Fun Creative Freewriting Adventures {Roadschool Review}

This post contains affiliate links. Wait, there’s more: we were given a free downloadable PDF copy of Creative Freewriting Adventure and Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition from Home School Adventure Co. in exchange for a fair and honest review. No cookie bribes exchanged hands. 

Here’s the truth. I love to write. Some of my girls love to write. Even my boy loves to write. There’s one girl, however, who loves to read what other people have written…and that’s it. She writes faithfully in her journal. At least I think she does–I don’t read it. She writes dutiful thank you notes that we forget to mail. But she won’t, you know, tackle NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with me. In fact, when I asked her if she wanted to take on the challenge this year, she gave me a look that, well, there are children on the Internet, so I best not describe it.

Lucky her. She is one of the two girls doing Creative Freewriting Adventure with me. Bwaa haa haa!

What is Creative Freewriting Adventure?

Creative Freewriting Adventure is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: “creativity and critical thinking unleashed.” The student is briefly introduced to a philosopher, a scene from literature, a scenario, or a concept. A few guiding questions help get the cogwheels moving upstairs. Then you set the timer and the student writes for 15 minutes. Afterward you can each share your pieces…or not. Whatever.

This isn’t about writing perfectly. It’s a free writing adventure. That means that there is no judging of grammar, spelling, punctuation…I think a threw up a little in my mouth at the thought of not correcting those things. Honestly, though, perfection, grades, or confusion often keeps kids from writing, and the free aspect of the adventure help the words gush out. (Or, in the case of my girl with “the look,” it helps her practice getting her entire point across as succinctly as possible–her record was one sentence, and I couldn’t even fault her for it, since it completed the story beautifully and she played with the baby for her remaining 14 minutes and 12 seconds. I bet right about now you’re wishing I could be that brief.)

Someone once told me not to introduce my kids to philosophy, because it will turn them from Christ. Not so. Introduce them to Christ, teach them discernment, and then practice discerning together. Scripture and a discerning faith can stand up to philosophers. CFA will get your child thinking critically about God and philosophy…in a good way.

What can you expect from Creative Freewriting Adventure?

CFA is not a grammar guide. It doesn’t teach writing, but it does guide the mind to think in ways that will make the student’s writing more powerful.

The Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book adds another dimension. It includes a coloring page that ties in to each activity.

You can use CFA alone or as a part of a larger curriculum. The author says that the fun and playful nature of CFA is to offset the hard work the child will be doing in their other writing programs and studies. My girl with the look agrees with that. The curriculum might not transform a pencil-phobe into a writer…but then again, it might. It’s that low pressure.

Some of the freewriting adventures are repeats of what we have in Philosophy Adventure, another publication from the same company. Most, however, are original. All can be tied in some way or another to many of the other products that Home School Adventure Co. publishes, such as the following, all of which we own:

How do we use Creative Freewriting Adventure?

We cancelled all our other writing (except journal and Bible-related) and used CFA as a daily exercise for a while. Why? Because the girls were getting stuck on their other curricula and needed a temporary shift to keep them from disliking writing, and because we homeschool and can do whatever we want. We also ate cookies…because we homeschool and can do whatever we want.

The students in our roadschool who used this are 16 and 13. I won’t tell you which one is the master of the death-stare. She said it is better than a regular writing curriculum, but she still won’t do NaNoWriMo with me. The other student, who gets stuck in her regular writing curriculum, thrived with the single topic, creative writing, and time limit. Hooray! And I loved writing, chatting, and laughing with my girls.

Is this parent-heavy?

Absolutely not! You could be on Jupiter sipping lattes with Sara Palin and the kids could do this entirely on there own. (Actually, Jupiter is a gaseous planet, so I don’t think you could stand on it and, seriously, Sara Palin has more important things to do than sip lattes in whirling gas–let’s just say you could be at Culvers eating custard with your sister and your kids could still freewrite.)

You literally open the book and go (and I use the word literally literally). You have to do nothing to prepare!

I am totally in love with doing nothing to prepare. If doing nothing to prepare were a job, I would consider getting a job. I wouldn’t actually get one, but I would definitely consider it. You’re judging me–that’s okay.

The curriculum says to give the kids paper and a pencil, set the timer, and open the book. Honestly, I tell them to get their own pencil and paper and then I holler, “Hey, someone set the timer, would ya? Thanks!”

How nothing can I get! Seriously, people, I cannot emphasize this enough–you do nothing to prepare!

Except I did something. Daughter-with-the-death-stare was so traumatized by having to write for 15 minutes, that I decided to do the program with my girls, because, hello, if I, a college-educated professional writer could write for 15 minutes, surely my child can, right? Of course right!

So, yes, I did the freewriting fun with my kids. Also, I read the intro sections aloud to them. They could do that on their own, too, I suppose, but I really enjoyed the time with just the two of them, since many of their subjects are done independently or with the whole family. Also, the lead-ins make for good discussion.

Summary: you do nothing to prepare!

Additional thoughts for other frugal and/or large families:

This costs no money after the purchase. None. Zip, zilch. My copy is digital, so we read it off the computer and I didn’t even incur printing costs. I typed my writing and the kids grabbed a notebook…which at one point cost a quarter each, so there you go. While I don’t normally like digital products ((because I’m olde-school), digital really worked for us with CFA.

Additional thoughts for my fellow roadschoolers:

Again, my version is digital, so it takes up no space. After the download, it requires no internet access.

The print version isn’t that big, so it’s not a space hog.

Will it stay on the road with us?

This is always the big question. Yes, we will keep it with us. It doesn’t take up any space, and it’s a nice break from our other writing lessons. Once every week or two I’ll pull up another adventure, and probably repeat some oldies. I might even include the fifth grader. Eventually I want to take some of the kids through the other programs we own from Home School Adventure Co., and this would mesh well.

Summary:

  • simple
  • fun
  • good for eliciting death-stares from the child that doesn’t want to write
  • more fun than other writing programs (says Death-Stare Girl)
  • great introduction or complement to any of the other Home School Adventure Co. products
  • fun break from strenuous writing projects
  • gentle introduction to philosophy form a Christian perspective

Disclaimer:

My death-stare girl is a sweetheart with a servant’s heart and she’s a very diligent student. She simply isn’t interested in writing. Oh, but when she does it’s really, really good…and very succinct.

Want to know more?

Click on any of the links below to learn more:

What other parents are saying:

Other Homeschool Review Crew families also checked out Creative Freewriting Adventure or reviewed I’d Rather Be Your Mommy (such a sweet book), Celebrating Manhood: a rite of passage guide, or Walking with the Waodani. You can read their reviews by clicking here or on the banner below:

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