After spending our entire first semester in a rigorous, but BORING, grammar program, we were all feeling a little burnt out from classifying sentences and writing expository paragraphs. Ugh.
Although learning the rules of writing can be important, all things should be done in moderation- especially in home school!
We found the following trade book to be a breath of fresh air and an excellent tutorial on creative writing that saved us all from language arts doldrums. Meet,Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter
This book is written to a target audience of upper elementary/early middle but I have also found it useful for my early elementary kids, myself and my wanna-be writing club for grown-ups.
Successful and experienced authors, Anne and Ellen, share their writing advice and tips in simple stories and short segments that are followed by an "I Dare You" challenge. The segments are packed with useful information that I've also found in heavy-duty How-to Write guides, but never before in such a concise, enjoyable and doable format. The dares are writing exercises, prompts and challenges that are so deliciously served up you can't help but want to do them.
My kids and I read a chapter or so and then do the challenge. Our favorite challenge so far was baking cookies and having a heart-to-heart slumber party tell-all interview with our character (we created in an earlier "dare") to find out all about him/her and his/her heart's desire. Talking to imaginary friends sounds crazy, but it really helped our characters (and our home school) come alive.
I have wanted to write my own fiction for decades, but never dared. And I didn't know where to begin anyway. But Spilling Ink made it easy to, well, spill some ink and just get writing. I now have a character with a story waiting to be told and so do each of my children.
If you need a creative writing boost, I DARE YOU to check this one out!
Originally Posted at Latter-Day Homeschooling