The Bare Essentials

My children really enjoy writing. I think this is a natural phenomena in children who read a lot. Add learning at home on top and the creativity just begins to flow. Rather than hand our children a stack of paper (although we have been known to do that), we have found a special way to encourage their writing endeavors… bare books!

I can imagine what you are thinking, “What in the world is a bare book?” Wonder no longer; I am here to enlighten you. (laughing)

Bare BooksHard covered books filled with blank pages, bare books are available in several sizes. They come with covers in ready to be colored designs or with a blank cover for your own creativity. Have a youngster who isn’t quite ready for paper yet? They have board books too! For those of us who haven’t mastered the writing process, helpful line guides are available for purchase.

So, what do we do with bare books? Well; write, of course!

When our children were much younger, they had a hard time “plotting out” their stories. How many words should be on each page? What happens if I run out of room or, heaven forbid, have left over pages? To make things easier on them, we used to sit at the computer and type out their stories. Once they were typed out, we would configure how to break down the sentences to the many pages that filled our books; this taught them spacial awareness and layout. Formatting complete, we would print the pages and glue them into our bare book. The only thing that remained was for the kids to illustrate their wonderful story.

For the past several years, we have taken out the typing process and the children do the writing on their own. This not only encourages them to improve their penmanship (after all, these book are being kept), but allows us to have a memory of their progress and handwriting.

While creative writing has always been encouraged and, on occasion, a mandatory part of our routine, bare books have always been left as an optional activity. We buy them by the box (usually twenty at a time) and keep them readily available for all who wish to try their hand.

Bare Book Collection

What started out as a one time project, has turned into a mini library! Our oldest daughter, “T”,  has written about twenty all on her own.

Our girls have taken to using them as gifts. When prepping for Christmas (yes, my kids prep; they learned it from their crazy mom), they start digging into the box and writing stories to use as presents. If a friend or family member has a birthday, it warrants a book!

Being the organized person that she is, “T” has decided to take things to the limit. She not only writes lovely stories and illustrates them herself, she goes the extra mile. Back covers are cleverly filled with “reviews” from noted newspapers and magazines. On the inside, front cover you will find her “publishing logo” and copyright information. What this girl won’t think of!

We have been so blessed to come across these neat little books. They have added so much to our learning and creativity. It has been such a blessing to see them pouring over them, learning so much in the process. These have been one of the best investments we have ever made.

So, the next time your children ask to do some creative writing, consider pulling out one of these and see where it leads. You just might not go back!

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19 thoughts on “The Bare Essentials

  1. One of mine was a creative writer from a very young age. When asked to write a paragraph, four pages came out! Abilities sometimes reveal themselves right from the start – as she is now paid to write!

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  2. While cleaning up my homeschool closet yesterday, I came across a bare book that my daughter had created when she was 8. (she is 20 now.) It was such a happy find and brought a lot of joy to my day. She had even included a dedication page, having written the book for her brothers and her beloved cat. Can’t recommend bare books enough. Thanks for the post.

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  3. Alright…I have to admit, my kiddos resist writing. My oldest boy especially. He is in a Lit class through his tutorial this year, and I am very hopeful that this will draw out some of those creative juices I know are brewing under the surface. I love what the teacher has him reading, and she requires they journal 4 days a week. She will be responding to their entries, so I’ll be interested to see how she encourages the writing. She has some good creative assignments as well. They just wrote a letter to Robert Louis Stevenson and next week it is an advice letter to Tom Sawyer.

    I like the idea of the books, though. Especially with my younger guys. I may have to check this out!

    Oh…and hello 😉

    Sarah

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  4. Pingback: Write Your Own Story | A Homeschool Mom

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