Meet Vincent and Shannon!
Even Language Arts teachers get the writing blues! We wanted to share this enchanting story with you of a loving mom—a former teacher—and her son in our The Writer’s Jungle Online class.
Once upon a time, this Disney-lovin’ mom was a Language Arts teacher. You’d think that Shannon would ride off into the sunset with the traditional school system, but not so!
The typical brick-and-mortar school system was not working for her neurodiverse son, Vincent, so they embraced homeschooling.
Shannon certainly had the know-how to teach Language Arts. Except one thing. She’d always taught to the test, and now she didn’t want to do that.
[I]t’s difficult for me to hold back my “teacher training”… I was afraid to correct, afraid to comment, and afraid to help him add any details for fear of crushing his passion.
High five, Shannon! In fact, Shannon was doing many of the things we recommend to parents when students are finding their way.
My son started dictating stories to me from a very young age. I was his “secretary.” We had only tried one formal writing curriculum and it was not for us. I was determined to keep writing enjoyable for my son.
But she started to feel like it was not enough.
We literally did NO writing unless he decided to do so… His writing was all over the place, but he did have the content and original ideas.
The balance between teaching mechanics and preserving the fledgling voice of a child is a hard one to walk. Many parents struggle to grow their child’s writing skills without ruining their desire to write at all.
Enter Brave Writer!
Shannon signed up for our The Writer’s Jungle Online class. This is our flagship course where the parent is the student!
Brave Writer coaches
- Model gentle, constructive feedback to writing
- Show parents how to spur growth in writing, without harsh tactics
- Validate the mind life of the student and help them find their voice
- Provide tools and practices you can use when class is over
Shannon learned a new model for teaching writing. One she knew would work for them.
I learned HOW to support his writing in a positive way without ruining his spirit. Learning how to support him was the most important aspect because I saw how quickly he could grow. My biggest fear had been conquered and he had been supported in a positive and honest way.
It wasn’t long before Shannon noticed the effect this new writing experience was having for Vincent.
[T]he best part about the online course was that my son was getting feedback from someone else other than myself. He was actually excited to see what his teacher had thought of his writing. He’s a pretty confident writer and really wanted that feedback.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises was how many of Shannon’s concerns began to improve on their own.
Over a short time, I watched his writing expand and become more ordered. He used new vocabulary and actually planned before writing. It was a dream come true.
How’s that for win-win?
Vincent is 12 years old now and looks forward to writing more and more! His creativity gets to shine. Shannon tells us he loves to make up stories and write about his passions in a humorous way. What a guy!
Here’s one thing I’ve noticed over the years. It’s not just writing-averse parents and children who need a hand with writing instruction. Our established attitudes regarding writing —whether positive or negative, whether from our own schooling or professional experience—can hold us back.
Bottom line: even if you know how to write well, even if your child loves to write, it’s okay to get a helping hand. We’re here for you!