The Chesters Take the Challenge: NaNoWriMo, Brave Writer, and 4 Books Written Around One Table

The Chester Family is taking the NaNoWriMo challenge!  I haven’t been this excited about homeschool (and maybe life in general???) in a really long time.  NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, and people all over the world wake up on November 1 with the commitment to write a novel in 30 days.  I have been wanting to write a book (not a novel, but that is a minor detail, right?) for years, and thanks to Brave Writer‘s NaNoWriMo Challenge, I have decided to start it today alongside three of my six children, who are also writing books this month.

The process is simple.  I decided yesterday that we would do it.  Early this morning, I got up, went to the Brave Writer site, and logged on.  And I left the virtual classroom feeling like I had just stumbled onto the greatest treasure a homeschooling Mama could find.  There are so many resources for inspiring your kids to write in this free online class.  I am not being paid to write this.  I just want to share it with you, because I am astounded at the quality of the free teaching resources that are available through the Brave Writer NaNoWriMo class.  And I totally believe in the philosophy behind Brave Writer and this 30-Day Writing Challenge.

This morning, we sat down together and wrote, established our word count goals, and felt very happy about having written a combined amount of 1300 words this morning at our kitchen table.  This afternoon, the kids have been absorbed in the free (and super fun!) printable novel-writing workbook.  I didn’t make them do this.  I gave it to them and said, “Here, this is for you.  You can do as little or as much of this as you want.”  And they love it.  I am so excited that this is happening in my family.  I can see the creative wheels turning in these little heads.  We have a seven-year-old who has lots of ideas but who has had very little practice translating those ideas from his head to paper, a nine-year-old who has been resistant to writing her own thoughts on paper but loves to express herself through drawing (We combined a word count with an illustration count for her…), and we have a ten-year-old who writes for fun.  We all left the table feeling happy that we accomplished a challenging but doable daily goal, and at the end of the month will have something spectacular to show.

If you or your children are interested in the NaNoWriMo Challenge, you should check out Julie Bogart of Brave Writer’s live video discussing the event, the free classroom space, and some tips for getting started.  You don’t have to be prepared.  You can start late.  This is an incredible resource.  Julie has been one of the greatest inspirations in my homeschooling life.  I never miss an episode of her incredible Podcast, as I feel like she speaks deeply to people like me who are trying to find meaning in everyday life while raising children and homeschooling.  She also has encouraged me of the value of staying connected to my own creative voice through these years of raising small children.  Her perspective always resonates with me, and her continuous  and profound creative insight blows me away on a regular basis.  You will love this woman and the incredible work she is doing to connect children with their authentic voices through writing.

If you look into it and take the Brave Writer NaNoWriMo challenge, let me know!  And if you live in Northeast Georgia, message me and let’s meet up for coffee and write together one day in November.

Love,

Mackenzie

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