What do your students think about when you mention "writing"? Research reports? Penmanship? Fun? Boring? Aggravating?
This homeschool year, two of my children (my 7th grader and my 9th grader) have been incorporating answering a quick writing prompt into the start of each schoolday. I printed a list of writing prompts from online and they have been writing about one each day. These are good, but I was SO excited get the opportunity to review this product, Creative Freewriting Adventure which is available from Home School Adventure Co.
This product is a .pdf download and is a set of ten different freewriting "adventures." Each lesson begins with a bit of reading about a topic (some historical, some fable-like, some thought-provoking)...all different "adventures."
And then your assignment -- which asks you to set a timer for 15 minutes and write a response to the reading and the thought questions -- with sections for "Background," "Dialogue," and "Incorporate Your Senses."
So it's a guided writing exercise with a topic given (and a paragraph or two of reading about the topic) ending with an enigmatic, engaging sentence, such as
"She could do nothing but stare at the coming monster. And now he
was taking a few shorter bounds, measuring the distance for
the one final leap that should bring him upon her…"
"She went close up to the picture, lifted her foot,
and stepped over the frame…"
Oooohhhhhh!!! Doesn't that seem like something that would make you want to write? Finish that sentence! Finish that thought!
My 7th grade daughter and 9th grade son have used this adventure happily (since they tried the first one). Both of them originally saw the first scenario and were a bit...unexcited...thinking that it as a history lesson disguised as free fun :) I encouraged them to just try it...read through it and do at least one of the lessons--and when they finished the first lesson each of them said it was much more fun than they had thought it would be!
So how did we use this program in our homeschool? We used it two to three days per week, depending on our schedule for that day. Each of them used it at different times, and they did their writing in their school journals.
The product is actually a fillable .pdf so your child can actually type in their creative writings, but we just chose to do it by hand, in their writing journals. (As a matter of fact, if you have a child who enjoys coloring, there is a Coloring Book version of this book which incorporates a coloring page that corresponds with each writing!!)
We used it as a freewrite...my interpretation of that was to allow them to just write their thoughts out...blurt them out on paper...kind of just let the creative juices flow. We did not go back and correct grammar, they did not look up proper spelling for words they were unsure of...lovely penmanship was not a priority. Each lesson was a great exercise in just letting their ideas and words flow.
And my thoughts? Wonderful!!!!! The ideas and the flow of their stories reminded me of the enjoyable long stories that they used to tell me(before they becaue teenagers haha :) ) but with thoughtful reasoning and original ideas thrown in. A peek into their minds and hearts. They liked these lessons and did their reading/spent a few minutes thinking/then set the timer and away they went! They liked that they had more than 5 minutes (our regular "freewriting time") and that they were cut off at 15 minutes (although I did hear several "ahhhhhh!'s when the timer surprised them!)
I am so glad we got to use this product and I would highly recommend it! Though I used it with my 7th and 9th graders, it could be successfully used with many different ages of readers. I really found that this was a nice little jolt of "extra" something different to inject into the wintertime blahs :)
Check it out! I'll bet your homeschool might just be looking for some of this great Creative Freewriting Adventure!
To see more reviews of this product, check these out: