by Megan Mora Fuentes
Creative writing is a great tool to use in your homeschool. It offers an outlet for creativity and free expression, a place to explore ideas, and is an excellent way to practice communication skills. Check out this Homeschool Living article for ideas and strategies for teaching creative writing, creative ways to encourage reluctant writers, and fun ways to use creative writing in your homeschool.
Though far from the only subject you’ll teach in your homeschool, writing is one of the most important skills to start teaching early and to continue to develop over time. Creative writing influences cognitive development by encouraging organizational skills, building confidence, developing problem solving skills, and increasing communication and persuasion skills. Check out these four benefits of creative writing to explore more reasons to teach creative writing in your homeschool.
This ultimate guide to creative writing from The Unlikely Homeschool shares a ton of great story starters and creative writing prompts, hands-on and multi-sensory activities to inspire creative writing projects, learning resources, and tips for encouraging reluctant writers.
From the time that your kids are old enough to start stringing sentences together, they have a story to tell. Pay attention to how they play, communicating with each other and with toys in independent play, and you’ll hear the stories they’re creating. This means that you can start teaching story structure even in preschool, and help make the reading and writing process more intuitive as they progress.
These six strategies for teaching story structure are great ways to help students develop their communication and comprehension skills. Experiment with visuals and games geared toward younger students, and graphs and charts that will especially appeal to older or more analytical students.
Using a student’s natural creativity and enthusiasm can be a great jumping off point for your creative writing lessons, but not every student has the inclination or confidence to embrace creative writing initially. Check out these ten ideas for making writing fun for some great tips for encouraging reluctant writers and teaching structure to enthusiastic ones, creative ways to jumpstart the writing process, and more.
Creative Writing Assignments
A fun way to round out your creative writing assignments is to incorporate binding the finished projects into the process. That doesn’t mean you have to send materials away to be bound–although that can be a fun way to experiment and learn about different methods if your budget allows. These five DIY book-binding methods are just as effective for your purposes, and are fun ways for students to showcase their work, practice fine motor skills, and unleash their creativity. This also provides a great opportunity for students to practice summarizing and advertising their “book” by designing book jackets, covers, and illustrations.
Especially if you have multiple or enthusiastic writers, you might find these finished projects pile up quite quickly. Take the opportunity to impart another life lesson. Encourage students to re-use, re-work, and re-create from their own or from each other’s material. Certainly keep the most prized accomplishments as they are, but you can help cut down on paper waste and boxes of old school projects by adopting a few additional practices. Have students practice typing skills while recording their finished stories electronically, and then use illustrations, sentences, and even colorful words and phrases from their work as story starters and inspiration for other projects. If students learn early on to view these assignments and projects as building blocks for learning new things, improving skills, and creating challenges, it will help them develop the life-long learning attitude that all homeschooling parents strive to instill in their children.
About Megan Mora Fuentes
A homeschool graduate, Megan earned her associate degree while in high school. She has worked as an office manager for eight years. In her spare time, Megan enjoys kayaking, writing, and baking cookies for anyone who will eat them. She and her husband live in her hometown of Winchester.
This article was originally published on the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV)’s blog in September 2021. Used with permission.