Friday Flash Fiction – “Morning Glory”

  He had farmed for near fifty years, and it seemed the sun was finally setting on all his unplowed acres.  Leaning against a corner post to catch his breath, his eyes swept up to the farmhouse where a speck of cotton dress picked its way across the field.

“Mornin’, Glory.”

“Papa, it’s supper time, not morning.”

“I know that.  But you’re my little morning glory flower, my ray of sunshine.  You want to help me water the horse ‘afore we go in?”

He tugged at one worn leather glove so her tiny hand could rest in the cocoon of his calloused palm.

She had been gone for near fifty years.

——————

  A college course on Contemporary Multicultural Literature begins with Flash fiction is also known as ‘very very very short stories’. It’s not something new. According to Jerome Stern, the earliest flash fiction appears in the Bible…All those biblical stories tell you events that happen between Jesus and his disciples. They’re short with a didactic message behind. And exactly because of this reason, you remember them very easily.” 

 I wouldn’t claim to have such noble intentions for my own flash fiction, but there are some pieces I’ve come across that I admit to being inspirational- both in the reading and the writing.

  I especially appreciate the professor’s recognition that “despite its short length, writing flash fiction is not any easier than writing a longer piece because you have to demonstrate the skills of condensing drama with a word limit.”

  As writers, we’re used to taking our time to build the suspense and anticipation before the big dramatic moment.  With flash, or micro, fiction there’s no time – or words – to waste.  Our choices must plunge the reader directly into the story and bring them to an immediate state of shock or surprise.

Are you a Drama Queen (or King), and love the surprise of Flash Fiction? 

What is your favorite technique that writers use to immerse you in the story?

Leave a comment below, and link to your own flash fiction if possible.

Want more Flash Fiction? Visit these Friday Fictioneers for more 100-word heaven! (If you have a flash fiction piece to share, please leave a link in Comments!) You can also visit the originator of the photo prompts, Madison Woods, or follow the gang on Twitter – #FridayFictioneers.

Journaling Your Way to an Education

Lapbook Open

The Notebooking Method for Homeschool

I didn’t even realize this was an official method for homeschooling, until I came across it in several sites with its own category listing.  My kids and I have been notebooking (lapbooking) for a couple of years, and I can honestly say that it has taken on a life of its own.  I wouldn’t call it a full-fledged method for us, but it is a significant part of our education!

Notebooking allows children to process what they learn by creating a kind of interactive journal.  It is ideal for covering broad topics or literature units, as information can be disseminated into smaller parcels.  The emphasis is on collecting and organizing information, and documenting student learning.  It is very affordable – costing only the price of a few file folders, some paper and crayons, and your local library card.

Children who thrive with Notebooking:

  • love to follow their own interests
  • enjoy delving deep into an area of interest and exploring it more fully than their peers
  • have an interest in demonstrating or expanding their creativity
  • often enjoy hobbies or interests on their own
  • do not need to prove mastery of skills through written tests
  • are pleased with a tangible record of their achievements

More about the Notebooking Method –

Homeschool Notebooking – lots of free printables

HomeHearts – great ideas on how to use specific subjects in notebooking

The Homeschool House – a glimpse at how one homeschool mom successfully incorporates notebooking into their yearly schedule

Looking for other Homeschool methods? 

Try these other styles in my series:

Unschooling

Charlotte Mason

Unit Studies

Classical Method

Literature-Based

What is Teaching through Unit Studies?

Children volunteering

We’ve toured the Charlotte Mason Method and taken a peek at Unschooling – so now let’s look at my personal favorite – Unit Studies.

(via Homeschool-Curriculum.org)

Basically, a unit study takes a central theme and builds lessons around that theme. One theme will include all or most areas of study by focusing on the main idea.

For example, the main theme could be rocks. You could build a rock garden and study Japanese culture (art and history), study the different types of rocks or the process of erosion (science), read books that deal with rocks or look up references to rocks in the Bible (literature), spell the different kinds of rocks (spelling/vocabulary), importance of rocks to cultures throughout history (history), and so on.

Many homeschool families choose to use a separate math curriculum, but you may integrate math in your unit studies as well, especially for younger children.

Advantages of a Unit Study Curriculum

There are many advantages to using the unit study approach to learning.

1. Children tend to retain, on average, 45% more information for a longer period of time using thematic units as opposed to traditional textbooks.

2. Homeschooling unit studies allow you to teach multiple grade levels using the same theme. You will simply adjust the content to fit each child’s ability. This way, the prep time is dramatically decreased and children learn more.

3. The older kids can help the younger and the younger can learn from exposure to the older kids’ lessons.

4. There are also many different ways to teach unit studies, which make them perfect for children with learning disabilities or a different learning style.

5. It can be a inexpensive homeschooling option for those who create their own unit study.

Disadvantages of Homeschool Unit Studies

While there are many advantages, there can be some disadvantages to unit studies as well:

1. It is often necessary to use an additional math curriculum since it is such a specific and complex subject.

2. It also takes a lot of time to prepare for a unit study. (Though, keep in mind that preparing lessons for 3 kids for 7 different subjects can be even more time consuming!)

3. Homeschool unit studies can be difficult for parents who favor the structure of a more traditional approach.

4. Unit studies are not as tidy as workbooks and textbooks (but they can sometimes be a whole lot more fun for both the parents and the students!)

Unit Study Curriculum Choices

Unit studies are a great choice for homeschooling families who are looking for a way to teach their children in a fun way. It helps kids to retain the information longer and is easy to adapt for multiple grade levels. Although it is not as structured as textbook learning, unit studies continue to be a fun way to help children learn.

Examples of great comprehensive unit study curriculum choices are Konos, Weaver Curriculum, Five in a Row and Tapestry of Grace.