"I’m walking to the bathroom.Why?Because I just drank a full to the brim coffee.We’re in Palazzo Versace and the toilets seem as beautiful as my girlfriend Lucy.O-boy, She’s good lookin!"
- 5 minute free write by L. Age 7.
It's a win-win situation. They get to spend time with their dad, learning great skills that extend past my expertise and I get some time to myself.
One of the cool things they do at the start of their sessions is a free write.
Free writing is a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism.Just sit down. Set timer. And.... WRITE.
It doesn't matter what it's about or what it looks like or how it's spelt. Just write.
Pretty simple, huh?
But, this is where the raw stuff comes from. Where the unique only-in-your-own-particular-head stuff comes from. This is where great ideas are born. T uses it in his own daily writing practice. But it's the perfect activity for kids too. It's creativity in the making.
I disagree with the idea that it's often unusable. Now, at the end of the term the boys have each re-worked a few of their favourite free writes. Hug (9) has expanded one of his into a full-length story while Lovely (7) has chosen to illustrate his personal favourites (see above).
For the record, L doesn't drink coffee. Being 7 and all. Nor does he have a girlfriend called Lucy ;)
Although this approach is quite a contrast to the Charlotte Mason ideas I base a lot of our Language Arts learning around I think it's ingenious.
So, are you ready? Sit down. Set the timer... & get free writing!