Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If it's not fun, you're not doing it right

This is on my refrigerator right now.

And I think about how true it really is in all of life.  Isn't it?

I certainly have not been "Super Duper Homeschool Mom" these days. Especially by not using a consistent writing curriculum but, hey, that's the way I roll.  I have been convinced lately though that my girls need some practice by way of descriptive writing.  So....while I was (in the 11th hour) fervently leafing through a book of writing prompts trying to figure out what in the heck we were going to do for a writing assignment today, it hit me when I read this.

Well, "Booooorrrrrrrring" is actually what I first thought and what I was pretty sure my girls would think as well.  It seemed more like busy-work to me and I'm pretty sure it would to them, as well.  And I would surely have gotten some huffs, puffs, heads flailing on the desks, and subsequent hum-drum descriptions just to finish the laborious task.

So, I told them both to
  1. Brainstorm, make a list and/or write out a description of a halloween costume 
  2. Once she was finished with the written description her sister had to draw it based on her description.   
It was "game on" then.

In retrospect I would first have had them draw a costume, then use that picture to help her describe it in words, keep the original drawing hidden, then hand the written description, only, to her sister.  I think this would have been better for several reasons (#1) it would have been something more concrete for them to describe and (b) they would have had 2 finished drawings to compare.  Next time.  And, oh there will be a next time because I can run something into the ground until it ISN'T fun any longer. 

As you can see I was scribe for little bit (on the white board).

It was funny to watch their expressions and talk to them about what their sister had drawn.  Both of them genuinely liked the others' drawing but they did admit it wasn't quite what they had pictured in their mind.  I briefly talked with them about how they could have added details and what words they could have used to better describe their costume and explained how important it is to be as descriptive as possible when writing because we draw pictures in our minds of what we read.  Blah, blah, blah...enough talking, Mom.

So there you have it, an otherwise lackluster writing experience they actually had fun with.  You could use this for all kinds of descriptive writing exercises.  Let me know if you think of more ideas!

Sorry that I have been kind of MIA lately.  I was waffling about whether or not to hang up this blogging thing.  But I think I am going to keep at it.  I learn and glean so much online (and mostly off of other people's blogs) that I simply want to pay it forward.  So, hope to see you soon!

And...Happy Fall, Y'all!


Jennifer said...

I like that idea! Thanks for sharing.

Mama Fry said...

Love it and I plan on using it for the journal assignment for Halloween. Keep it up. I'm feeling a little defeated by time and imagination, but I am still trying to keep things relaxed, fun and still learning our first year.

Carla said...

That is fantabulous!!
...I can run something into the ground until it ISN'T fun any longer.
Really?!? Can't we all!
That type of writing is one of my favorites.