Instagram story followers will know that Bean has taken another sudden and almighty leap forward with her reading and writing. It feels like it has happened overnight, which it obviously hasn't. When you are not formally teaching a subject, but your child is working hard to teach themselves the skills they need to move forward at their own pace, it can take you by surprise when they demonstrate what they have learned. She is now what I’d describe as a confident reader. She can read, or decipher, most words in context. She’s also deeply motivated to write.
You can read about our journey to reading, from birth to 9, in this blog post I wrote last July. You may find it a reassuring read if your child is 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old (or even beyond) and is showing little or no interest in learning to read.
Anyway, all these books and learning materials that I have been gathering over the years will FINALLY come in handy now that I’m planning a Creative Writing Project. Affiliate links below are for Amazon. If you prefer to buy your books from an independent book seller then you'll find some of them linked in the Creative Writing section of my Bookshop here.
Brave Writer's 7 Day Writing Blitz
So, to start our project off with a bang, we are using the 7 Day Writing Blitz, which is a free resource from Julie Bogart at Brave Writer. The idea is to shelve any writing curriculum you might be working on (not an issue for us) to jumpstart your child's 'dead writing battery' by exploring what constitutes acceptable writing through 7 fun and practical writing projects. We're taking our time with this, as we don't have 7 days in a row when we are at home together, but you can read my post about our progress so far here. We're planning a doughnut celebration for finishing, hopefully later this week.
Creative Writing Prompts
While researching and gathering books and learning materials for the project, I reached out to my lovely community on Instagram for recommendations. I had lots of suggestions, but ultimately decided to go with the book Show Me a Story for the next part of our project, which I managed to source second hand. This book warrants a full review on the blog at some point, as it's an absolute gem and is the perfect fit for my creative and kinaesthetic learner. With instructions for 40 craft projects to spark children's storytelling, such as making story discs (our set is already in progress); a magnetic story board; a traveling puppet theatre and so many more. I anticipate us trying out many of the suggested projects over the coming weeks and months.
I also invested in some Magnetic Poetry for our fridge, which I haven't yet introduced, but hope will be fun for both of us. I have fond memories of playing with these myself as a teenager. We also already have a set of Build-a-Story Cards (there are lots of themed sets available) and a couple of sets of Story Dice, which we'll definitely be utilising. Both of these resources are perfect for taking out and about, now that the weather is warming up and we are soon to be free to meet friends outdoors. My plan is to record her oral storytelling using an app on my phone, then type them up to make a book for her to illustrate and share with family and friends.
In addition to these creative writing prompts I bought a Creative Writing Skills book, which had really good reviews, but I think on inspection might be a bit too 'workbook-y' for our needs. I may be wrong, and we'll definitely give some of the pages a try, perhaps by photocopying instead of writing inside. I'll keep you posted on how we find it in my April newsletter.
In addition to the creative writing prompts above I have gathered some of our favourite books from our home library for inspiring story telling, language and literacy skills. You can read a short review of The Story Path which I shared back in January 2020 here. Again, my plan is to record her oral storytelling and type them up for her.