Are you constantly coming up with story ideas, need a place to share your poetry or song lyrics? Do you wish The Inklings still existed? Would you like to improve your writing style in a fun and energizing atmosphere or co-create your own English class and credits?
This Club is for you!
Students set their own yearly and monthly writing goals, which vary from writing novels and poetry, to winning contests and finding an editor to publish, to starting a blog. We provide regular accountability and support. Weekly writing prompts, a place to read your writing and have it assessed, information on contests and writing opportunities, writing challenges, weekly skill building, group readings and helpful and positive critiques! Break -out rooms add to the comrade as we work together to write! Skill Building may included but is not limited to:
- Poetry Forms and Meter
- Sketch Comedy Writing
- Figures of Speech and Tropes
- Lyrical Writing
Each week students share book recommendations, briefly describing a books major themes, characters and plot, teaching students basic literary analysis and presentation skills. Books are rated and we create an on-going book list. Because of our students varied interests and age levels, our book lists are fun and eclectic. We publish our Creative Writing Recommended Book list each semester A perfect tie-in to other English courses,this class is an idea fit for those who want to hone their writing and creative skills, for those considering a career or for those who need an extra credit in English. The Jr. High Writing Club is available to motivated students grades 6 an up. This course is a perfect tie in to Speech as well as Civics! $80 per semester. Students can join mid-year.
Tween & Teen Book Recommendations from our Writing Club!
Because writers are readers, book reviews are a regular part of our bi-monthly Writing Club! Check out what our True North Homeschool Academy Tweens and Teens are reading and see if you can’t find something new to add to your book list!
- The Knight & Kingdom series by Chuck Black -5*
- Cross Roads by Paul Willis -5*
- The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel -3.5*
- Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis -5* An insightful, thought-provoking piece, done by the ever brilliant CS Lewis, on the old, well known Cupid and Psyche myth. Something to be aware of: this book is a CS Lewis masterpiece, and therefore if you do not look past the face of this book, then you have missed the entire point of CS Lewis. This is a layered book. And I mean LAYERED. Though the writing is simple enough, the ideas, metaphors, and insight are all pretty hefty. Don’t read this if you aren’t ready to think deeply.
- The Visitation, Frank Peretti -4* A burned-out pastor struggles and grows in his faith as a man claiming to be Jesus shows up in his town. Supernatural events turn the small town upside-down…he must take action. Good read overall- drags towards the middle, but once you get towards the end you’re almost afraid to put it down!
- Silas Marner, By George Eliot – 5* Set in old England, it walks through the life of a falsely accused weaver and his slow redemption.
- Fahrenheit 451; Ray Bradbury -5* What would happen if books were illegal? What would happen if America gave up on substance and chased after pleasure? Ray Bradbury looks into this idea in his classic, award-winning Fahrenheit 451. From the view of a Firefighter, whose whole job is to burn books, life isn’t going well. His wife almost commits suicide, he isn’t happy, and war is on the horizon. Through curiosity, and something like instinct he starts to snitch books, and after a particularly rough day, decides to see what’s inside them, which launches him into a odd sort of journey, or adventure, but I think it’s a little more interesting than that, I just don’t know what else to call it.
- The Unwanteds -5 *
- The Hobbit by Tolkien- (fantasy) -5* Bilbo was a hobbit. He didn’t do much, and he didn’t go anywhere. But he had a friend who happened to be a wizard, who decided that it is about time Bilbo ought to have an adventure. After being horrified at the amount of personality that can fit into the small body of a dwarf, not to mention their appalling manners, Bibo eventually joins a bond with the plus-sized personalities of the dwarfs and has the opportunity to have a riddle contest not only with a dilapidated hobbit but also a dragon. Plus he also gets to sing songs with elves, and travel through giant spider infested forests. What more could you ask for?
- The Menagerie Trilogy by Sue Ann Carter Sutherland -5*
- The Ascendance Trilogy, by Jennifer Nelson -5*This is the story of a mischievous prince ascending to his throne despite the many obstacles. Five stars.
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien -4* When Frodo Baggins inherits a magical ring, he is thrown headlong into the quest of a lifetime. This epic novel tells a story of love, bravery and the extraordinary battle between good and evil. Although rather long, it is a suspenseful and action-packed read to the very end.
- Michael Vey series, by Richard Paul Evans 4* This seven-book series is the story of teenagers with abilities involving electricity. It is not strictly Christian, but an adventurous read.
- Kensuke’s Kingdom by M Markpuro -4.5*
- Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland -5* -Clay, Tsunami, Sunny, Starflight, and Glory must save the world with their awesomeness. A giant war is raging…but what can five dragonets do? Sutherland gives wonderful voice to her characters, and though it’s at an easy reading level, you can’t put it down until you’ve read cover to cover (or book 1 to book 5).
- Michael Vey series, by Richard Paul Evans. 4*This seven-book series is the story of teenagers with abilities involving electricity. It is not strictly Christian, but an adventurous read.
