Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writing and Patience's such a wonderful form of art. A pure expression of thoughts, emotion, or controlled structure in which laws are written, directives administered. Words are POWER! No wonder that we all so worry about whether or not our children will master the written word.

When our children are little, we worry over when they will learn to read and how they will learn it. If we happen to have an early reader, we tend to be PROUD and LOUD about it! Not meaning to be rude, just it's hard not to celebrate when our little ones seem to master a major stage and early!

When our children seem to trail behind the spectrum of the perceived norm, we worry. What if ...? How can we help? What did/didn't we do? Should we hire a specialist? Different teacher? New school? Different learning style? On and on till one day, we either give up hope or (what seems) miraculously, the child is reading!

Writing doesn't seem to be as large of a hurdle, yet we still worry abet, a bit less.

I remember the day I took my son to the library to get his very own library card and the condescending way the Librarian 'asked' him to sign his name once she learned he was a homeschooler as if, by being a 'homeschooler' he would be seriously lacking in simple writing skills. What she failed to observe, is that my son did notice her attitude. Needless to say, she may have been an adult, but she wasn't looking to be someone to be looked up to.

Why would this matter? Well, my son wasn't so worried about her attitude as much as he was worried about my feelings about her attitude. He did fine, though her attitude didn't leave either of us feeling very welcomed to use the library. Perceived views.

What I have observed over my long life is people who enjoy writing, write. People who want to have a voice, write. People who need a place to calm their thoughts, write. There are many reasons people write but when you go looking for the reason of why, the reasons are varied yet oddly, come back to one simple truth: They need or want to get their thoughts out and writing fulfills that need.

When we jumped into homeschooling, and I tried to 'make' my son write, I felt like I was hitting a wall. It's not that he couldn't write. It's more a case of he was a deep and logical thinker so just telling him to write, wasn't going to work. I tried creative writing books. I tried designed lessons plans. I tried everything that everyone suggested for such a young man. For those who have followed me, you know it didn't take long for me to try unschooling.

The unschoolers told me to relax! Don't worry about it! He will write and write just fine when he decides he wants to. No grammar lessons needed. No spelling drills, nor weekly spelling tests would change any of this except to further him not wanting to write.

I pondered this a wee bit, but then I observed my nephew and his attitude towards reading and writing. If he wasn't in school, and earning a grade, he had no curiosity to read nor write anything! Books? WHY WOULD WE EVER GIVE HIM A BOOK!?!?!? Were we sadistic?!

So it's been a few years now, five years to be precise, and I am here to inform you, that the unschoolers got it right! No lessons nor writing drills required!

Writing happens.

Years ago, I was told if he could read, he would write. Have faith and let it happen. My son has become quite the writer! He found his passion online, writing in gaming forums where he has met people from all over who share his passion for gaming and such. He is always doing research, taking notes, and putting together interesting findings. No writing lessons nor English classes required. It really is true that if they read, they will write. They just have to have the desire and that comes from within.


jugglingpaynes said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!!!

Oh how I've missed the Vicki posts! Desire, indeed, comes from within. But sometimes its nice to have some friend to inspire and light a fire under you! ;o)

Peace and Laughter,

Paula Vince said...

This is spot on! That's why I've always been a bit wary of requests to organize or join 'creative writing classes'
My son is the same regarding getting his opinions about gaming out there.
Thanks for the thoughts,

Mandy said...

Looking forward to seeing my children become writers over the next few years! Thanks for the reassurance. :)