In the fall of 2020, the world was still hunkered down, frightened to come out into the open too quickly, and our family found itself without a homeschool community. Suddenly we would not have any outside support in writing instruction. I was concerned that I would not be able to motivate my two students to do much writing if I was the only audience. I knew they needed a reason to keep writing.
I posted a feeler to Facebook, looking for other families who might be interested in having their kids write for a youth newspaper. Before I knew it, we had a wonderful collection of young writers ready to go! Young Writers Miscellany was born.
Each month, our writers would submit an article, poem, or short story. Topics were not assigned by me. Some students (like mine) wrote articles specifically for the Miscellany. Others submitted articles they used for another school assignment. All were welcome.
Both Lydia and Luke have grown as writers during the Miscellany’s tenure. Lydia loves to take deep dives into historical topics, and she wants to cover all the things about a topic in her monthly 500-word article. An article she wrote earlier this school year was “D-Day: Why It Mattered” (a pretty broad topic!). Later, after learning how to narrow a topic, she wrote an article about James Stagg, the weatherman who helped the WWII generals know the best day for the attack on the beaches of Normandy.
Luke has found his writing voice through the Miscellany, and it’s hilarious. For several months in a row, he regaled his readers with his reasons for believing in Bigfoot. He is also a master of writing a humor piece that at first glance looks like a serious, factual article.
Now after two years of publishing Young Writers Miscellany, it is time to say goodbye. Families are busier now than they were two years ago. I am wanting to assign Lydia some longer research papers, which wouldn’t work well in a publication featuring shorter pieces. We are getting more involved in our new-to-us homeschool community. But most of all, continuing to publish the Miscellany would be to force along something whose season has passed. But what a wonderful season it has been! I will look back on the two years of this publication as one of the major highlights of our homeschool journey.
I am offering to all former Miscellany writers the opportunity to publish here on Amy’s Garden. You will definitely be seeing some of Lydia and Luke’s work here in the coming months, and I sincerely hope some other former Miscellany writers will join in as well.