Dear Exchange Community,
The other day my heart was heavy as my six-year-old granddaughter announced firmly, “I hate writing!” With some further conversation, I learned that by writing she meant the worksheets she was asked to do every day, where practicing handwriting by tracing random words was the norm.
I decided not to address her statement directly, but to take another approach. Knowing what a lover of the outdoors she is l, I asked if it might be fun to create a nature collage together. She eagerly agreed and soon was attaching small twigs, honey locust leaves, pine needles, and bits of bark to some sturdy paper. I wondered aloud if her parents and sister would know what kinds of leaves she’d found. Immediately she began labelling each item, asking for support from me just a little. When finished, she eagerly went to show her work to her older sister. I was proud of my restraint in not saying, “See, you do like writing.”
Rebecca Giles knows how to help children (even younger than my granddaughter) gain writing skills in a way that doesn’t dampen their enthusiasm. I’m so pleased that Exchange has recently published her new book, A Young Writer’s World.
It would be a great loss if we educate children in a way that leads to their distaste for writing. During this unsettling time - filled with pandemic worries, political angst, and social justice challenges - I have been soothing my spirits by writing in my journal and reading good books and magazines. I want our next generation to grow up with a love for writing that will be a source of nurturing for the rest of their lives. We as early educators have the power to make it so.
Keep celebrating the goodness of your work. It is vital.
With appreciation and respect,
Nancy Rosenow, on behalf of the entire Exchange team
Creating Early Childhood Classrooms
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Developing young writers takes energy and creativity, wisdom and strategy, intention and reflection. All are provided here, in abundance. This book is a tool and a resource written by someone who knows the terrain deeply and treats it with reverence.
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Thank you for your wonderful comment!
I also viewed writing as a daunting task until I did it for myself and not others. It's a beautiful way to express ourselves!
Tiffany from Exchange Press
This issue is very dear to my heart! I could not read or write until early adolescence, and now I write books and articles - and more importantly, I ENJOY writing! I talk to many adults, trying to encourage them to write, but most were taught in such a manner that they view it as a task, not as a creative expression! I deeply believe our approach to teaching writing is all wrong! It must be taught just like art, music and dance - as a form of expression.