Make it fun – make it practical. When we first came out of the public system there was a fairly long decompression time. That time was mainly about me learning how to figure out ways to keep my kids from going straight to the default of, “I hate that”.
Getting Jake and Joe to write anything was torturous – as if I was asking them to eat snakes, gouge their eyes out with spoons…walk on hot coals. Seriously, it was rough – I know many of you can relate regarding one subject or another. So, rather than force them to fill in the lines of a workbook I asked each boy to write a story – they didn’t need to worry about it being perfect, or graded – just write…every day. Add to your story. Make it interesting and fun – something you love. They both decided to write a book – my oldest wrote about a boy who, after miles and miles swum at swim practice, began to turn into a dolphin. My youngest wrote about a war on an alien world based off of a favorite video game, no less. I loved every word…still have them in a drawer somewhere. This idea turned out to be a game changer for us.
Writing and grammar never became a favorite at The Smiley Academy, but they did become less hated – the torture sessions faded away as both boys moved up through the grades – the “I hate that” default disappeared making way for the ability to buckle down and get it done – both kids eventually becoming quite proficient if not the excellent college-level writers they are today.
With this post, I bring to you a dear friends solution…writing a good old-fashioned letter! I’m blessed to be the recipient of this sweet six-year-old girl’s pen pal letters! (and a wonderful bonus drawing from little sister too) She’s finishing up her kindergarten year – the first year of doing school at home (good job, mom!). Let’s write some letters! Give information, ask questions…learning to communicate – get thoughts down on the paper…skills they will need later in life – at this age, there’s no reason at all you can’t make it fun! I sure had fun answering her this morning 🙂