This afternoon I uncovered notes from a presentation I made at a local homeschooling  fair in 2005.  Maybe they will be helpful here. (If you make it to the end, there will be a treat!)

Fanning the Flame: Teaching Writing to Your Elementary-Aged Child
Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.
~ W. B. Yeats

Extinguisher #1
Replace real writing with a list of things to do (penmanship, spelling, vocabulary, grammar exercises).

Fanning the Flame
Encourage your child to write, write, and write some more.

Extinguisher #2
Limit children to certain types of writing.

Fanning the Flame
Allow your child to show her personality, to develop her writer's voice, to write about subjects which interest her.

Extinguisher #3
Make writing a separate subject.

Fanning the Flame
Integrate writing with other disciplines.

Extinguisher #4
Expect a piece to be immediately perfect.

Fanning the Flame
Encourage your child to utilize the writing process.

Extinguisher #5

Assume that every piece must be a finished piece.

Fanning the Flame

Allow some pieces to remain in the drafting stage.

Extinguisher #6
Insist that a child complete the entire process without assistance.

Fanning the Flame
Encourage, brainstorm, take dictation, helpful.

Extinguisher #7
Bring the school mentality home and grade or red mark the child's work.

Fanning the Flame
Appreciate the child's accomplishments. Take note of errors for future instruction.

Extinguisher #8
Ignore writing because you feel incapable.

Fanning the Flame
Be a learner.

Ah, you made it...or you cheated and skipped here for the treat. Whatever the case, here it is, the story of a boy-turned-author whose early teachers were "extinguishers" and whose later teachers were "fans." Enjoy.

07/23/2013 2:10pm

This is extremely helpful! Thank you so much!

07/25/2013 3:56pm

Thanks and you're welcome, Kate. I appreciate the comment. : )


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