Capturing Self-Expression

Brave Writer

When you read your child’s writing: If you’re bored reading it, your kid was bored writing it.

Often, the first line of defense is to work harder on all the externals. We can put up with less than brilliant prose if the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are accurate, right? BEWARE. Poor writing can’t be bandaged with good mechanics.

Why should any child work tirelessly on a report that no one will enjoy reading? If your young writer actually thought that what they produced were good to read, their whole attitude about the next project would likely be different. They would want to see if they could get that positive reaction again.

Think of it this way.

Writing is like a theatrical performance. Just because someone memorizes the lines, poses as directed, and wears a convincing costume doesn’t mean that the actor has succeeded in good acting. We recognize good acting by how moved we were after watching a great performance.

Likewise, the report about Vermont that your daughter wrote shouldn’t only be a fulfillment of some list of state report topics, accurately spelled and punctuated. It must sing in the end. It ought to have that fresh interpretation that is unique to your child.

Our task is to do all we can to capture the child’s act of self-expression in writing so that what’s on the page matches what your children share with you naturally when they speak. Their:

  • robust vocabulary,
  • imaginative self-expression,
  • and quirky insights.

If that means you jot down each word for them, so be it! This is where the writing life begins.

Help your children experience themselves as WRITERS, not by how well they spell but by how enthusiastically they are read!

Trust me: if you start there, your child will want to write. They love being read, just like they love being listened to. Same thing!

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

The Brave Learner

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