Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Tell Me a Story

Once again, The Timberdoodle Company has come through with another stellar product for homeschooled and public schooled children alike!  Whether you have been blessed with an artistic kiddo that likes to draw and create stories, or have a child that just needs a little encouragement in the creativity department, 99 Stories I Could Tell, the brain child of Nathan Pyle, will fit the bill.

What is it?
99 Stories I Could Tell is a 99 page paperback book with drawing and writing prompts to help your child begin to create stories in their heads- 99 to be exact. Beginning on page one, your child is guided by the author, as a character in the book, on the rules of engagement- "user guidelines" he calls them.  The next few pages encourages doodle practice.

The rest of the book looks like this-

The left side of the page uses writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing, and the right side of the page uses doodles to create a nine block of story prompts.  Each two page spread after that is the same lay out, with new writing a doodle prompts.  On each of the nine doodle blocks is a different symbol to help you reference your story.

At the end of the book you will find spaces to list your 99 story titles, and then reference the corresponding page where you brainstormed the idea.

What it is not! 
Notice I said brainstormed the idea.  Nowhere in this book will your child actually write out any of their stories.  This is just a place to help them create those stories in their heads and have visual prompts to remind them of those stories.  From there they can either choose to write the best of the best down to share or save, or just have a neat place to go to remind them of their stories.

This book is so open-ended and creative.  It is perfect for those kids that just need a little push to get started.  Though there are doodles provided to begin with- Nathan encourages the reader to break the rules, draw over the lines, add things and be creative- no boxes to check!

The writing prompts are fun and engaging and don't have a lot of space to write, so they will not intimidate those non writing kids out there!  They can just jot down a few sentences and move on.

Ok, there are a few.  One, when we read through the first few pages we were seriously confused on how it all worked.  Once we figured out what Nathan was talking about with the coding system so you could reference back to what story you were talking about from your final list, we were ready to go!

If you have a kiddo who is not confident in their "art"skills, the doodle part may be a bit intimidating at first.  That being said, the author does a great job of showing ideas and allowing time for doodle practice.  Once they get started, there will be no stopping them.

My opinion?
I like the little book a lot.  The quality is great- it even has a plastic cover on it to protect it and make it a more lasting memento for your child to have. Once I got over the idea that they were not actually writing out the stories, I embraced it- see you can teach an old homeschooling mom new tricks!  What a fun idea to just have a reference point to jog your memory about a story you have to tell.  It makes me think of a time when stories were passed from one person to another, and sometimes one generation to another just through word of mouth.  What a great skill to develop!

This could also be a great way to catalog family stories that you share! Maybe have each person in your family take turns, notating family stories and memories made, so that in years to come you will remember and can easily share and pass those stories on to the next generations.

And oh my word, what stories we could tell these days, right?

99 Stories I Could Tell is recommended for 6th graders up, and is also included in the Timberdoodle  9th Grade Curriculum Kit.

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