- The Ascendance Trilogy, by Jennifer Nelson. 5*This is the story of a mischievous prince ascending to his throne despite the many obstacles.
- The King of Shadows (Shakespeare’s Time) -5*
- Carry on, Mr. Bowditch -5* (colonial America)
- The Star Under the City -5* (WWII)
- Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz -5* (WWII)
- Michael O’Shaunessey and his parents are spies in Germany during WWII. When he joins (infiltrates) the Hitler youth, things get complicated. This is a fantastic book. Humor, suspense, history, adventure…this book has got it all.
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell -4*
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie -5* One word: Fascinating! I don’t agree with all of his policies, but the amount of examples he gives as evidence of success is astounding! Dale Carnegie not only has an amazing writing style, and wonderful stories, but his content is worth looking into. Whether you are in the workplace, with your kids, or with human beings in general, How to win friends and influence people could be the answer to well, some, your problems.
- The Mystery & the Minister’s Wife Series -5*
- The Secret of the Golden Cowrie by Gloria Repp- 5* This book is about a little girl trying to find a precious shell while escaping danger along the way.
So there are our top book recommendations. How about you? What are you reading?
Book recommendations given by our amazing Writing Club members: Parker, Hannah, Emily, Gabi, Malachi, Ada, Venetia, and Sydney.
(Interested in joining the True North Homeschool Academy writing club? You can check it out here.)
I am leading a Writing Club this year at True North Homeschool Academy and to say I love it is an understatement. I love words, teaching people how to use them effectively and watching the enthusiasm and joy young writers take in expressing themselves and sharing their creation. Happy Sigh.
There is still time to join our fantastic writing club (we have new members joining us this week) but if you’d like to start a Writing Club where you are at, here is a simple format to get you started.
First, set goals and time frames.
Set goals for the group or have the kids set their own individual goals. In our group, our students set their goals for the year and then share their writing/reading goals (because writers are readers) for the time between now and the next time we meet.
Set a clear structure for the club so the kids know what to expect and how to prepare. The very nature of a club is less structured than a formal class, but creating set time ensures that you keep moving forward and as many students as possible have a chance to read and share their writing.
Next, add writing prompts.
Start with a writing prompt. The kids love this time, regardless of age or ability. Set a timer- not too long, not too short- 5-15 minutes. Read the prompt and then let the kids write. No talking, just writing. When the timer goes off, give everyone time to read their response to the prompt.
Sit back and revel in how amazing the kids are! You will be blown away at the diversity, ability, and creativity! No critique or formal feedback, though you’ll probably notice that often the kids will give each other unsolicited encouragement and support and cries of “Wow! That was amazing!”
Where can you look for writing prompts?
- Pictures from all time periods
- Famous Quotes
- A sentence or two from a book
- A snippet from the news
- A few lines of poetry
- Snippets from other subject areas
- Math formulas
- Science facts
- Funny photoshops
The sky is really the limit. Last week our prompt was from the news, “This storm can kill!” and the week before a quote, “Absence of faith is not lack of faith, but control.”
Then focus on skill building.
I am a poetry writer, reader and advocate from way back, so I often bring in poetry forms and tropes as part of our skill building. Many great writers include poems and songs to develop their characters, and I want the kids to have these tools available to them.
Other ideas include working on dialog, tropes, sentence structure and variations, plot devices, characteristics of genres, humor, applying literary analysis to one’s own writing and so much more! I usually allow for about 20 minutes on this section because I’ll present the skill and then give them time to work on it.
Next, write and share feedback.
Take time to have 2-3 kids share 5 minutes of their writing each week (the writing that they are doing on their own- apart from the writing prompts) and have everyone listen well. Then, allow the class to give feedback and assessment on the writing. I set clear parameters for the kids on this as our goal is to give each other constructive feedback and information that will allow each person to grow and excel as writers.
I teach kids about the “sandwich” method of giving feedback (2 positives, one critique, one positive) and encourage them to find both strengths and areas of weaknesses in the writing- offering possible solutions. This feedback teaches how to give and receive feedback, simple literary analysis, and how to listen well. We also work on presentation skills, and the kids know that they’ll have to introduce themselves and their work to contextualize for the audience before they begin.
Book reviews are also great!
Because good writers are good readers each student shares a book they’ve read, gives a brief critique, what the liked or disliked about the book and gives it a 1-5 star rating. We’ll be publishing our books lists each semester, so stay tuned!
Finally, have plenty of extra resources.
For our Writing Club, I also make sure the kids know about resources like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as well as writing and reading contests.
Our writing club has kids ranging in age from 12 to 17, some have written very little, and some have written a couple of books already. What we do have in common in a love of words and a desire to hone our ability to craft with words.
Start a local Homeschool Writing Club, but if you don’t have the time or inclination, we’d love for you to join ours! (you can join any month of the year). Or, if you have a local group, we can work with you too. We are partnering with co-ops and class days to bring quality education TO you, regardless of where in the world you are! We have special prices for groups. And if you don’t see something you are looking for in our catalog, be sure to let us know – we can work together to make it happen!