Thursday, November 18, 2010


It is one of my goals this fall to find ways for my kids to write and read every day.  We do go through periods of time when that takes more ingenuity on my part, as I am not interested in the forced sit-here-and-read-and-then-you-may-play approach, but rather, let's play this! Oh yeah, it helps if you can read along the way, so let's figure this out together! I'll write more about our current reading journey in another post, but today I'll share here how the writing is going.
It's going!  It was at Christmas time last year that the writing bug hit Eliza (then 7 1/2), and she has not stopped since.  She finds reasons to write every day, often posting her writings in the form of to-do lists.  My biggest job in this area is to stay out of the way.  I will occasionally offer punctuation prompts when she is showing me something, or we talk about capitalization.  I will ask if she is interested in spelling things the way the dictionary spells them, or is she all right with them being spelled the way they sound? She is often open to spelling help, but it is no longer something that she is manic about.  I assure her that her writing is clear and read-able, even if it is not spelled correctly.  Mostly, I want her to keep on writing!
She writes letters of two or three sentences.  This is where I get a little more involved, prompting more interesting communication with a few tidbits of how she is spending her days - otherwise the letters usually read: Dear ____, I love you! I miss you! Please write back soooooon! I love you! Eliza.  I am a letter writer, and appreciate a bit more meat than that in a letter!!  I have also suggested that it is a courtesy to try and correctly spell the name of the person to whom you are writing...
Lately there have been numerous menus cropping up around the house, and recipes for favorite dishes.
And occasionally there is a written reaction to something I've said or done that was not well-received. Ahem.
The spelling will come around as she becomes a more accomplished reader.  She is interested in spelling, sometimes stopping to check with me about something before she commits it to paper, but more often, she just wants those thoughts down on paper.
I appreciate so much that this is a way Eliza chooses to communicate with the world, and that is what I want to keep alive.  


alissa said...

yay! lucy got her letter and said that she was so glad that they are penpals as well as cousins! and because there was a specific question (how was halloween, i think?) she felt compelled to respond right away! there is a good reason to include more stuff in a letter!!!

slim pickins said...

right on!!! great feedback for eliza.

Stephanie said...

More of her fantastic drawings!
Yay - love them.

kellyi said...

I love the way kids write things how they sound - my Gran thinks we should all write this way!

I still treasure some of their early works - especially a poster I found stuck on the door that said "Ramsab". Took me nearly a week to try and work it out and in the end I asked my boy, he said that I was reading it on the wrong side and that it actually said "I am sad" but he couldn't remember what he was sad about any more!

Feeling inspired to be more creative with our writing habits too now after reading this.