Have you ever thought of doing NaNoWriMo as part of you homeschool curriculum?
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it takes place during November.
The goal is to write a rough draft of a novel, to 50,000 words. This breaks down to 1,667 words daily for the month of November. Of course you can write more some days and nothing on others, the goal is just to hit the word count and have a completed rough draft at the end of the month.
There is a great website for kids who would like to join the challenge. The junior website allows them to choose their own word count goal. Then is breaks the goal down into how many words they need to write each day and how close they are to reaching the goal.
The junior website also has some great resources including free PDF workbooks to guide them through the process and videos with inspiration and tips.
My children are doing this because I decided to do it, and they begged to join in. All it took was me sitting at the table one day with a notebook, a pen, my phone (which had a plot planning guide on it) and a book called The Writers Journey by Vogler. Soon several kids were begging to write a story also. I warned them that if I took the time to walk them through planning the plot of their novel, they had to stick it out to the end. In other words, no quitting in the middle of the project. They all readily agreed and here we are in November starting our rough drafts.
Writing is an important skill and often kids never get to where they feel confident with their ability to write. I think some of this is just practice. Short assignments don’t tend to get large word counts on the page. I think another aspect is the lack of emphasis usually put on creative writing. Kids have great imaginations and helping them get their ideas on the page should be a natural step in teaching kids how to be great writers. This is a more likely place for them to fall in love with writing than research papers and book reports.
After November we will spend December editing. We will make sure the story flows, and then edit for spelling, punctuation and grammar. This should help give them a greater understanding of the writing process that authors go through in the process of making their stories great.
If you would like to join you can sign up as an adult at http://nanowrimo.org
If your kids would like to join they can sign up as kids at https://ywp.nanowrimo.org
There are a lot of free resources to get you started. Whether you jump in this year, or put it in your plans for next year, it is a great way to spend some time showing your kids the value of writing and capturing their great imaginations on the page.
Comments and questions are welcome!