Our “One Thing” Brave Writer day

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-calendar-september-blank-note-paper-free-space-your-text-image43068547Hi Julie-

I just had to share the glowing success of our “One Thing” Brave Writer day to thank you for the inspiration. I also wanted to encourage other homeschool moms to “go for it” and not put off trying it. It’s really not that hard and the rewards you will reap far outweigh anything I could have dreamed.

Inspired by re-listening to your podcast about “One Thing” and also your blog post from August 27 (blog roundup where the family did a day of working on mysteries), I created a Mystery Day for us.

I had been wanting to do this for a long time, but somehow it all clicked after hearing the podcast. I prepared (looked up some references about elements of mysteries, which really took no time at all), chose a day (today Friday, September 5), then told my children a few days ago to keep myself accountable. We are starting back to homeschooling next week, and I thought this would be a great way to start the year off right!

I made our day workshop style. All my children were included, from my 19 year old homeschool graduate who starts a Physical Therapy Assistant program later this month, 17 year old daughter who is a senior, 15 year old special needs (Asperger’s/ADHD) son, 10 year old daughter, 7 year old son and 4 year old son.

I got out our large dry erase board and colored markers and we brainstormed about the essential elements that can or should be in a mystery, we talked about favorite mysteries we had read, watched (don’t forget Blue’s Clues for the younger crowd) or listened to (such as some from Adventures in Odyssey). An important thing to note is that mysteries do not have to involve foul play or actual crime (we don’t read or watch those). Then I set the timer and everyone wrote for 10 minutes to come up with some ideas for protagonists, whether amateur or professional detectives. I did the “jotting down” for my 7 year old, and he wrote a whole story! My special needs son he found his niche by “jotting down”and typing out my 4 year old’s stories, since it was too stressful for him to come up with something of his own. We reconvened then discussed what we came up with. Then I set the timer again for 20 minutes to try to come up with a plot, working backwards from the resolution.

The rest of the day was spent by my children in avidly working on their stories. None of them are completed yet, and that’s okay. They have been inspired and this has gotten their creative juices flowing. We even talked about how, many years ago, when the older children were young, I started writing my own mystery story (they were amazed)…someday when they are all grown, I just might finish it!

The One Thing principle has energized the atmosphere in our home, especially for me as a veteran (15th year) homeschooler. This is something so bonding and encouraging about working together on a project like this that I’ve been meaning to do, but never got around to.

This was so successful that I plan to do a full month’s focus on mysteries, reading them, talking about them, watching them. Everyone is thrilled.

And I definitely want to plan for a One Thing Day each month!


Image © Alexander Kharchenko | Dreamstime.com

One Response to “Our “One Thing” Brave Writer day”

  1. Joyfulmomof6 says:

    Just wanted to follow up on our Mystery Day…this infused so much positivity into our homeschool…3 weeks later, the energy from this day is still flowing. We’ve been reading Encyclopedia Brown stories aloud as a family and also The Castleberry Farm mystery series with my two youngest boys.
    Some of the mystery stories my children were writing got finished, others are still works in progress.

    I am so grateful for Julie’s idea. It really was a wise investment of time and the benefits are still coming! I feel so much more “successful” as a homeschooler this year.