I try to incorporate free writes into family school on Fridays and other occasional days when time permits.
Some of my kids struggled to squeeze words from brain to pencil on a writing assignment even when they could talk about the topic endlessly and expressed good insight verbally. But when asked to write about it, that connection from brain to pencil shrunk and few words leaked out.
I began free writes with the kids to help them overcome this tendency to clam up.
The only rules for free writes are:
1) Write for 10 minutes. I set a timer.
2) If you think it, write it down. Don’t stop to think and ponder the right word or phrase, just throw the words on paper like Jackson Pollock threw paint on canvas.
This past week, I ask the children to do a free write poem in the style of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem, “Afternoon On a Hill.” We had been studying this poem for a week, reading it and noticing patterns and technique.
Below is 10 yo Rachel’s poem.