We don’t do as much of this as I want to. As part of my English Language and Literature degree, I spent two years studying Creative Writing and it is something that I enjoy and wish to delve into with R.
Today,after breakfast, instead of the handwriting practice, either spelling, grammar or comprehension – I ditched it all and instead we planned a new story. It was a spur of the moment thing and not something that I had planned at all but it was such a huge success mashaAllah.
R is still crazy about horses. And so I used that opportunity and suggested that we make her very own story about horses. This is how we began the creative writing process today:
- I wrote down a list of questions (as prompts for her) on a piece of paper which she completed and which led onto various discussions.
- After she finished those questions, I wrote some more questions out for her which stemmed from the answers she gave to the previous ones. This was to encourage her to think more deeply about the questions and to be more descriptive.
- After this, she was on a roll and had loads of ideas and wrote away.
- We then discussed her story and she wrote some more.
- We went through everything and divided the story up into pages so as to sequence the story.
- R and I then found pictures in google images to support the story which we saved.
- I then found some beautiful notebooking pages for her to write her final draft on.
And that was it for today, we are going to complete it tomorrow inshaAllah. She said she never knew creative writing was so much fun and in her words: ‘Ummi,I didn’t like writing stories before because I thought I had to spell every word correctly.’
I think this was an important part of today’s session. I allowed her to make as many mistakes as she wanted. If she asked me how to spell a word then I did tell her. What I’ve learnt from this is not to stifle her creativity because of incorrect grammar, spelling etc. We will be correcting those before she works on her final draft inshaAllah.
The bookmaking course that I have been attending at our Thursday home ed group will come in handy when we come to make the pages and book cover for this story inshaAllah.
Overall, a really productive morning mashaAllah. The computer was off, I didn’t take any phone calls. Z was also occupied with some new montessori activities which I’ll post about soon inshaAllah. And baby Y just played or either breastfed whilst I helped R or Z.
It just goes to show English doesn’t have to be about spelling lists, handwriting and grammar exercises. All of that was incorporated into a story about a horse called Bella which was much more fun and much more organic. Alhamdulillah!