I didn't start this project to get my kids excited about writing. I didn't even start this project with the idea to get my kids doing a project with their cousins who live states away. But I'm so glad that's what this whole thing has turned into!
Ellie drew a picture of her cousin Creede as a cowboy for his birthday and somehow she got an idea to write a story about Sheriff Creede. I don't remember exactly how that happened, but Ellie is a natural story teller, so I'm not surprised. She comes by storytelling honestly. I was writing stories for my own entertainment for as long as I can remember knowing how to write.
Well, we sat down at the computer, because I can almost type as fast as she can tell a story. Wyatt added a some to the story and I made a suggestion when they got stuck in one spot and argued about another. The story included all the boy cousins, including Creede, his brother-Carson, and Wyatt. I suggested adding Ellie at the end. Now the kids have been brainstorming about how to add Creede and Carson's little sister, Tess, to the story. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The kids got stuck at one point and couldn't agree on what to write next, so I suggested we send what we had (because we need to get to the post office and the library pretty quickly) and make the story "to be continued". Then they could write some more later. Well, as we were packing up the card, I had the idea that Creede and Carson might like to write (figuring on a love of books and storytelling from what I know of their parents) the next "installment" and send it to us. Then the cousins could continue taking turns writing. Ellie and Wyatt loved that idea.
The kids are so excited to receive a new installment of The Adventures of Sheriff Creede. They recieved installment #2 from their cousins on Monday. Ellie and Wyatt can't wait to write the next one!
They'll all get to see each other at Thanksgiving, and we're thinking of suggesting that the four of them write an installment together at that time. Their ages are 9, almost 7, 6 and 4. The boys' little sister, Tess, is nearly a year and a half old. Anyway, you can imagine with the span of those ages that this is a great, funny, and imaginative story about the Old West.
Kids love getting mail. Mine love telling stories. I love that they have this new connection with their cousins that they so rarely get to see.
I actually wrote stories with one of my cousins years ago. We would spend Spring Break together and work on a new "novel". We wrote chapters and sometimes even mailed them back and forth, but we never managed to finish a book. We were in Junior High then.
I expect that The Adventures of Sheriff Creede will end in a finished product...or at least a couple of completed adventures. I love how a simple idea for a birthday present from one cousin to another can turn into a fabulous family project. I can see this continuing on for quite some time.
I didn't count the first installment of Sheriff Creede as credit for homeschooling, but this could certianly be a homeschool project for credit. In any case, this is a great family togetherness project for any family...homeschooler or not. Happy trails!