• Sara Blackard

Homeschool Writing Tip and an Original Story

What could be harder than creating a story? How about creating a story while writing, spelling, and remembering all the grammar mechanics? I'm telling you, at 41, I still have to put thought into choosing the correct word, spelling it right, then making sure the comma comes in the perfect spot. Now imagine you're still learning how to read well, how to form your letters, and remembering spelling rules (because who can remember all those silly rules?) And you're expected to write a story you'd be proud of? Forget it.

My third grader loves stories and creating magical worlds. She had an assignment in her language arts where she was given the first sentence with instructions to finish the short story. While her reading has jumped ahead of where it was last spring by leaps and bounds, she's definitely not ready to be writing on her own. So, I had her copy the first sentence in her notebook, then I wrote the rest out as she told it to me.

I could've easily just written what she first said, but I wanted her to start thinking about the story on a deeper level. So, I asked questions. What did that look like? Did her body react in a special way when that happened? What does your body do when you are surprised? What did it feel like when she pushed into the hedge? How do you want me to write that down? Simple questions like these got her thinking more than just "I walked here and was excited." She's created a real gem that she's ready to "publish and sell." I told her we might want to work on it a little more, but that I'd post it here. For now, she said that will work. Without further ado ... I give you my daughter's Enchanted Garden.

I was pulling weeds in my garden and noticed something unusual sticking up out of the dirt. I started digging it up. It was shiny with pointy sides. I pulled it out and gasped. It was an old, rusty key. I knew there was a door locked somewhere, but I didn't know where it was.

I looked around the hedge that protected the garden. My arms started to hurt because the branches were scratching me. I was about to give up when the ground sounded funny beneath me. I dropped down and started digging.

Beneath the dirt was a hidden door. The door had a big lock. My heart pounded in my chest as I put the key into the lock. It fit, and it clicked, and I jumped back.

I pulled the heavy door up and laid it on the ground. There was a ladder leading into a dark hole. I was excited and scared. Should I do down or should I not? My gut said I should.

I touched the ladder to go down and lights started spiraling down the tunnel's wall. I jumped back, and the lights turned off.

I touched it again, and the lights turned back on. I looked down the tunnel and squinted. I saw something sparkle! I thought for a minute and decided to see what it was.

I climbed down the ladder. The lights got brighter and brighter. I finally got to the bottom. There was a wooden chest with sparkly gold straps over it. I opened the heavy lid. I jumped back and gooesbumps spread all over my arms.

To Be Continued...

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