Does your child love to write? Do you want them to be inspired to write creatively and effectively? You won't want to miss out on these opportunities to attend the Spring 2017 Saturday Seminars with the San Jose Area Writing Project! For more info about the Student Seminars, click here.
Parents come join us for a special session, just for you. Not bringing your kid? No problem. We'd still love to see you! For more info about the Parent sessions, click here.
My daughter's letter was lying in wait for me right there in my bathroom drawer. When I was alone, enjoying some peace and quiet at the end of the day, this strategically placed letter caught me by surprise. When opened, it let out a mighty roar. In full teacher-mode, I took out my proverbial red pen because it is mightier than the sword.
Bring it on, girl.
So I read her carefully written letter.
"How much basketball means to me" - good hook.
"I want to, not would like to" - yes, a strong, determined declaration.
"Improve on my skills" - thesis statement, and underlined to boot!
"Shooting, dribbling, and other things" - A-ha! I found a fragment!
But then I saw it. She quoted me! In fact, her claws cut out my words from MY last note to her. And she underlined and highlighted MY words to use against me. Ouch, that one hurt. Well played, little one. Well played.
Friends, to give you some background, we had been debating back and forth about the tortures (her argument) and merits (my argument) about Chinese School. No doubt, this will be an on-going conversation with her, but her letter to me about this issue is not the only letter she wrote.
She also wrote a letter to my husband!
"As soon as possible" - sense of urgency.
"basketball is my life" - she knows her audience well, as my husband is a big basketball fan.
"I'm forced to do Chinese now" - effective use of emotional appeal, wouldn't you agree?
Oh, this letter is full of the desperate meows of a trapped kitten, pleading with big kitty eyes!
I put down my red pen. Indeed, long gone are the days of the "terrible-two" tantrums. A sophisticated, 10-year-old young lady has emerged before my very eyes. By all accounts, these are well-written persuasive letters, not from a girl who wanted to protest and fight, but from my daughter who brought me her heart.
I am in uncharted territory - her pre-teen years. I'm fairly certain how I navigate these coming years will have a lasting impact on the woman she becomes.
In my daughter's world where it seems one choice must be made over another, can they co-exist? Could she do both Chinese School AND Basketball? How can I show her that both are valuable?
And as she marches on towards her teenage years and into womanhood, how do I model a respectful dialogue where she knows I consider her feelings and will openly talk with her about her perspectives? If we disagree (or she finds herself in a different position from her peers), will she know that I still love her, no matter what?
So, dear friends, I owe her a letter. What do you think?
Feel free to chime in with your comments. I welcome your thoughts!
Join me for a workshop with the San Jose Area Writing Project.
We'll talk about personal narrative on February 11th and persuasive writing on March 4th.
Happy Epiphany Day! According to the Christian tradition, Epiphany is the day that commemorates the Magi's visit to the baby Jesus and is celebrated as the day Christ was revealed to the world. And so, as the Christmas season draws to a close, I would like to take a few moments to share a small, personal epiphany - an "A-Ha!" moment - and wrap up last month's Writing Workshop.
On December 3, 2016, a group of fantastic parents came together where I conducted a workshop to share new perspectives on how to support their children in developing writing skills at home. These wonderful people came out on a Saturday afteroon, the week after Thanksgiving when food from their feasts were still lingering on their tastebuds (or maybe they ate pumpkin pie for breakfast like we did at my home!). Christmas shopping, travel plans, and get-togethers with family and friends all urgently coming to the forefront of their already busy lives made me so grateful for their sacrifice of time. We had an intimate writing workshop where I showed them what I do at home with my children and spent time addressing their individual concerns.
The "A-Ha!" moment surprisingly came at the very beginning of the workshop. Maggie, a returning workshop participant, introduced herself to the group and then proceeded to say:
"I attended Jaime's 'Encouraging Literacy at Home' workshop last year when my son was in Kindergarten. I followed many of her suggestions for helping my son to improve his reading skills. This year, my son is in the 1st grade and at his Fall parent-teacher conference, his teacher told me that his reading level was like that of a student at the middle of the 2nd grade. I found Jaime's tips to be very helpful and that's why I am attending her 'Writing - Nuts and Bolts' workshop today."
Such kind words only goes to show how Maggie has taken the little gems that I have shared with her and invested it, through her time and effort, into the treasure which is her son! This moment clearly articulated why parent involvement is so valuable for developing reading and writing skills with children. Maggie's testimony has deepened my comittment to encouraging parents in their desire to developing literacy skills with their kids.
As we begin 2017, I wish you many moments of epiphany - the "A-Ha!" moments - as you raise your children. In the midst of tantrums or triumphs, homework hurdles or academic accomplishments, family set-backs or personal growth, may you always seek out ways to encourage your kids, your treasure!
For inspiration and helpful tips on parenting, check out my other blogs on GenParenting.com!