Now the I have a child who will be graduating and is doing very well in his dual credit college classes, I can admit that we’ve never officially done a writing course here at the house. My children have done various writing classes at co-op and Christian did use the One Year Adventure Novel for his Freshman English but that’s it. It’s not because I don’t think writing is important, I do. Or that I don’t like writing, I do. I think is has to with the fact that writing is very subjective and personal.
Math is easy, there are rules and absolutes…2 plus 2 always equals 4. It doesn’t matter if the teacher likes you or your “mathematics style”, it doesn’t matter what teacher grades your work or if he is in a good mood or not. 2 plus 2 always equals 4 – no exceptions! This is one reason I’ve always loved math.
|Rip the Page is definitely Benjamin’s favorite subject|
But writing, that’s different and I don’t think it has anything to do with right brain/left brain stuff. Or that if you are good at math, you can’t be good a writing or creative stuff. I think that writing is subjective and personal and math objective and impersonal. I mean, who wants to spend time writing about something important you just to have a teacher say it’s not good. Especially if a different teacher reads it and likes it.
I’ve carried all this baggage into our homeschool and although we do lots of other creative stuff and we learn spelling and grammar, until this year we have not done writing. Here’s the deal, I don’t want my children having this same baggage, I want them to know that they have creativity within them and that they can express that creativity with words.
Enter Rip the Page by Karen Benke. When I saw this on Soule Mama’s blog I knew this could be just what I was looking for. Something to get the creative juices of my children’s brains flowing without me having to “grade” their creativity. I have not been disappointed!
So far, we have learned about and written Tankas (a Japanese poem), began making word lists of words we think are funny sounding or spelling (like chaos), made word lists of words that don’t normally go together (like spaghetti-elephant), written rhyming poems and learned about similes and metaphors among other fun and creative things.
Each lesson takes about 5-15 minutes and we do them together. After we’ve written we each share what we wrote. Usually at least one child will ask to do another lesson. I always say, “Tomorrow.” I want to leave them excited to do more writing instead of dreading it each day.
Rip the Page is about the creative parts of writing not the nuts and bolts of writing. So if you’re looking for a “curriculum” that will teach such things as “How to write a 5 paragraph essay” you will be disappointed in this book. However, if you want your writing to be more like play, then this book just might be for you.