I’ve spent every spare moment lately getting ready for the workshop I’m presenting at the HSC homeschool conference this Friday.
The workshop is called Nurturing Young Writers. I’ll be speaking for an hour-and-a half. Yikes. I’m sure my family can sympathize with anyone who has to listen to me ramble on for an hour-and-a-half.
Well. I do plan to open up the workshop in the last part, and have the group brainstorm writing ideas and audiences for their kids.
Anyway, getting ready for this workshop has been good for me. It’s forced me to look at my thoughts on how kids learn to write, to organize and outline them. And the exciting part? There are some ideas here that I haven’t seen elsewhere. That might even be original.
Everyone should have a brilliant friend, and I have a few. One of the shiniest is my old college friend Emily, who designs websites for writers. On Sunday we trawled the farmer’s market, following her adorable and likewise quite brilliant three-year-old and letting her eat too much ice cream so we could talk. I described my book idea to her, and she had some very interesting thoughts about how I might share portions of the book as I write it. To see how it goes, and, as they say in the industry, to create buzz. (I don’t really like that phrase–unless I think of it in terms of bees: working together, singing in a low hum.)
Which made me think of you, my faithful blog readers. If I were to share some ideas about writing with kids, I wonder if there are any that might be of particular interest to you. These are a few topics I’ll be exploring in my workshop:
- Transcribing kids’ writing–how it can be a powerful tool for helping kids develop their voices as writers, and how we can use it for years, until kids develop fluency at writing.
- How the main goals of a writing education should be helping our kids develop their writing voices, and helping them enjoy writing. And how to let kids lead their educations as writers.
- How the mechanics of writing–spelling, grammar, penmanship–should be of far less importance than developing a young writer’s voice. And how those mechanics can fall into place naturally through transcribing kids’ writing, and helping them enjoy writing.
- How creating a literate environment in your home can have a major impact on kids as writers. How kids can explore the craft of writing through casual, spontaneous conversations about the books you read together, and the films you watch.
- How to help kids find genres and styles of writing that interest them. How to make writing topics of any personal interest. How allowing kids to select their topics is much more powerful than assigning them.
- The importance of audience in motivating kids to write. And how to find audiences for homeschooled writers.
So, what do you think? Are there any topics here that hold some interest for you? I’d love your feedback.