Friday, November 14, 2014

I Got Them To Write Stories!

Some days it's like pulling teeth to get the boys to do anything around here.

After what seemed like an entire morning of coaxing, pleading, and encouraging the boys to get some work done we turned to writing.

My boys HATE writing.

I told Ian I wanted to see him writing something, anything!

I gave him tons of suggestions

  • his cursive book
  • one of the Draw Write Now books
  • a story starter,
  • any of the ideas on my board of pictures and story prompts on my Pinterest page
He settled on a story starter about what his tree house would be like if he built one.  I asked for 4 complete sentences.  Other than some major spelling mistakes and a few punctuation errors he did a really good job.

I held myself back from correcting all but the simplest spelling mistakes (were instead of where or owen instead of own- that kind of thing).   I wanted to focus on his writing and his story and not necessarily on English and grammar; something I'm pretty bad at when asking the kids to write.

Really, it's no wonder my kids hate to write.

I mark up their papers so much with all the little mistakes that I often loose sight of the actual story.

Today I had vowed to focus on the story itself and try to help them enjoy the writing process.

So I held back from correcting overly much and listened to his story.

He ended up with 5 great sentences.  He wrote a paragraph! 

We went from hardly writing one or two words to a paragraph!  I was thrilled.  Of course there's always room for improvement but for us, this is a huge step.  Want to hear it?  Of course you do!


   "The tree house would have a bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, deck and two fireplaces.  It also has a small second floor which has a soft carpet, bean bags, a mini fridge, and lots of outlets.  There is a bridge from the tree house to a private lab where I made a hover board and a boxing robot that is indestructible.  I built the tree house to get away from my parents.  Since it is mine, I can make my own rules." 

Alec meanwhile was drawing away...

 

Alec tends to be my most creative boy but hates the actual act of writing and will do anything to avoid having to write.

I told him I found a story prompt I thought he might like about being a zoologist and discovering a new animal species. 

He got to make up his own animal and tell me all about it.  His eyes just lit up and I thought "yes! I finally found something to motivate him."

He had great ideas and told me all about them in such details... but still he didn't write anything down.

He started coloring his picture on the back of his math minute and procrastinated until we were just about out of time.  He was even teary as I was telling him that he had less than one hour left before we had to clean up.

He had the ideas-- he just needed to start writing.  It's so hard to get him to actually write.  It's sad because he used to love to write his own stories and I'm not sure when (or where along the way) that all that changed.

Once we got him started he had a great beginning to his story.  He managed to get all 4 sentences in by the time we had to leave-- barely.  Want to hear his too? I know you do!

   " I am a zoologist and one day I found this amazing creature.  I thought it was a griffin at first but it was not a griffin.  It had the legs of a leopard, the tail of a hawk, the wings of an eagle, the head of a lion, and the body of a tiger.  I found the animal when I was walking at the edge of a Savannah and a jungle..." 

I can't wait to hear about what happens next! 

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