I realized recently that I needed to beef up our creative writing activities in our homeschool. After some thought, I decided to use the same writing prompts I used as a kid.
I’ll be recording our experiences as we follow each prompt. “The pen,” Napoleon said, “is mightier than the sword.” I believe that it’s important for our children to learn to write well, and any parent can do simple creative writing exercises with their kids, whether they homeschool them or not. If you desire for your child to be a good writer but are unsatisfied with the instruction they are receiving at school, you can teach them to write at home! It’s fun!
Today Elizabeth, my 10 year old, and I did “Free Writing.” I find that when the teacher does the exercises as well, it’s a lot more fun and less intimidating for the child. During free writing, you simply write whatever comes into your head for 5 minutes. It’s a great exercise for overcoming writer’s block. At the end of 5 minutes, you finish your sentence and then read what you wrote to everyone else. As much as I hated this part as a kid, it really helps build confidence.
My E is not as insecure as I was at that age. She loved it. She jumped straight into fantasy land with the story that was going through her mind. I was completely amazed at the poetic story-like description that she came up with in an unstructured, unplanned 5 minute block of time, without much prior experience.
I have heard that good readers make good writers; that the best way to learn to write is to read. My girl reads A LOT. In fact, she’s a gifted speed reader and can race through many chapter books a day with perfect retention. I wasn’t that fast as a kid, but I did love to read. Even if you have a reluctant reader, they can be exposed to good writing if you read aloud to them. It’s an important component in the writing process. This is what experienced writers have told me, and I believe them.
So that’s our experience with our first writing lesson. Look for a report on Lesson 2 soon!