NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a great way for homeschool families to bond over a unique educational opportunity during November. NaNoWriMo is a hugely beneficial writing experience. Beginning November 1st, participants begin writing with the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. This is an exercise in goal setting, focus, perseverance, time management, and meeting a deadline, as well as crafting a coherent and hopefully interesting story.
One of the special aspects of NaNoWriMo is the sense of community and accountability. Writing can be lonely work, and sometimes it is difficult to be self-motivated, but knowing that thousands of others are working toward the same goal makes it a bit less solitary. You can even attend local NaNoWriMo events, like write-ins, and by uploading your progress and checking in on the forums, you feel accountable to other NaNoWrimo participants.
There are resources available for students and parents. First, sign up at the NaNoWriMo website with a user name, email, and password. For students, there is the Young Writers Program, where teens can set their own word count goals, and download these free workbooks. For homeschool parents, there are resources for educators that include downloadable classroom kits, lesson plans for different age levels, and a forum to connect with other educators.
Emma and I love to talk about stories as well as write them, and each year we have to weigh our commitments and school goals and decide if we can participate in NaNoWriMo. I'm considering a blog break so I can spend my writing time on NaNoWriMo, and Emma is working on a screenplay already, so she isn't sure if she wants to take a break from that. It's still fun to talk to my NaNoWriMo buddies and see how they are doing with their own writing goals, whether I participate or not.
You've still got time to check out NaNoWriMo and sign up before November 1st. Leave a comment if you've participated in the past or plan to join in this year - what do you love about NaNoWriMo?