Michelle Isenhoff

Our Homeschool Project–A Story Where You Choose the Plot!

Cursed Mansion

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure stories we all loved as kids? This winter my two boys, we call them M-Man and T-Man online, have been hard at work writing a story in which readers can make their own crucial choices. It was about a 6-week project, and for a pair of elementary-aged low readers, it was quite a challenge. However, though they struggle with reading, they excel at understanding how stories work. In the home of this kid-lit enthusiast/author, what choice do they have? They’ve been bombarded with stories all their lives!

This time I gave them the reins. They spent a full week fleshing out their characters and their setting and a second week outlining their plot strands. Yes, strands. There isn’t just a single plotline. The reader gets to make choices, so my boys had to supply them. I let them do all the work. I just kept asking them the right questions. (And I overruled excessive bodily functions–there were quite a few of those!)

We spent the next four weeks writing the text. I actually ghost wrote this for them so they could have a much more professional product at the end of all their efforts, but both boys were planted on either side of me the entire time, working out details and making decisions. Then they got to design the cover image. Finally, I arranged with 14 blogging friends to host the different sections of their story. (Each choice will take you to a new blog.) The final product is pretty darn cool if I say so myself!
Have I piqued your interest? If you want a one-of-a-kind reading experience, head on over to my kids’ Storyboys blog where they’ve posted the first section of their masterpiece. From there, the rest of the story is up to you!
If you enjoy their work, please give them a shout out or leave a comment on their blog. It would absolutely make their day. I guarentee they’ll be planted in front of their stats page all day long. 🙂

Our Homeschool Project–A Story Where You Choose the Plot!

10 thoughts on “Our Homeschool Project–A Story Where You Choose the Plot!

  1. Your kids are lucky to live in such a rich environment with a mom who teaches them how to write and publish a book. I love they were part of the decision-making process. The book sounds awesome! I think you’re mentoring future writers. They can use what they learn in any career choice.

  2. We’re definitely heavy on the stories over here. Even a brain that has trouble processing letters can interpret story correctly. And that gives them the motivation to work at decoding the letters!

  3. This is super, Michelle! I love how you had to overrule excessive bodily functions! Kids love that stuff! The title rocks, and so does the cover. I tried clicking on the boys’ blog from my iPhone but couldn’t get to it. Will try again now.
    Might not get to read these until Sunday. Little guy needs me and baby will wake up any minute!

    1. You’re sweet, Lynn! Actually, one strand of the story still has one inactive link. Email is a slow way of communication, so I don’t expect it to get fixed till after work. 🙂 By Sunday, for sure!

    1. Lol! Thanks, Valerie. I think I’m done with kid writing projects for this school year. I just spent a weekend helping my daughter put her first publish-worthy short story on Kindle, and this was a massive project for my boys. I need to get cracking on my own book. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

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