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Can't convince your homeschooled child to do creative writing?
by Beverley Paine, May 2019
What is the purpose or aim of asking your child to do creative writing? Is it to demonstrate the ability to write - that is, grammar, sentence construction, spelling, etc, or is it to encourage imagination, or the ability to express his imaginative thoughts?
Most children I know - in fact, I don't think I've met a child that doesn't do this - will talk endlessly about their favourite TV show or computer game. Some will only talk about what they've seen, but most are ready and able, if not already doing it, expanding those scenarios into the realms of imagination - it is easy to suggest 'what would you do in that situation', or 'if you had those powers, how would you use them in that situation (or a different situation)', etc.
There are plenty of ways you can help them hone that process: we've used 'story stones' or 'story cubes' (either with words or pictures) to stimulate ideas, as well as my old favourite 5 questions "who, what, where, when and why".
You can also spice up creative story writing by suggesting writing a script for a stop-go animation movie, and develop the ideas by drawing a storyboard (which is how many film makers begin to shape their movie ideas). Many published authors use sticky 'post it notes' contain the 'bones' of the story (character descriptions, big events, main ideas, plot twists, big reveals, etc) and stick them on a wall or window and move them around to form the 'skeleton' of the story that they later flesh out. These ideas will help generate those imaginative juices. The rest becomes the mechanics of writing.
Not every person will grow up to be a writer and many of us channel our creative side into other avenues of expression: inventors, modifiers, engineers, scientists, artists, performers, architects, crafts people, etc. It's okay to reject this curriculum pressure to write creatively and allow our children to express themselves creatively in other areas of their lives instead.
See Beverley's other articles on writing:
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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