Updated: Nov 4, 2019
When it comes to little minds we are to build a solid foundation in reading and writing. That is our primary goal. Otherwise, the sciences, history, math, and all other subject areas cannot thrive. You may be shaking your head, because you've had success with numbers but reading has been met with difficulty. Here is why I argue this case: in every subject, in every textbook there are text features and writing processes that enable a scientist (for example) to thrive as a self-engaged learner. No matter your students strengths (i.e. art, music, science, math) I would argue that a literacy-based approach is the recipe for successful lifelong learning.
On that note, I would also argue that we make it too complicated. Every language functions with specific rules. Those rules govern sounds, organization, and expression. Letters are symbols associated with a sound, groups of letters (such as /th/) also make unique sounds. The combination of letters make a word. A word represents a person, place, thing, idea or the action of that person, place, thing, or idea, or further illustrates the when and where and how. Symbols such as commas, periods, exclamation points, are used by authors to help readers know when to pause, when a thought ends, the emotion behind that thought. When you think about grammar and the writing process in that light, teaching it to my little people seems less daunting. Eventually we will build upon that basic knowledge with past participles, passive verbs, etc. but for now keep it simple.
Another way to simplify it is by the understanding of what writing is: authors sharing their thoughts, stories, ideas, and information. If they are not expressed orally, they are expressed through writing.
"Writing is talk on paper." - Nancy Peterson, Ed.D. Encouraging Your Child's Writing Talent: The Involved Parents' Guide
That is why when my 2nd grader talks about what she knows, I write it down and show her what she said, then she can confidently express those same points on paper. It's exciting to watch the lightbulb come on for her.
Once she has a rough draft written we use a rubric that clearly expresses the writing criteria of good writing that she can assess and revise her own work. It's a process we both enjoy because it isn't stressful as we work on building a solid literacy foundation. I believe in building a solid foundation for this sole purpose: I want my students to be lifelong learners. I don't care if they become little ELA teachers like me, or a Doctor like their daddy, I want them to be able to pick up whatever interests their little mind and learn it well on their own. I am training them not to need me. Fortunately (and yet my momma heart cries unfortunately) it is working.
If you are interested in hiring me as your student's ELA Teacher or Writing Tutor in the home, I approach the learning process like a flipped classroom - where the "homework" is learning the strategies through video lessons and books on their on time, and then we work on writing together making the process personalized to their specific and unique needs. If this interests you, please contact me. Personalized literacy is my passion.
If you are interested in hiring me as your educational consultant who journey's alongside you through this educational process, contact me! I'd LOVE to meet with you and assist you with any curriculum and instructional needs.
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