Saturday, May 2, 2015

Reading to Writing Connections for Homeschool


I love when authors include great tools and study guides to go with their books.  Susan Marlow is my daughter's favorite author, and now my sons.  She has amazing adventure books for girls and boys.  What I love about her books are that they are full of adventure and Christian based.  They are not overtly preachy, but you know that the characters believe in Christ and at times they will remember a verse to help them when they are scared or facing a trial, or perhaps they think a prayer as they face the horse thieves or danger.  I also love that she has lapbooks for beginnings series and for older series, study guides for each book.  The study guides are free! She also runs a blog for one of the main characters Andi.  On the blog she does trivia.  Readers and fans can answer questions to win prizes and they can write fan stories to be placed on her blog using characters from the established books.  My FAVORITE thing she does are her writing contests each year.  The deadline is every Dec.

Last year I used her tools on her site for my 3rd grader to go through and develop a story and plot.  She wrote two stories as her writing curriculum and entered them into the contest for her age category.  She actually WON FIRST PLACE.  That's  my girl!  Her story was then published in a collection called Beneath the Western Sky.  She won a print copy of her book, cash, a poster, but most of all she gained confidence and purpose in her writing.  Now as a 9 year old published author she loves writing and sees it as something she can do the rest of her life.

Look for the contest and have your children work on writing, editing and submitting stories.

We often read books and then think up our own endings to write.  When we recently went to the Humane Society on a field trip we learned about a cat that was turned it because it no longer matched the house decor.  My kids then came home and wrote a story about that cat from it's perspective.

Another activity we do in the car or at the dinner table is making a story together.  I may start telling a story, each child adds to the story. Doing it orally is helpful before getting it on paper. My younger ones are learning to be creative, develop a story and characters before they are ready to really write. My older daughter can get all her ideas out orally plot it out on a diagram and then write it down, learning the revision process.

How do you incorporate writing in your home-school or daily life?

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