Home education is, more often than not, miles apart from mainstream education when it comes to restrictions. Exercise books and blue nibbed pens can automatically become a thing of the past which from a creative standpoint, can open up a plethora of doors and get the imagination flowing.
Some children can find writing quite a challenge and a lot of the time, the focus can be mainly targeted at improving the legibility which can end up hindering the child’s creativity as a result. While letter and word formation are important, any mark making is fantastic and if the child knows what they’ve written, then that’s the main focus of creative writing. Handwriting comes with practice and without the passion behind that writing then most children will be reluctant to take part.
Home education gives you the beauty of being able to tailor your lessons to a specific child which admittedly, is much easier in terms of outcome than trying to plan a lesson around potentially 30+ different learning styles. When you’re home educating more than one child then that’s where it becomes a bit more interesting but even then, unless you have 30 kids, it’s going to be a lot easier to divide your time.
Here are some ways to make writing more interesting –
For children who find regular pen to paper writing a chore, mixing things up a bit and incorporating technology can be incredibly rewarding. Children can create something they ordinarily wouldn’t whether that be a simple, typed piece with different colours and fonts or even using a tablet to write digitally can help inject some newfound inspiration into a child’s creative writing.
For children who prefer to write very small amounts, creating video-based stories can be much more engaging and the performing aspect can also be quite an exciting, confidence boosting activity too. A short plan can be made and the bulk of the storyline can be spoken whilst displaying any artwork throughout the feature. Perhaps even incorporating some handmade costumes for different characters! I find this method of story writing very popular with my eldest, she finds the production and editing part of things much more stimulating than written work, and I find she is much more creative when filmmaking.
Stop motion animation
Stop motion is another popular option in our house when it comes to video-based stories. This can be achieved quite simply using supplies such as plasticine, clay or even playdoh. The more physical aspect can be quite attractive to children who prefer a more tactile way of learning. Not only does this cover art and literacy but you can throw in some added media and animation lessons into the mix. There are plenty of apps that cater to stop-motion animation or even a simple camera would suffice so the technical aspects aren’t out of reach for the majority of families.
Pow! Bang! Zap!! Comics can be very inviting to children more interested in the artistic side of things and while they do still contain small chunks of writing thereby supporting word formation. This can be a great way to get children who perhaps don’t have an awful lot of confidence with their writing to get involved in a less overwhelming way. Go big or go home Sometimes the novelty of making something massive is enough to grab a child’s attention long enough for them to really reach their creative potential. Maybe a huge chalk mural on the side of your house, on the patio or all the way around your garden fence. Even writing the story itself on the walls can inspire children to get stuck into putting pen to paper, or pen to wall in this case. The thing about home education is that a lesson doesn’t have to be one lesson, you can incorporate such a wide range of different angles into one topic.
For example, our creative writing session branched out into a media lesson exploring the different roles involved in creating a film production as well as the physical and technical processes of actually creating an animation.
A history and research lesson where we looked at other stop-motion films, how they did it, how they progressed over time with technology advances, the background styles and so on.
A maths lesson where we figured out how long each scene needed to be, how much plasticine we needed, the cost involved with creating our production etc.
The opportunities for learning are endless, not just for home ed families but even just learning at home.
With home education there are no time restrictions to each aspect and if say, your child is really interested in the history part of things but isn’t that taken on the maths side you can adjust things there and then to follow their lead and keep them interested rather than having to wait for the correct lesson slot so no inspiration is lost.
The key to creative writing at home is finding what makes your individual child’s creativity tick. Some children will love churning out pages and pages of handwritten stories, some will prefer typing and others might prefer improvising and tell the story as they paint. There is no right or wrong way of being creative and the beauty of home ed is the one to one and really being able to find that little seed of creativity and nurturing it individually to allow that child to blossom.