Ethan has asked permission to hijack my blog to publish his story.
The Spider Who Died
The spider got a cup on him.
The soapy water killed the spider.
This is the first real story that he has written by himself. The idea to write it was his own, the motivation to write it was his own and all the work is his own. He did request sounding out help however as we do not encourage invented spelling in any form or fashion. Ethan knows to locate the correct spellings of words or to ask for help.
I’m so impressed that he chose to write something and saw it through to publication without motivation from anyone but himself. I have never “pushed” writing. Ethan enjoys copying and writing for his own purposes. He loves to copy forms and have people fill them in and he loves creating signs and labels. He’s also got a large list of personally appealing words that he enjoys copying and using. He enjoys writing what he wants to write but “school” writing is like torturing the poor child. So I’ve tread carefully in the area of writing and nudged rather than demanded that he write this or that. But it’s hard to not panic when your seven year old is still only writing basic sentences when his schooled peers are writing whole pages.
(Here are the draft pages of his story)
Having been a school teacher however, I know that most of what schooled children write is terrible. It’s badly spelled, hardly ever punctuated and drags on for so long without organisation, structure or appeal to the audience that it should not surprise you that teachers loathe marking written papers. I do not want to go down that road with my boys. I want them to enjoy writing, to use writing for meaningful purposes and to be able to correctly construct sentences and small paragraphs before moving onto chapters. Basically I want quality not quantity at this point. I don’t think quantity can precede quality in writing. I think that’s one of the (many) errors that schools make.
Anyway it’s hard when people make comparisons without understanding my motivations and philosophies. So suffice it to say, I’m really pleased that Ethan has enjoyed writing for a purpose that was meaningful to him. I was excited (and so was he) when he asked to publish his story on my blog. I hope you all enjoyed it. Perhaps Ethan will be a famous writer some day and you can say that you remember his first published piece. 🙂