Sunday, February 14, 2010

Son's Self-Initiated Writing Project

I nearly fell over when I walked into our family library and found my nine year old sitting at my computer doing a self-initiated writing project. Read the title! He had been using the computer for his touch typing lesson and when he finished that he launched into this!

He really wanted to write his story but had writer's block. He killed 90 minutes staring at the blank screen. He was then in a bad mood. He was resistant to my request to offer him some writing prompts or give him some ideas for starting the writing to flow.

Both of my boys have been writing more this school year than ever before, most of it is self-initiated. This ONLY HAPPENS when we are alone having relaxed days with wide open expanses of free time. This NEVER happens when we are in the mode of rushing out of the house to get to this appointment and that appointment.

Here and there I catch myself sounding like a radical unschooler. However to keep it real I'll say the thing that changed this year that kick-started their writing like this on the computer was starting free writes at the suggestion of the Brave Writer homeschool writing method (not truly a curriculum but they sell a teacher's manual to train the homeschool parent). Also the touch typing instruction is helping a bit also. So if I'd not initiated some structured learning that I wanted them to do (some would say I'm coercing my children to do these things) then this may never have happened.


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

You know, that's interesting. I never start a writing project--even an assigned one with a deadline--unless I know I will have at least a few hours uninterrupted writing time.
Well--with two dogs and a puppy--at least RELATIVELY uninterrupted writing time. Gotta have time for that writer's block!

SmallWorld at Home said...

Fantastic! I love to hear about kids delving into writing projects! You might enjoy some of my WordSmithery lessons on my blog's sidebar. Thanks for submitting to this week's Carnival!

Michelle said...

That's great - my kids don't tend to want to write - I'd rather they want to than me keep pushing them. I'm sure it'll come eventually

Dana said...

My daughter writes more when we have "relaxed" days, too. I think she needs time to get bored to think of reaching for her journal. Once absorbed in it, however, there's no coaxing her back out! :)

christinemm said...

I think doing free writes without an assigned topic has shown them it is easy to put thoughts down in writing onto paper (they do free writes on paper maybe I should let them do it on the word processor).

For our family this IMO has been an important step. They are very good talkers, good verbal communicators but were formerly only using that mode of expression as IMO it was "easy" and familiar.