Allowing children to risk expression of their thoughts and feelings in an imaginative way is one of the best things that you can do for them. When expressed via the written word, you have creative writing. Be it fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, well-developed or hardly so, creative writing is a fundamental tool of self-empowerment.
As the legendary Dr. Seuss noted, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient of living.”
Through creative writing, your child will learn how to, or gain more practice in:
- Creating something from nothing
- Publishing (should that be your choice)
Another beautiful facet of creative writing is that age isn’t much a factor. If your child can speak, then they can also express themselves through writing. How? Easy…
My four-year-old tells the story and I write it. Every now and then, I’ll toss in a prompt, asking her for the character’s name or “What happens next?” You should see her face when I read it back to her. And though my eight-year-old is a little more advanced, he requires more guidance. Given good questions, he gets the ball rolling in no time.
Be careful not to assume that pre-teens and older children will quickly grasp the skill, or be bored with it. Instead, give them an array of topics—always reserving the right to choose their own. Once they’ve latched to a story, have them zoom in on that piece. Refine it at least three times a week, according to a planned curve (e.g. lessons on depth, originality, vividness, and fearlessness) or a good old fashioned spontaneous one.
For teens—or anyone who’s ready, for that much—diversify the writing genre. Dabble in business, technical, journalism, marketing, script writing, or whichever s/he happens to want to try. For instance, they can rewrite the script of one of their favorite television episodes or create a flyer for an upcoming event (real or imagined).
The point is just to get them writing, and knowing that with time and practice, it gets easier. I’ve taught adults who were trying their hand at creative writing for the first time, learn it and love it. And by learning it, I mean finding their voice and owning it!
In turn, with consistent writing, all age ranges improved their overall communication skills and comprehension levels. Others have also experienced an upturn in their:
- Love of reading
- Curiosity of other arts
- Elected solitude
Have you tried creative writing? If so, how does it flow into your homeschooling environment?
Guest Author: Trelani D. (Homeschool Mom)