I think I have a budding writer in our family. I think I could do much better with how to encourage and inspire him but I’d never thought that my writing could make a difference. This link, a post written by Stephen Palmer for TJED (Thomas Jefferson Education), is very interesting. It talks about the importance of parents writing as well as kids. But the best tip from Palmer is this, “I can teach anyone the rules of grammar, punctuation, and syntax.
Infinitely harder to teach is the principle that writing is more about transformational thinking and big ideas than technical skill. Powerful ideas are more important than polished language.
Get your students engaged with big, fun, imaginative ideas. Have them write freely about things they care about, things they’re passionate about.
Once they start giving you fabulous stories, poetry, streams of consciousness — which will be saturated with technical mistakes — you can then harness their raw, unbridled passion to teach them the rules. They’ll be much more receptive to learning the rules in that context.
I’d rather have a wild stallion as a student who thinks wild and free, than a docile gelding who knows the technicalities but doesn’t know how to think.” I REALLY believe in this, although at the moment, I am so afraid to stymie the emerging stream of wonderful words that I can’t bear to critique it even the tiniest bit. But it’s early days and Edward’s still young, so I think that’s OK. And his stories ain’t half bad grammatically (although thank goodness for spell checker on the PC!)
As Palmer says, “Big ideas should be the pilot, technicalities the co-pilot.” I think I learned to write primarily from reading and then writing for the fun of it. I hope this works well for Edward (and later Petra) too.