3 Ways It Builds Strong Writers------through Creative Writing!

Photo Credit http://nanowrimo.org/

Outside it's windy here, and a little rainy....Fall is here, with a feeling that the beginning of winter is coming soon.  At this time of year, my daughter and I often want something new to do, something a little different from our usual homeschool routine.  

When she was in 8th grade, we discovered the National Novel Writing Month. Has your family ever joined in the fun of that, during the month of November? 

How We Got Started with NaNovWriMo


My young high schooler had developed an interest in story writing, and had written a few short stories during her middle school years.  So when I asked her if she wanted to do more of that, we checked out the NaNoWriMo site, and decided to join in, right then and there!

That first November of writing brings back so many wonderful memories.... Watching her find the idea for her plot, or decide what the setting of her story would be.  These were great mom/daughter times.

We dropped our other homeschool courses, and just did writing for the month!..Sometimes we went to our local coffee shop, and wrote there.  

Other times, we gathered our favorite blankets, and wrote on the couch.  My daughter loved it!  So we made it a tradition, and did NaNoWriMo for two more years...ah, November.....cozy and warm, at home, with pen in hand. 

"No Plot, No Problem"

No Plot? No Problem NaNoWriMo Review at The Curriculum Choice

To get started, my daughter and I ordered a great little book, called  No Plot? No Problem! "It is a low-stress, guide to writing a novel in 30 days, and it helped a lot to encourage my creative writer.  

 "This book is full of helpful ways to get past the fear of putting words on the page, and "leaving your Inner Editor behind.  While doing NaNoWriMo, we did not stop to rewrite, edit, or critique my daughter's work."  Click here for the rest of my review of this great little book.

My daughter wrote a short novella each year!  One time it was a science fiction story.  Another year, it was an adventure novella, about a road trip and favorite pets.  But you don't have to have a goal of writing a novel...How about a short story, or trying poetry?  Or writing about a favorite hobby?

Why do creative writing, you might ask?  Isn't it the essay writing that our kids need to learn?  

The Benefits of Creative Writing

Here's three benefits of trying out NaNoWriMo:

1.  First, because it was fun, and a nice break to look forward to each November.  And it was a more relaxed way to encourage my daughter to find her own voice.

2.  Secondly, doing creative writing  helped her to become a strong essay writer.  It built up her confidence in putting words onto the page, while having the fun of making up a story.  Later, when was faced with an essay, she was ready.

3.  My third point is that my teen learned the parts of a story, in a hands-on way, by writing one.  Writing a story is a great way to learn the components of good literature!  That makes literary analysis much more understandable, when it comes up in later in english courses.  

Do you have a budding writer in your midst?

The NaNoWriMo site includes LOTS of info for writers of all ages.  To register - To join in the fun, you can register for their Young Writer's Program here

For resources  - for young writers' here, which includes workbooks for elementary, middle and high school writers.

They have a workbook for Middle Schoolers....and another one for high schoolers......

To join in with other writers, there is also an online community here, made up of young writers, who are all trying to get some words on the page.  It includes games and encouragement.  

What do you like to do to encourage your young writers?  

Do you have a college bound teen in your house?

Have you seen my book on college for homeschooled teens yet?  
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I wrote a book to share how we helped our daughter get there in 10 easy steps. 

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Paperback is on Amazon for only $11.99
This book is an easy-to-read guide to college for homeschoolers, recently updated with 7 NEW chapters, including:

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- 100 High School Electives
Where to find college scholarships
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How to make your own homemade courses
Included are also 12 homeschool high school planning printables to make your record-keeping easier.

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 from College Inside Track:

"Betsy has a wealth of understanding and knowledge to share with the parents of college bound homeschoolers.  She provides support, encouragement and step-by-step advice on all aspects of the homeschool high school and college application process. This book is a must-read for parents considering homeschooling high school and for parents in the thick of the application process."

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College Entrance Requirements Form
Overall High School Plan
Curriculum Planning Sheet
High School Credit Record Form
Transcript Form
Activities and Awards Form
Homemade Course Form
Writing the College Essay Form
Course Descriptions Record Keeping Form
Reference Letter Request Form
PE Record Form

For more information, click here - Frugal College Prep for Homeschoolers or to buy it here - my book on Amazon for only $11.99.  

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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  1. Wow, I love that you are doing this with your daughter. What an incredible gift you are giving her in allowing her creativity to flourish. I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the second time myself. I look forward to reading more.

    1. Thanks, so much, PATTIPEANUT, for stopping by, and I wish you the best in your writing during the NANoWriMo this year!! My kiddo had fun writing a science fiction piece the most!

  2. LOVE this. I'm actually doing NoWrMo myself but never thought to include my girl since she doesn't necessarily love writing. It would probably give her lots of confidence, though! I love your blog topics since I have a 10th grader myself. Will definitely be piddling around here for a while. Thanks for sharing!

    The How to Guru {Shan Walker}

  3. Thanks, Shan Walker, The How to Guru! So nice to meet a fellow writer! I have dabbled in writing for kids, myself...It would be fun to hear about how your own NaNoWriMo projects are going. My short stories have mostly been for very young kiddos. Enjoy your 10th grader! I have many fond memories of do writing with mine.

  4. Thanks, Shan Walker, The How to Guru! So nice to meet a fellow writer! I have dabbled in writing for kids, myself...It would be fun to hear about how your own NaNoWriMo projects are going. My short stories have mostly been for very young kiddos. Enjoy your 10th grader! I have many fond memories of do writing with mine.


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