital tools for self-editing and correction, further increasing their independence and proficiency.

At home, parents can support their children's learning journey by engaging them in various exercises that mirror the school's methodologies. By encouraging brainstorming, planning and outlining, composition, and editing, parents can provide an enriching environment that nurtures their child's writing skills.

The collaboration between Eagle Hill School's rigorous curriculum and home reinforcement exercises serves as a powerful approach to bolster children's writing abilities. This integrated approach not only improves their communication skills but also lays the foundation for success in all future academic endeavors. To learn more, contact us today.

Topics: Learning Differences, Accommodations