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Our Family’s NaNo

National Novel Writing Month has started!  And just in time, too.  After 8 weeks of formal schooling we’re all ready for a change. 

And what could more refreshing than dropping all English requirements, from phonics to grammar, from handwriting to typing, from simple reader to American literature, and from copy work to The Elements of Style for an entire month?  

Instead my kids write.  A story, or a full-length novel, or a website.  NaNoWriMo is a fine thing, and it works for us.

Miss 9 is planning to write a 1000 word story this month, but after the second day she has already written more than 200 words.  She will write for half an hour a day, and we’ll adjust her word count goal as the month progresses.

Miss 11 did not want to participate at first.  Her calculations showed that she wouldn’t save much time by doing NaNo, so she was not interested…until she saw her sisters enjoying this new project.  Then she redid the numbers and concluded that NaNo might be worth it after all.  She, too, will write half an hour a day.  Her word count goal is 2000 words, but I’m sure she will exceed that.

Miss 13, an experienced NaNoWriMo writer, is planning to write a 50,000-word novel.  She has spent months thinking about her characters and her plot, and her only concern is that the story will be finished before she’s written all 50,000 words.  “Subplots,” I told her.  “You’ve got to add subplots,” forgetting that she knows a whole lot more about writing novels than I do.   As if that’s not enough, she’s also hosting a Sense and Sensibility Week on her blog next week.

Mr. 16 does not write fiction.  His writing goal this month is to add 20,000 words worth of tutorials to his new website, with the caveat that up to half may be rewrites from his old website.  (New link coming soon.) And he’s planning to put together a photo book, a project he promised to do for his grandfather.

And what am I going to do with all the time I won’t use for the kids’ English?  Well, besides fall cleaning, wrapping up the harvest, preparing for Sinter Klaas, blogging, and doing some work for my husband, I plan to have my own personal little NaNoReaMo—National Novel (and non-fiction) READING Month.  I’ve got some light fiction lined up as well as a few challenging reads, and I’ll be sure to blog about them.  Mostly, I just want to rest after a strenuous summer and fall.  Rest and catch up. 

But a small corner in the back of my mind still tells me to just sit down and try writing a novel myself….  It would be a preteen book, I think.  Before electronic gadgets.  With lots of gardening and outside stuff…of course.  And dogs and porcupines.  And maybe a lost shipment of plutonium….

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday and Finer Things Friday.


  1. Naomi says:

    My sister Lydia and I are also participating in NaNoWriMo. I am “Writing Buddies” with Miss 13. I am trying for a 10,000 word goal and Lydia is trying for 3,000 words. We hope that your children can make their word count goals.


  2. Naomi says:

    Please encourage Miss 11 to continue to write as I am also 11 and am having a lot of fun doing it.


  3. […] TweetWell, here they are:  the books that the girls wrote for NaNoWriMo! […]

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