Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My child is a writer

Actually, both of my girls are writers. Lanie learned through IEW in co-op. She is systematic. She appreciates guidelines. She likes a checklist. IEW works for her.

IEW makes sense to me in reverse, as many things do. I don't know how to bend my mind to think like that. It frustrates me. It feels tedious. It feels forced. 

Erin started IEW this past school year, and it nearly silenced her. She hated writing. She hated co-op. She became despondent when it came to writing. I took her out of the class at the last quarter. We tried to work on it at home, with the same dismal results. She was quiet. I found I was doing more suggesting than she was writing. We both felt hopeless. It was hard to push a protocol I didn't enjoy or consciously follow. Despite its success for Lanie, I knew it wasn't going to work for Erin.

As I've researched curricula for next year, I found a product that really spoke to me. I listened to a talk the founder gave, all the while nodding and agreeing with all she said. She spoke about freedom and creativity and grace. When she expounded on free writing, on a safe place to be creative, I felt my heart swell--YES!

And when a mama from the listeners recalled how she felt she had wounded her children's inner writer because she focused on mechanics over message, my breath caught. I thought of Erin's poor grades because she didn't check all the boxes, or spelled something wrong, per her tutor's requirements and the constraints of the curriculum and rubric. I felt my heart sink.

I looked over the top of my computer screen. I thought long on lessons learned last year. I thought about Erin. She is creative. She is vivacious. She is free.

"Show me your book again?" I asked. She is entering a story contest with Lanie and another friend. She's been working for weeks on it. (Both have.)

I looked at her book, endeared with its rampant exclamation and abusive capitalization. And I laughed at the entertainment of her story, because my kiddo has a wonderful sense of humor.

My child is a writer.

a book about old ladies and a spider

She laughed so hard about this scene

her computer drawing

her headshot

about the author page

magnizen and fashon--and it's perfect (Bam Bam books)
My child is a writer.

***

One thing I love about homeschooling (outside of a co-op situation) is the ability to move at our own pace and choose products that meet our kids' individual needs.  It's interesting that one product can be perfect for one child and not ideal for another. IEW is great for a lot of kids. Like, most people I know love it. But just not Erin. And that's ok.

Rock on, IEW.

(No endorsements or affiliate links.)

***

She just came up to me.

"You know how you love something and then you stop doing it and then you start doing it again and you love it all over again but even more?" she asked.

I nodded and smiled.

"I'm getting that feeling for the Bam Bam books. I just want to keep writing more and more and more!" And out she skipped.

Rock on, Erin.


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