Hi and Welcome,
Think of this site as a treat for your son—a break from your carefully planned and scheduled reading/writing curriculum. I’ve compiled a random collection of journal prompts, study guides, writing exercises and the like from my years of writing middle grade and young adult novels. Some of the exercises even come from the college writing classes I’ve taught. You’ll want to sort through these offerings and choose the ones best suited to your student’s age, interests and abilities.
If you think your reader/writer is ready for it, all my young people stories are available free at http://www.storyshares.org/users/view There are seven stories in the My First Horse, series plus a couple of others. The covers may look different from the ones on the header of this site but the stories are the same. Be sure to check out story shares.org to finding engaging stories for middle school readers and others struggling with reading.
Boys like challenges. I know that’s a stereotype. But still, I find that when a boy confronts a new experience that seems interesting or exciting to him, he will often have one of two reactions:
1. Hey, how do you do that? Let me try it.
2. Respond to a challenge to replicate it.
As his parent or teacher, you would know best where your pupil falls on the challenge continuum. So, try him out on some of the exercises I’ve posted. Perhaps he responds to the jokes or the action scenes or the character descriptions. When you discover interest, pose the challenge…from a subtle “Hmm, I wonder if you could do that?” to “I bet you can’t.” That’s how I got started writing humor articles for Mother Earth Magazine. After reading one of their Last Laugh segments, I thought that I could do better than that and did so for 15 or so issues until they changed publishers and hired editors who didn’t share my sense of humor…their loss. The boy in me liked the challenge.
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