Feedback: Freewriting, helping our kids in college

I get so many great comments in email, in classes, on the phone. I’ve decided to post them here more often so you can hear how this lifestyle plays out in the lives of families like yours.

Freewriting: a new metaphor!
I just wanted to share with the group, a way of explaining–an analogy–freewriting to my kids that seemed to help them and, if it’s not incorrect, might help others. I compared it to the kids tuning into their own radio signal. Instead of turning the dial, they “tuned” their minds and pencils, to locate a good signal. I’m happy to say that by the second freewrite, WAUGIE and WLINZ, while still young stations, with only a few Mega-hertz each, and a little static-y, were coming in loud and clear. Over and out!
-Parent station WBrett, reporting in for affliate stations, WAugie(15) and WLinz(13)

Seriously, this is one of the best freewriting analogies I’ve ever read! It gets all of it: the idea of voice (radio is all about voice), the idea of tuning in (paying attention until the communication is static-free and clear), and persisting until you know you’ve really got clarity (a subjective experience). Thank you so much WBrett!

College writing help
I remember reading an old blog entry in which you said that you had proofread your college student’s paper. At the time, I remember thinking that sounded nice and cozy, but that I doubted I’d ever need to do something like that for one of my sons once they had left home. Well, this last fall I corrected my oldest son Tommy’s first few Composition 1 papers! I was glad I had read your story because it kept me from hesitating when he informed me that he had a paper due tomorrow and he would be emailing it to me to look at. After the first few papers, he found that his high school had done a better job of teaching him to write than his classmates’ high schools and he stopped needing me, but I was glad I was there for him. As much as people complain about email as a sloppy form of communication, I think it is wonderful. This entire year my son has written to me every day! Email’s asynchronous-ness and ease makes him willing to communicate far more than he would if he had to telephone or write by hand. Anyway – I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a glimpse of what it is like to have a college student.
-Nancy Gorman

I love this! You know, it’s fine if they don’t need your help. And I like to remind all homeschooled kids to take advantage of the Writing Centers in colleges. These offer editing and revision support. Still, if you’ve become your child’s writing ally, it’s not surprising when they want that bit of support as they make the transition to college. What a privilege (and success story) to know that your kid trusts you with his written self-expression – and relies on you to help him improve! Thanks for sharing.

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