Did you know that children’s magazines are now asking for writing from children? Both secular and Christian magazines want writing from their readers. How can we help our children stretch themselves to become writers that reach a broad audience with a Christian world view?
I don’t like pigeon-holed education. I think we can do projects that encompass all subjects that produce a better product and a more enjoyable learning experience. Here’s something you might want to try with your children.
I was recently reading II Kings 5 about the little maid who was a servant to Naaman’s wife. You may remember Naaman was a leper. Very little information is given about the little girl except that she was taken from Israel and she told her mistress she wished Naaman was with the prophet in Samaria. The prophet could heal Naaman of his leprosy. That’s it! No more information about the little girl. But, but, I have so many questions. How old is she? Why would she care if her master had leprosy? How did she know the prophet could help? Where were her parents? How long did it take for her to speak Syrian? What kind of clothes did she wear as a slave girl? Get the idea?
You can help your child with history, math science, geography, reading and writing all with just this little girl. First the scripture says she was taken from Israel.
Geography – Where is Israel as opposed to Syria? What is the topography like?
Math – How far would she walk? How long would it take?
History – When and why did Syria invade Israel?
All this involves reading research, but research is cool stuff when you know you’re talking about a real person and you might find snakes or scorpions in the desert.
Creative writing – Have your child think about the five senses (science) before beginning to write the first draft.
What were the smells in her village at the time of the invasion? Cooking fires? Animals?
What were the smells along the way? Dust, sweat?
What were the sounds of the invasion? Screams, yelling, animals neighing, swords clashing, anger?
What were the sounds along the way? Crying, whispers?
What did she see? Tear-streaked faces, fighting, discouraged and tired people?
What did she taste? The dust, salty tears, stale bread, yogurt from a pouch?
What could she feel? The grit of the sand, the twist of a hand on her wrist?
How did she feel? Scared, tired, angry, hurt?
Each of these questions lead to more questions, like, “What kind of pouch stored yogurt?”
All of these and more could be incorporated into the telling of the story. Plus, we need to see how the little girl deals with each of these to see her faith.
Last, I wonder what happened to her after Naaman returned home healed and saved. Was she reunited with her family? Was this the end of God’s purpose for her? Did she die from an illness or an injury? Did she grow up and have a family? Did she return to Israel?
Children will love speculating and writing about a little girl and her one voice of faith. When your child shares his/her writing with you, ask the “I wonder” questions to help them edit their work. Worry about spelling and grammar last as your child polishes the work for an attempt at publication. Most of all be thankful that you, like the little girl’s family, are instilling a Christian world view that will match anything the world throws at them.