Charlotte Mason programs like Ambleside Online do not start “writing” in the very young years.  The focus is on oral language development while fine motor skills,  reading, and transcription catch up.  In addition to oral narration, we have also dabbled in some creative projects from Bravewriter, mainly for fun.

Know and Tell is a new book out with great info on how narration transitions into writing.

Years 1-3

Oral Storytelling

When you see your child creating a play scene, ask them to tell you a story about what they have created.  It can be a very simple story: “This car was going too fast, and he hit this other car.”  “The 2 little puppies were tired, so the mommy dog put them to bed.”

With her permission, write down your child’s story.

When she is ready to do a little more, create a little book with the story and illustrate it.  A further extension could be to have her copy her story and create her own little book with it.  (To make a “book,” I simply fold paper in half and staple it.)

Oral Narration

Narration —  or “telling back the story” —   creates a basis for writing when the child is older. Ambleside has a good discussion on narration.  Simply Charlotte Mason has a list of narration ideas if plain narration grows stale.  Charlotte Mason Help also has several posts on narration.

Brave Writer

Brave Writer has materials that can teach you how to draw writing from your child.  For the younger years, “Jot It Down” and “The Wand” are both excellent tools.

Other Writing Skills

Years 4-6

Oral Narration

Continue oral narration.  Around age 10/11, start to introduce short written narrations, 1-2 sentences, and adding as the child matures.

Brave Writer

“The Writer’s Jungle” is a good book to read at this age.  Other tools at this stage are “Partnership Writing” and “The Arrow.”

Books, etc.

Writer’s Express
The Great Editing Adventure
Dixit.  Storytelling game.

Other Writing Skills

Years 7-8

Transition between Years 4-6 and Years 9+, depending on maturity of child.

Books, etc.

Gloom.  Storytelling game that is quite morbid, but loved by many!

Other Writing Skills

Years 9+

Written Narration

Narration Questions

Brave Writer

Help for High School and online classes

Books, etc.

Style and Grammar

Elements of Style
Traditional English Sentence Style
Paradigm Online Writing Assistant

Mythic Structure

The Writer’s Journey

Creative Writing

If You Want to Write
Escaping Into the Open: The Art of Writing True

Online / Real World Writing

The Script Lab: Screenwriting
Lit Reactor

Other Writing Skills

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