How do you inspire a child to write?

So the question of the week is how do you inspire a child to write?  TD has had an amazing year so far in Kindergarten.  He has far exceeded my expectations in a lot of ways.  His diagnosis with ADHD this winter came as no suprise to us.  He has always been very active and has been becoming more and more impulsive over the last 3 years.  His teachers have done an amazing job helping him and we started a non-stimulant medication to help him.  His classroom teacher sees an amazing amount of improvement in his behavior as do we.  But one area that he is really not enjoying in school and therefore struggling a bit with is writing.  He doesn’t like to write, he does not see the point in it.  He thinks it’s a lot of work.  And I get that.  I happen to have a writing based learning disability called Dysgraphia.  I struggled a lot with writing as a child and did not really find a writing voice of my own til high school;  at first in poetry and eventually in other forms once I learned to type.  So I get that TD is not wild about the writing, but it’s still important.  He and I have been brainstorming some new ideas on ways to practice his writing.  Our latest discussion was about letter writing.  Until this discussion I had not really thought about the impact of technology on the lives of the kids really.  I knew that they would see the world very differently because so much is automated, and so much happens inside these magic little boxes, but I had not really processed it.  So we were talking about letter writing and TD says “so its like e-mail” and I explained that yes it was like email but people would sit down and write them out by hand and mail them and the mail carrier would take them to the post office and they would go on a truck or a plane to get to the city where they were going and onto another mail truck where another mail carrier would deliver them.  “but that takes a LONG time, why can’t I just call Nonna?”  Well some people think it’s really special to write letters TD, so if you write to Nonna, or Gra-Gra, or Pop-Pop or Granny I am sure they would write back to you!  “But we could just call them, or you could e-mail them for me and they could write me back TODAY”  Don’t you like to get a letter or a birthday card in the mail? “Yea its ok” So then lets write a letter to one of your grandparents you could write and tell Granny all about school!  And it went on from there.  Needless to say no letters were written out of this.  I am still working on him.  I now understand why people say the US Mail service is going to go away.  Yikes!

I am still trying to figure out how to inspire my son to want to write.  I am planning some activities for over the summer and now know that at least once a week we need a writing project to keep him in practice.  It makes me wonder though when kids do catch the writing bug.  I remember when my brother was about 10 or 11 he saw an old desk chair out for trash pick up and brought it home, I think he also may have snagged a type writer from another trash pile.  He told my mom he was going to be a writer when he grew up.  I know he did a lot more creative writing than I did as a kid.  He still loves books and movies and went to school for film editing.  He has a very creative mind.  I wonder if he ever thinks back about that ambition to be a writer?  I wonder what sparked that in him?  How did he get the writing bug?   It happened late for me and I want the writing bug to hit my son young.  There are so many wonderful things about writing.  You can share your inner thoughts and feelings with others, while still hiding behind your pen or keyboard.  You can put down your thoughts and feelings on something and go back and re-live them later.  You can share all your creative ideas even when no one has time to listen to them!  TD has so many thoughts and ideas in his head, he talks a mile a minute and is such a funny guy!  I think if I could just help him open up his writing voice and give him a place to put all that creative energy it would be really good for him.  So I come back to the question, how do you inspire a child to write?   This may be a returning topic for me.   Hopefully if I am successful I will have some things to share with you from TD in the coming weeks and months.


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