“They wrote the whole book together.”

Jot It Down: Animal Mini Books

Dear Julie,

We live in Sydney, Australia and my mum, who has a fear of flying, lives in England, UK. She recently flew over to stay with us for a month. This is the first time she has visited us since we moved here four years ago. In those four years I have given birth to my fourth child, and ended up homeschooling all of her school-aged siblings. It’s quite a precious experience to have my mum here in the middle of our lives, when we usually only connect via the internet and FaceTime.

Today my six year old was telling my mum facts about peregrine falcons from his mini book about birds of prey. Both my six year old and ten year old rushed off to find their mini books to show to her. It was only in that moment that I realized how much work they have put into their writing recently, and how proud we all are of what they have achieved.

We worked on animal mini books last October following your suggestions in the Jot it Down product. My 10 year old didn’t finish his book on penguins, but the experience clearly stuck with the children, as this term they decided to work together on a book about badgers. I had very little input, apart from allowing them time in our week on the computer, researching for information and photos. They wrote the whole book together in Microsoft Publisher, printed it out and ‘bound’ it using a hole punch and yarn.

Jot It Down: Animal Mini Books

It’s too easy to focus on what my children are not doing yet, and not to notice what they are achieving. My 10 year old has a seeming inability to finish any projects, and complains about writing even on Freewriting Fridays. Yet he managed to go through the whole process of researching and writing his badger mini book from start to finish. An added bonus was seeing the two children working constructively together on a project. I have plenty to add to my documentation for the next time our ‘Authorised Person’ comes to visit.

(We’ve discussed this and worked out the problem with Friday Freewrites – unlike my eldest, my ten year old finds the open-ended nature prevents him from starting. He has said he would prefer more direction. From now on we will try your writing prompts and see how that works.)

I just wanted to share the moment with you. Thanks again for all the help you provide to home schoolers across the world.

Best wishes

Jot It Down

Insert image © Sam (used with permission)

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