Once a year the local library runs a “Make your Own Book” Competition. It is aimed at getting kids from the school to write though they have always included us homeschool families. Over the years our children have done very well and it has become a standard part of our school year.
Daniel decided, at the last minute to write a crime story – where the police follow the clues and catch the bad man!
Naomi has included her love for adventure with dinosaurs for her story.
Jessica has written an historical-fiction story on Weetamoo (an Indian princess)
Joshua has two stories to submit this year – one is Zoom Dog, he has published a few of these short stories on his blog, and the second is an animal story set in medieval times.
My plan was to get the kids to spend one week writing and one week publishing but plans always unravel! Here we are the day before we intend to hand the books in and we are still madly editing, doing artwork, formatting and printing!! Maybe next year will be less stressful!
There are a lot of skills that the children improve on, year after year, with this project
1. Writing skills – I have seen the children progress from simple stories to stories with complex plots or unique voice. We don’t focus on creative writing in our “school” time – I believe the children write good stories because they have read good stories. Read more about the nature of Counterfeit Literature
- Artwork – over the years the children have used different techniques to illustrate their stories – pencil drawing, paintings, photography, models, clip art, collage
- Technology / publishing – I have encouraged the children to use the computer as much as they want to in making their books. The benefits of having their book on computer is that it can be reproduced many times, shared with grandparents and friends. They have used Word Processor, Publisher, scanners, printers, digital cameras and photocopiers. Oddly enough things always go wrong when you use technology, so there is always has an aspect of problem solving attached – how are we going to solve this difficulty.
- Working to a deadline – this is real life training. If they don’t allow enough time at the beginning of the project they will always be rushing, pushing the deadline, if they do manage their time, then there is time to put polish on a project and be relaxed.
Publishing your own works is a great learning opportunity. Other publishing ideas that fit family life
- Publish a Collection of your children’s stories into one book
- Publish a series of notebook pages on one topic – My book on Africa for example
- Publish your own recipe book
- Publish a book of quotes, devotional thoughts, memory verses
Read other ideas for finding a purpose for writing in your lifestyle.