Friday, January 17, 2014

Writer's Toolkit

The home school class at the downtown library was about writing.  Ms. Jane had the tables set up and eagerly introduced the subject. 

Little Man was not thrilled.  He's my struggling writer.  Egee was very excited.  She had just recently purchased a journal and carries it everywhere.  Like my own two, the girls seemed excited and the boys were not thrilled with the topic of class.  I had a feeling that Ms. Jane sensed this.

She explained to the children that writing takes time and if it was practiced daily, it would become easier.  She showed them autobiographical books her own children made.  She emphasized that just writing a sentence or two a day on anything that interests them would eventually lead to more sentences.  (I think that was more for the benefit of the parents.)

She challenged the children to write during the class.  She offered them suggestions and they set about the task of writing.  Egee chose to do an instructional writing.  Little Man wrote about basketball.  All the children stayed on task.  They enjoyed illustrating their writings.

At the end of class, Ms. Jane asked the children if they would like to share their writings.  Several children volunteered to read.  It amazed me how many children volunteered to stand before the class of somewhat strangers and read.  When I taught ps, the kids never wanted to get up in front of their peers.  The main difference between the home school and the public school children, is that the home school children never criticize or laugh at what another child reads.  The ages of the children varied from 6 years to 12 years old.  Their writings consisted of two sentences to a page.  Some of the younger children wrote better than the older, but no one poked fun at this.  They were all learning together and encouraged each other to do their best.  How wonderful! 

Egee told me that the girl sitting in front of her could not write very well.  The girl was about her age.  Egee helped her with the writing and spelled words for her.  Egee didn't think anything of it.  She told the girl, that eventually she would get the hang of it and not to worry.  Everyone learns at their own pace!  The girl was so proud of her writing, she volunteered to read it to the class.  Although, just a couple of sentences, she stood with confidence while reading. 

Moments like this confirms my decision to home school my children.  Everyone does learn at their own pace and I am happy that my own children recognize this.