I went to a parents’ writing workshop last night. It was about helping us parents support our kids learning to write. There was a good amount of info but the bottom line was to basically leave our kids alone to work their process and give them lots of encouragement and positive acknowledgement. In other words, appreciate whatever there was to be appreciated and stop there. I get that and it’s a big relief. I don’t want to sit there telling Ax the right way to spell something or the right way to hold his pen or this that and the other thing. And according to this writing teaching expert person the school brought in I shouldn’t be doing that stuff anyway. So taking the win.
What we can do is a lot of reading. Reading together, reading, reading, reading. And if there are words he’s misspelling I can put them up on a “word wall” in his room or somewhere. Or if he asks me I can ask him whether he can read what he wrote or not, and let him see if he wants to change anything when he checks his own work.
I guess the point is to not kill the passion for expression. Then again I think knowing how to spell is really useful. A large vocabulary is useful. I remember weekly spelling bees growing up in Toronto and wonder when Ax will start getting those, if ever. I’m pro-literacy.
Asking us to not correct our children, to let them learn and grow as they will, seems so reasonable on one level. On another level it’s a really big ask. It’s asking us to have faith that they will find the knowledge they need at school, that they will look for it at school, and that our role as parents is to simply support them doing their work, not do it for them. I’m willing to give it a whirl.