Martin Luther said, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen!” Harriet Beecher Stowe proved this with her compelling novel in the 1800’s, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. President Abraham Lincoln hailed her as “the little woman who started this great Civil War” because of the powerful narrative of slavery she portrayed. If the written word is so paramount in shaping the world around us, how can we as educators develop its importance in our homeschools?
Creative Writing is far more than leading your children to make up fanciful stories.
It offers a multitude of educational opportunities building skills your children will use throughout their lifetimes.
- It teaches how to unleash creativity, how to think outside the box, invent and practice imagination. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
- It helps children succeed and grow in confidence. They may not feel brave enough to tackle a new skill, or process a current life experience but through speaking through the eyes of the characters they can write about it.
- It teaches strategic thought and problem solving through learning how to write a plot.
- It teaches close observation through learning to develop sensory writing which happily overflows into science class!
- It teaches characterization, producing self expression and empathy.
- It livens up language class by teaching sentence structure and format in a fun way.
- It helps develop creative nonfiction writing by learning how to write vividly.
Five Great Tips to Help your Child Succeed in Creative Writing
- Whatever they write, praise, praise, praise! You may wince on the inside over the spelling or neatness, but don’t let on. They may beam at the fact that they produced only one sentence in the beginning. So water your little plants with encouragement and watch them grow, grow, grow!
- Let them write about what they love. Kooky plots, oddball characters, made up fantasy worlds and all. Many times a child is processing what they are learning about in life through their characters.
- Don’t make creative writing a lesson in grammar or spelling. This is paramount! If the critical voice of correction becomes too noisy, it will drown out the creative voice and your child will stop wanting to write and may resist you. As their spelling improves during spelling class and grammar improves in language class, it will trickle down to writing class.
- Keep tools handy that will help them succeed. Find a fun and inexpensive creative writing curriculum that can help you step by step. Look for something that is easy to use and will help your child stir up ideas.
- Give them a reason to write by starting a Friday night Flashlight Theater or Writing Club. Invite grandma and grandpa, neighbors or friends over to listen to the next adventure your child has written. Turn off the lights and shine several flashlights on the reader. Pop popcorn or serve a favorite snack. Let your child read their stories for all to hear. Soon they will be motivated to write more and the other children may want to join in and write as well.
God is raising up Christian writers in this generation! We need more authors like C.S. Lewis to remind us of courage, loyalty, the reward of godliness and the cost of evil. And those little writers, who are sitting at their desks in your homeschool, writing about cute puppies and kittens, could be the next world changers for Christ!
A couple of favorite interactive writing curriculums are:
Ocean Adventures in Writing–Develop characters much like the beloved movie Finding Nemo. Each child picks a character to become and writes from that point of view. It’s ocean-fuls of fun and learning!
Isabel Writing Adventure for Girls-Easy lessons that walk the student through the basics of creative writing while encouraging Christian themes. Students create a character for their story, then as a paper doll, make her closet and design her clothes. Roll playing the adventures as they go!
This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.
For more on writing, become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365, and watch the video on “Secrets to Making Writing Fun”.
“Secrets to Making Writing Fun”
Writing can be an enjoyable activity for budding writers. This workshop will equip you with tips and ideas to use with elementary-age children during writing time. The result? Your children will not only produce polished writing projects, they will also be begging for the next lesson!
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