27 November 2012

Encouraging Young Writers Who Can't Yet Write

Confusing?  Sorry. ;)  But if you have a preschooler who is constantly exploding with an endless stream of stories, you'll know what I mean.

Around here, we find that a good solution to the problem of having a child who wants to write stories, but can't yet write well enough to get them down on paper, is dictation.  Yes, it's going to take a good deal of your time, but the look on your child's face when he or she gets to see one of her stories written down is worth it.

What is dictation?  Your child tells you a story, and you write it down.  If you can't write fast enough, typing works too.  My handwriting is fast but completely illegible, so I write it down, then retype and print a copy for Syd.

Speaking of Syd, here's a story we did last night.

The Prince and the Lizard
A Story by Sydney
Dictated to Mommy

Once upon a time, a lizard lived in the forest.  A prince rided him, and the lizard goes.  The lizard takes a walk in the flippy-floppy moss.  The lizard and the prince get to the palace.  The lizard comes up the stairs with the prince, and it made sense.

One day the palace was dark.  They used a flashlight, and when they get to the top, a ghost!  The lizard fought the ghost, and when they were done fighting the ghost the lizard climbed up to the top.  They had a way to get all the way to a knight's room.  And when the lizard and the knight got there, the knight was out.

If the knight was back, they had the best day ever.

The End

Cute, right?  Notice that I didn't change any of the grammatical errors, or clean it up in any way.  That's important when you're doing this, because you want your child to feel like he or she is creating a tiny little world, mistakes and all.  You'll have plenty of time to work on grammar and clean sentences in the future, but for now, focus on creativity and the power and excitement of creation.
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