If you were to ask Emily what she'd like to be when she grows up she'd say a teacher, a librarian, or a writer. Usually she'll say a writer. I believe this is due in part to her former writing teacher, Deb. Deb had a beautiful way of planting seeds, inspiring children, and most importantly helping them each to find their unique voice as a writer. Tuesday afternoons were always set aside for Writing Workshop. Now that we are homeschooling I was looking for a way to create our own writers workshop.
Writing is important for a young girl who loves words, and has a beautiful, often witty way of using them to express herself. She can be heard from the back seat of the car saying things like "I love this ribbon of road. Daddy, I feel like your driving us into oblivion." Spoken while travelling a winding, hillside in the country. The kind of road that provides many tummy drops and giggles. Or, also riding in the backseat (don't we hear so much from back there?), speaking of her hot chocolate she was sipping, "I think it's pretty confident it tastes good - it's self-esteam is high." Pun totally intended. Where do children come up with this stuff?
Two wonderful sources of inspiration recently came together and helped us to form our own Writing Workshop. First, at the library we checked out New Moon: Writing. We were excited to find it as their magazine is a favorite of ours. Second has been the website Young Writers Workshop, an incredible wealth of inspiration. Their list of writing prompts reminded me of Deb's writing seeds, I thought they'd be fun to choose randomly from a jar. I also liked the excuse to decorate the jar while Emily read the first chapter of the book. Because even for grown-ups playing with markers and scissors is fun!
So far it's worked out well. We discussed the first chapter after she read it. It talked about finding inspiration all around you. Using your five senses and the environment as your greatest source... keeping a dream journal... read, read, and read some more... go to a museum... people watch... use your past... and so on.
New Moon books (there is a series), like their magazine is created by girls ages 10-14. (I think the magazine is written by ages 8-14.) Nine girls were chosen from all over the world to write these books and represent homeschool, public school, and private school. In this book they explore different forms of the written word, from poetry to plays, letters to articles. They've profiled female writers, both famous and brand-new, and there are many suggestions and tips for improving your own writing, overcoming writer's block, getting published, and having big time fun with words.
Then we dipped into our new jar of writing seeds and pulled out our first prompt. Emily got busy writing, feeling pretty pumped with ideas and direction. Eager to explore the world about to be created by the tip of her pencil.