First of all, I just wanted to say that I was blown away by all of your great responses to my previous post, Creative Writing and Crying. Anyone who is interested in help with getting your child to write, check out the comments on this page! I’m serious! These women were so very helpful. I haven’t gotten to try all of the techniques yet (he doesn’t do creative writing every day), but I am so looking forward to it. I will try to post about anything that inspires him. I’m so thankful that I am able to homeschool because it enables me to try all of these ideas and methods until I find something that fits.
The new routine:
Lately, I have been trying to give him a heads-up about what he should be thinking about, and then giving him plenty of time later when it actually comes to getting the ideas down. I have been just conversationally talking him through his ideas and jotting them down for him. (He hates the actual physical process of writing too, so I think that having to do that and brainstorm ideas at the same time really drives him over the edge.) So I write them down, help him figure out how to organize his ideas, and then he copies what we come up with onto his worksheet. (That way, he gets practice writing too; I’m just not making him write and think at the same time yet.)
Cool new “trick:”
Yesterday, I had a nifty idea. He loves to write emails to his dad and my sister. By “write” I mean dictate. I’ve noticed that when dictating emails, he goes into this professional narrative-sounding voice. It’s so bizarre, but fun to behold! Anyway, yesterday he had brainstormed a bunch of details about a place he knows well. (He chose a former babysitter’s house.) I took the opportunity to show him how to make a Word Web. All of that went fine, but when it came to constructing sentences from his ideas, he was at a loss. So it occurred to me to have him write an email to his aunt describing his babysitter’s house. It worked like magic! He went from being mentally stuck, to dictating so fast that I couldn’t keep up (and I was typing)!
After success with the description assignment, I pulled the same trick out of my hat when we discovered that he needed to write an interview. I actually had him dictate an email to Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House books. Here are the questions he came up with:
How did you write all those books?
Did you write it with an ink pen?
How did you get those books to look like that?
Do you ever write other kinds of books?
I really liked his questions, and I told him I would actually send the email to her if I could find her email address. (I really hope I can, but I haven’t looked yet).
NO INTERNET Thursdays:
Update on yesterday’s post: I got online a couple of times yesterday: to deposit two checks, to print a cursive handwriting sheet, to allow Ian to play on SpellingCity, and right before I went to bed, I just had to check my WordPress stats. That last item is the only one I feel guilty about. I did write more than 2400 words for NaNoWriMo yesterday, and Ian was able to accomplish all of his schoolwork, but other than that, I didn’t get a lot done. The television was on before I even woke up yesterday due to my husband being home sick. I can’t think at all when the TV is on; right now I’m holed up in my son’s room. He’s still asleep, but at least it’s quiet in here. The rest of the house is shut up for the winter, so unless I want to write in one of the bathrooms, this room is my only choice. (The kitchen is attached and pretty open to the living room.) So not such a productive day, but I’m already looking forward to next Thursday! I may have to revamp a little though because I had so many emails, blog comments, forum responses, etc. It’s already 8am, and I haven’t caught up from yesterday yet. Maybe stay off the internet during the day only? Not sure. I’ll try it this way a few more times I think. Jesse’s home today too, otherwise, I might have been caught up by now.