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How to Add More Fun to Homeschool Writing in 5 Minutes

by Tina von Hatten

If you are anything like me, there are subjects that you dread teaching. One of these subjects happens to be writing. I think it goes back to my high school days. I dreaded creative writing in high school. 

Now I have the responsibility to teach my kids how to write and I don’t want to mess it up. Most of all, I want it to be fun and not something they dread.

Writing bravely

I can remember the first time that I heard Julie Bogart’s Bravewriter Podcast. I was intrigued by her philosophy and how she ended each podcast with “live honestly and write bravely.”  

Her method of teaching creative writing was so different than anything I have ever encountered. The homeschool parent wasn’t the teacher, but rather the coach. Being a coach really took the pressure off. The writing was encountered in a much more organic way. 

Julie made me want to coach my children to write. She made it sound exciting and most of all easy. Children have interesting minds and wonderful ideas. Helping them put their ideas on paper didn’t seem daunting with Julie’s help. 

Scribing for the little ones who couldn’t write yet and partnering with older reluctant children didn’t sound dreadful. Poetry Teatime and Friday Freewrites sounded enchanting. If you haven’t heard of Bravewriter yet, you are really missing out.  Creative writing can be fun!

Make your own book in 5 minutes

We are not always successful in doing our “Friday Freewrites” but we try. Today, I wanted to try something different, something fun.

What is more fun than making your own books? 

I have included a simple tutorial below to inspire you to make books for all of your budding writers. It doesn’t take very much skill, I promise. 

Impress your children with new books to keep their writing in. You don’t have to use these for writing if you don’t want to. These make neat sketchbooks too. If you use different types of paper, it would make a lovely mixed media art journal.

Step 1: Gather your supplies

  • 1 piece of 12×12 inch scrapbook paper
  • 4-5 pages of letter-sized printer paper
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • denim 90/14 needle (use an old one if you have one)

Step 2: Trim the edge

Trim 3 inches off of the top or bottom edge of the scrapbook paper. I used my quilting ruler to draw the cutting line. This is not necessary. Any ruler will work. 

*If your paper is directional, make extra sure that you are cutting off of the top or bottom.

Step 3: Mark your sewing line

  • Make 1/4 inch markings at the top and bottom at exactly 6 inches. This marks the middle.
  • Draw a line down the center of the white paper. The letter-sized paper will need to be marked at 5.5 inches.

Step 4: Load the thread

Load the thread and the bobbin according to the manufacturer’s directions of your sewing machine. 

I used thread to match the book cover in the bobbin and white thread to sew down the middle.

I switched to a denim 90/14 needle, but any old dull needle will work. 

Step 5: Prepare your book to sew

  • Fasten clips or fasteners to hold the papers in place. I used these. 
  • Set your stitch length to 2.5 – 3.0 mm on your sewing machine. I chose 2.7 mm.

Step 6: Sew your binding

  • Insert your needle just behind the white paper into the cover only. 
  • Stitch 2-3 stitches and back-stitch over those same stitches. On my machine, the back-stitch button looks like the U with an arrow.
  • Stitch along the line you drew in Step 3.
  • Back-stitch again at the end.

Step 7: Clip the threads and fold in half

Congratulations!

You have made a book in under 5 minutes. Now make a few more because it was just that easy.

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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