books I love! · Homeschool

Releasing Creative Writing

Sometimes I get stuck and can’t think how to write or what to write.  As a homeschool Mom, I like to get the kids writing creatively in their journals.  Its kind of a big thing in our schooling.  Reading and writing are our big things, along with math.  So, often, I will get us all writing with some of these ideas to get those creative juices flowing.

I found this book at Barnes & Noble called, “Leap Write In! Adventures in Creative writing”, by Karen Benke.journaling-benke

I am enjoying the prompts here.  I have also been using them as journal prompts for the kids.  Today we used the Would You Rather?  Prompt.  I gave them several questions from the list in the book and they had to write about it.  I set a timer for 30 minutes and we spend the time quietly, not disturbing each other, writing or drawing.

I did another page in the book where I picked 3 words and strung them together using “and” and “of”.  Then let it continue into something else.  It was fun!  I didn’t think it would go where it did and it makes me laugh to think about it.

I picked Trail, Fog and Pine.

I strung them into this: The trail and fog of pine.  And then:  Forests that run through my mind like and unending movie clip of the past. Longing to be released into a full length feature film.

MVL-journalingI have a journal topic ideas book that I bought eons ago, which I go back to periodically.  Its by Michelle Van Loon and she has tons of fun ideas to write about.  One of my personal favorites is describing a tree in your yard.  She has the book divided into the 4 seasons so you end up describing that same tree in each season.  I have used this one for so long, it is kind of falling apart!

A few years back, I took a bunch of journal ideas from this source or that one, wrote a bunch of them onto note cards, and connected them on a ring.  These are fun because they are not just writing.  Sometimes you can make the page as ugly as you want. Other times the prompt might be something like, “draw circles all over your page.  Now fill each with things that are round.”

I have a friend who does Scripture Journaling prompts.  I love these because we can take the verse she has given us to study and read, and we can draw it out however we feel like.  I opens up a creative “vein” in us.  I have seen some surprising ideas come from the kids concerning their verses, making me smile.  Personally, I find I like to use words and pictures and realizing words are a big part of my pictures.  They like to just make the pictures and turn them into a whole story.  (I should really take their stories by dictation and write them alongside their pictures.  I used to do things like that when they were in pre-writing stages and it might be fun for them again now.)

I love to get them writing, I see what is going on inside their heads.  It is so fun to hear their chatter as they write and tell me the story of their pictures. Yes, they are supposed to be quiet, but sometimes they need to talk as they create.  They are so creative sometimes!

It makes me kind of sad when they hit the age where it is just not cool to do what Mom asks, and they refuse to take the time to do the creative writing they have been asked to do.  I understand there are times when the prompt elicits no real creative idea, but sometimes, it has nothing to do with it and everything to do with “Mom said, so I refuse.”

Again, though, if I search it out, there is an issue I need to address.

Sometimes we will just go outside and sit quietly.  Listen and look.   See what catches our attention and then write or draw about it.  I do allow both writing and drawing.  There is something about the process again, which draws out our creativity.  It releases us to do just a little more.  Draw one more, write one more.

Personally, this is my favorite.  I found myself, even this morning, in my quiet time, watching the birds outside my window more than praying or studying.  There is something about connecting with nature, the wind, the dirt, the birds, all of it, which releases me into creativity.

I think deep down, we all long for that connection to nature.

What do you like to use to stimulate creativity?  If you’re a homeschooler, do you do any creative writing/drawing and if so, what do resources do you use??





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