For the reluctant writer, a formal writing prompt can be incredibly daunting. It is also nearly impossible for them to not view writing as an intimidating and unwelcome chore. But the holiday season presents the opportunity to open up the door of creativity for them, because they can create a piece of writing that they’re interested. It is amazing how often a child who excels at reading will struggle to articulate themselves on paper. This is partially because the avid reader is incredibly familiar with ideas and worlds being created for them, while not having much exposure to having to create their own universes within the world of stories. While it is important to pay attention to the process of writing, all of this is taken care of during the school day. And while tutoring sessions are meant to be geared more toward hands on/student driven activities, the student can still feel that they are not being afforded any liberties.
Sometimes, you have to come at it from the angle of absolute freedom. There is a time and place for simply allowing the child to produce. We place far too much credence on the quality of the finished product, and don’t focus enough on acknowledging the effort put into a particular project or writing piece. This is where the holidays can often times open up a door that otherwise remains closed. As we mentioned last week, a handmade gift can prove far more valuable than the most expensive present. Encourage your children to create some handmade gifts in the forms of stories or poems. They could even write a letter to a sibling or parent expressing their gratitude. Maybe your child enjoys television shows and could be encouraged to create their own comic strips.
Allowing your children to take part in the creative process can be incredibly beneficial. If they ask for guidance, then you could sit down and offer them a series of prompts (maybe even something pulled off our Facebook page). But if they are giving you the impression that they want to be completely independent, this is a scenario where it’s perfectly acceptable to take a few steps back. Let them take charge of their own project and be proud of whatever they come up with. Whether they’re presenting a short story, haiku, or comic collection, they’re going to be immensely proud of their accomplishment. The wonderful component is that they’ll be improving their writing skills throughout the entire process. This holiday season, regardless of what holiday you celebrate, encourage your child to give the gift of creativity