Nancy I. Sanders is the author of numerous educational books for children, including the WriteShop Primary and Junior writing curricula. Even with a strong curriculum, however, many parents feel apprehensive when it comes to teaching their children how to write. I was able to ask Nancy what advice she would give to parents in this situation.
A: Do whatever it takes to enjoy the journey. Over the years I’ve written for some pretty stressful and tight deadlines. I’ve had to force myself to write even on days when I felt grumpy or sick. So how did I “force” myself to pump out the work I needed to do? I’d wear a silly writer’s hat to put myself in a better mood. I’d get out my pink and purple highlighters and collection of colorful stickers and have fun looking for mistakes I made to improve my manuscripts. I’d create colorful mock-ups of my stories to show my friends and family and track my progress. So many of the ideas in WriteShop to engage kids in writing come from my own experiences of things I actually do as a writer.
So if you’re feeling apprehensive, don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun! Make a silly hat to wear while you teach. Gather your own special tools to use when you teach. It’s okay to grow along with your children. After all, learning to write is a journey and as I’ve come to realize, it’s a joyful journey that can last your whole life long.
And one last thing, don’t be afraid to tell your children you don’t know the answer to a question or problem they might encounter as budding writers. Invite them on an adventure to help you look up the answer instead!
Photo by: Writeshop