Monday, February 26, 2007

Getting Kids Writing

Is this how the kids feel when they're supposed to write something, and they sit and look at a blank screen? (Remember when we used to call it a blank piece of paper?)

This morning I am wondering just how I've been coming up with posts nearly every day! I hope this morning's blankness isn't related to my having split my mind into two blogs. (Smile. Not that my mind wasn't already scattered here, there and everywhere.)

This staring at blank whiteness makes me think of my youngest son - the one who is visually impaired - who struggles to write. He is extremely good at talking, expounding, articulating. Can I think of any more verbs for him? You get the picture. But all he has to do is sit down to the keyboard to write a book report, and suddenly he doesn't know what to say. I finally figured out that it was the process...that if I sat myself at the keyboard and had him dictate, he could think and speak as fast as his mind works, and yes, I can type that fast. So he dictates; I type. Then on another day, I dictate what I've typed for him, and he types it. So, in the end, it's "all his".

This is, of course, a temporary plan, as he prepares to enter high school level work. I hope to get him typing faster, and in the meantime, I would like to get him doing this process using a tape recorder.

But the other day he had a little spare school time, so he watched a show on the history channel about Fort Knox, which he found fascinating. The next time he needed to write, he said he wanted to write about Fort Knox. Instead of sitting down at the computer, he got a pen and paper, and began writing (in his one-inch print). He wrote about six pages and did a great job. He said that on another day, he will type it. Who would have thought he'd be more comfortable writing by hand?

One thing I love about homeschooling is the flexibility it allows us. We can push the children to do what they aren't comfortable with, but at the same time, allow them to find ways to overcome their discomfort, grow, and even become enthusiastic.

Well, I hadn't planned what I was going to write, and as it turns out, this one is appropriate for BOTH blogs. (Smile).

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