One of the areas that we used to struggle with in our home was writing. My kids resisted it. My instant response was to implement writing activities on a fairly regular basis. For the younger one: practice writing letters, words, spelling and journal writing. For the older one: book reports, research reports, short stories. I can tell you this did NOT go over well. It was like pulling teeth! We had complaints and tears each time we tried.
So I was talking to a fellow homeschool friend and she asked me a simple question "WHY do you want them to write?" It was like a lightbulb going off! Clearly they NEED to be able to write, to be able to express themselves through writing, etc. But I want them to ENJOY writing. I clearly love to write and I want to instill that same love in them. So what's the fastest way to kill the love of something? FORCE IT! So I stopped. And I let it go for a few months.
Guess What? They didn't stop writing, they just stopped doing writing assignments. So I started paying attention to when and what they wrote. I was amazed at how much writing they do on a daily basis. They are constantly making signs and cards and drawings with words. They love to pen pal with friends and family. We started journals last year. They journal spontaneously ALL THE TIME. Especially after we go somewhere or learn something new. They once read a book that was written and published by third graders. WELL that spawned 3 weeks of writing activities! We have homemade books all over the place!
Sure I try to guide them in that direction on occasion. My oldest just finished reading a series and was sad there were no more books left to read. I suggested she write another book in the series. AND SHE DID! My younger child loves to cook and bake with me. I suggested she come up with some recipes she would like to try. So she looked up recipes and wrote them down.
I think it's VERY easy to get wrapped up in 'traditional, school-style' learning and to think it's the only way to do things. But we all LEFT the traditional school for a reason right? Sometimes it doesn't take racking your brain to come up with creative activities. Sometimes it just takes letting kids be kids.