I attended a conference for writers this week. Some of the participants are published authors, while others want to write the unknown. This is not the first of these conferences I have attended and I am always happy to hear how many rules regarding grammar can actually be broken. The most common reason why people get stuck while writing is why our children get stuck. We don’t know how to say what we want to say. In other words, we are afraid to break the rules of grammar lessons so that we never get far and lose our train of thought.
We stop before we get started.
If we can learn a lesson from the writing professionals, the rules must be learned and then set aside as we express our thoughts. When real writers write, they seem to get into a groove and just write. They have the ability to hide the side of the brain that tells them that their sentence structure is weak, the vocabulary could be improved, the topic does not flow, or that the opening sentence does not reflect the clincher sentence well enough. What defines a good writer is the desire to communicate, and the training to temporarily turn off the editor in his brain for long enough to bring that thought to the newspaper. During these brain dumping sessions, the whole goal is to just let your writer find her way. It can be very messy, but then you have to work with something and practice the editing ability.
How can we apply this practice to our school? Many writing or grammar syllables attack it in two ways. First, the student receives writing samples to practice editing. This gives them the opportunity to find mistakes and improve others’ writing without having to create the content. In the meantime, they almost seem to be given the opportunity to practice writing from pen to paper together to write their own thoughts. If we can help our learners to overcome the frustration they may feel – big or small – we can guide them through the practice of writing to write.
Perhaps you should provide a diary or notebook so that your children can freely write what they want. Before you start a writing assignment, talk briefly about the frustration when trying to perfect a sentence the first time, and encourage them to master the difficult moments and allow themselves space to learn. Finally, give them the freedom to freely design, create, build, design or express themselves in any other creative way. This also applies to all types of art. What would happen if we stopped our children from dyeing because they don’t stay within the lines, hold the oil pastel “right” or mix the acrylic colors to the right shade?
What part of the writing process was difficult for you? What about your kids Have you found ways to calm the editor’s voice as the author sorts her thoughts?
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