Podcast: Jot It Down

Jot It Down

This Brave Writer podcast is the first in a series where we look at each of the natural developmental stages of growth in writing. Today’s stage: Jot It Down!

In my years of working with families, I’ve found that it is much more effective to look at how writers grow naturally than to focus on scope and sequence, grade level, ages, or the types of writing that ought to be done in some “established sequence.”

Learn more about how to identify where your children are in that course of development and take the stress away from the writing journey you share with each other.

Jot It Down product

Jot It Down!

A year-long language arts program for 5–8 year olds (age range is approximate).

Jot It Down! gives you step by step instructions through developmentally appropriate writing projects. It provides 10 month-long writing projects that maximize a child’s narrating skills, while their thoughts and ideas are transcribed by the parent.

Pair Jot It Down! with The Writer’s Jungle. The Writer’s Jungle teaches a parent how to coach a child to self-express their original thoughts in writing.

For a complete writing program, combine the two products above with The Wand (K–1) or The Quiver of Arrows (1–2)—for the mechanics of writing taught through copywork and dictation, using quality literature. Pick either The Wand or The Quiver based on age and reading ability.

We’ve made it easy to purchase the whole bundle of these products (at a discount) here.

Ready for more?

Below are links to the complete Stages of Growth in Writing podcast series.

Jot It Down!
Partnership Writing
Faltering Ownership
Transition to Ownership Part 1
Transition to Ownership Part 2
Eavesdropping on the Great Conversation

17 Responses to “Podcast: Jot It Down”

  1. Excellent podcast, Julie! Such great advice.

    When I wasn’t available to jot things down or sometimes simply for the fun of it, my kids liked to record their stories (on cassette tape back then!). I could transcribe later that way, and they also enjoyed hearing their voices again and again.

  2. JenRay says:

    I have a “verbally precocious” child who is reading at about 3rd grade level. Several weeks ago, my almost-5-year-old daughter came running in to the bathroom while I was showering to show me a pictures she had drawn of a fish. She started to tell me all about it. I did ask her to wait until I was dressed! But we sat down at the computer, and she told me an elaborate story about her fishy friend and how he passes his days while I typed. I changed it into a tracing font that I have and printed it out for her. She traced every word, (3 pages at 36 pt. font!) and then called her grandparents to read it to them.
    Months ago, because she didn’t seem very appreciative, we started a practice we call “Thankful Thoughts.” At bedtime each day, we each say something for which we are thankful. When she turned 5 a couple of weeks ago, I gave her a composition book, and told her I was going to write our Thankful Thoughts down each night so that we would have a gratitude journal. It took about 2 days before she was asking to write them. Sometimes she asks me about spelling, but mostly she sounds things out. Sometimes she just writes her own thought, but often she asks to write mine as well. So much fun to see her embrace this!

  3. Julie Bogart says:

    Thank you for these excellent examples of how to use the Jot It Down phase of development with your kids! Well done.


  4. […] development. In the first installment of the 5-part series, Julie and Noah discuss what Julie calls “The Jot It Down Stage.” During this stage, you, as the parent, are your child’s secretary; and you are tasked with […]

  5. Cherie says:

    I listened to the Jot it down podcast. Thank you for doing that. I am now homeschooling my grand kids. They will be Kind. and 1st grade this year. I did the jot it down with my kids and have been doing it with my grand kids,also. Mostly for cards they are making for someone. But I have done it for stories sometimes. I do find it hard to write down everything they say,exactly. But I try to get the most important part of it. They made a card for my son, (their uncle’s) graduation form Warrant Officer school. (Army) He really got a kick out of it, and showed it to his buddies. And said, “Did they really say that?” My grand daughter started singing a song while she was telling me what to write: a made up song. It was pretty funny. My grand son was telling him what to say to all his army buddies. There parents’ like the cards they get. It is nice to know that what I was doing was a good idea to help them with their writing. I probably should have done more of the partner writing ,too. I let them write by themselves when they could write their own words pretty well. I don’t have your program yet, but may do so in the future.
    Thank you

  6. Cherie says:

    Corrections to the above: … from Warrant Officer school.
    Their parents’ …

  7. Kim says:

    Thank you! Just in time for standardized testing frenzy. I’m calming down now.

  8. Annie says:

    For those with a smart phone, there are numerous recording apps out there as well as transcription apps which makes it possible to accurately record your child’s thoughts and ideas. The transcription apps often have a difficult time with children’s voices, so you may have to read it in your own voice. The apps usually improve with use and you may need to do a lot of correcting at first, but I have found them immensely helpful. Our son sometimes makes up stories while we are out hiking, where a pen and paper are not necessarily readily available! The recorder works really well.

  9. […] handwriting to transcribing their own thoughts all the time. It’s perfectly fine for you to jot things down for them, or to dictate their own words back to them as they write, or for the final product to be […]

  10. Rachel says:

    Thankyou!!! My daughter has great ideas but spends hours in front of a blank sheet of paper. I’m really grateful for your input.

  11. […] If you answered yes to any of these then your child may be in the Jot It Down stage. […]

  12. […] I painted my daughters bedroom I listened to her old audio podcasts. I was inspired by the Jot it down phase, which is where both my children are […]

  13. […] You should sit at the computer and type their thoughts as quickly as you can get them down. You can jot their thoughts down any day of the week, actually. They love […]

  14. […] out of books that corresponded with the natural settings we had visited. Then we labeled them and I jotted down the kids’ narrations of the experiences. We did great ones for the ocean (waaah – […]

  15. […] so grateful we took a trip through the “Jot It Down” stage. Thanks so much for the lifestyle change and fun Brave Writer has brought into our […]