Can you relate?
Writing is difficult, especially with a big- white- blank- page.
Many of you have shared your struggles with me: homework battles, constant nagging, kids who actually belong to you who you have to hire a tutor for because, well, they just don’t work well with you.
With two small children of my own, I totally understand. My son does not enjoy the physical act of writing. It isn’t because he has nothing to say, more that he is a “messy” writer and writing is actually physically draining for him.
Unfortunately, this impacts his achievement in other subjects in school. For example, when asked to write about a story he read, he will only write a couple of details, and illegibly at that. As a result, it appears he doesn’t comprehend the reading and his reading grade suffers.
One day he came home with a worksheet with a little note that said, “Please redo.” I sat with him and tried to support him through re-writing it. It was a simple copy job, but it was one of the worst homework sessions we have ever had.
There was frustration. There was crying. There was self-doubt. It was horrible. And guess what? I’m a teacher. Why couldn’t I help him? For the record, I don’t blame his teacher at school either. She was frustrated too.
On the flip side, he happily writes stories, like the one below. One night about an hour after putting him to bed he came running down the stairs with the beginnings of this “book” in hand. He continued to write it for two more nights and ended up with a 12 page book detailing Santa’s search for a missing present!
This wasn’t a school assignment; he wanted to tell his story! And, he has authored several books since! (Proud parent moments here.)
I began pondering why writing for school can be so difficult for some kids, and why sometimes my kid, even my son, joyously and feverishly writes. I found that it wasn’t really the act of writing so much; it was the purpose behind it.
For example, when they write things like lists of places they want to go, a note, a fan letter, a letter to the man at the North Pole, writing is not hard at all. Copying an illegible worksheet or writing a book report? That is painful.
Out of that realization, The Inspired Pencil (TIP) was born.
TIP is committed to enhancing the early stages of writing development through authentic writing experiences. We know that writing is a key ingredient to reading, learning, and language development. We also know that kids can learn to enjoy writing as a means to express themselves, make sense of their experiences, and share ideas.
Simply put, TIP believes that real writing –authentic writing- leads to more effective and more satisfying writing. It can also be a positive social experience that helps us share ideas.
This blog is committed to partnering with you — the parents and care givers. It’s here to provide you with fun and practical ideas you can use, food for thought, and a way to share ideas – both yours and mine.
Stop by to find a new writing activity to try, something motivating that your kids will enjoy.
Share your thoughts, we are all in this together and your ideas will keep the blog fresh and give it a global perspective.
I may review children’s writing products or books from time to time, or spotlight a young author. And I’ll be on the lookout for all the newest and latest research and will post about trends in education.
I look forward to any feedback, comments, celebrations, and reading things your kids write…This is YOUR community and it will thrive with many voices, so never hesitate to chime in or drop me a line. Let’s kick this blog off with a bang and get things rolling! I’d really love to connect with you. What are your questions? Frustrations? Recommendations? Share something with us in the comments below.