Brave Writer mom, Melissa, writes:
I’m the homeschooling mom of three kiddos (ages 11, 9, and 6). I’m also a multi-published novelist. My kids started out in private school, where I used to volunteer to teach a writing workshop each year and helped the first and second grades create a literary magazine. So, when our life journey led us to homeschool, I had many worries, but teaching writing wasn’t one of them.
Pause for the belly laughter. AHAHAHAHAHA
I’ll spare you all the details of what DIDN’T work. But this past Fall I bought The Writer’s Jungle and read it, but I’ll be honest, I was still resistant. Then a few things happened: My youngest and I signed up to take a Storytelling Class at a local center mainly so I could have some one on one time with her. And she LOVED it. I didn’t really view it as learning because it was so gentle and playful, so I was a lot more fun during that hour, I’m sure.
The next thing that happened was I signed up for the Brave Writer Lifestyle yahoo digest but didn’t actually implement anything.
In fact, I backed off any assigned writing entirely until I could get a handle on my thoughts. Meanwhile, the oldest was tearing through a sports-themed book series, creating draft lists for various sports, and producing YouTube videos; the middle was reading voraciously and keeping a private diary and drawing maps inspired by the fantasy books he reads; and the youngest was discovering the joy of reading for pleasure and acting, oh, so much dramatization. We were watching lots of great movies together and playing language-based games. We have always read aloud as a family, and that continued.
Finally, just recently, I heard you speak on The Homeschool Sisters podcast and then, through them, discovered your podcast and social media community.
And I realized, wait a minute, we’ve been living the Brave Writer Lifestyle all along!
ANYWAY, today we went to the local art museum where we have a membership because it’s featuring a great exhibit called Into the Pixel—all about video game art.
I took a deep breath when we got in the car and told them on the way home they were going to do a five-minute freewrite about something from the museum. I explained the rules and got a fair amount of pushback from the younger two. But when we left the museum, I set a timer, and without complaint they wrote during the drive home. When time was up, I got a chorus of groans that they needed more time!
My perfectionist, who really chafed at the thought of not fixing his mistakes, cheerfully admitted that he’d had fun and volunteered to read his piece. My little one, who wanted help spelling, finally understood it wasn’t going to happen and drew a sketch that she labeled with invented “kid writing.” And my oldest somehow managed to tie his love of sports into the exhibit.
I now have three envelopes sitting on my desk waiting for next week’s freewrites (which I already have planned for a visit to our bookstore to pick out travel journals for an upcoming month-long road trip.)
This is all a VERY long-winded way of saying you were right. And I’m ever so grateful.
All the best,