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What about when it ISN’T WORKING? ✏️Raising a Writer


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Have you ever thought you had “just-the-ticket” to get your kids excited to write and instead end up hitting a wall? 
This week our friend Meghan DM’d us SO EXCITED about a writing prompt she had created for her kids. It fit perfectly with their literature unit and she was SURE her kids would take off writing! 
Her follow up report, however, was disappointing. One child refused to try. The other wrote a couple sentences and stalled out. 
What do you do when this happens?
Well first, here’s what you don’t do. You don’t stop.  
No matter how resistant your kids are, they have YOU on their team (lucky ducks)–you who are reading this email on a Saturday and considering how to make your kids’ writing experiences great. 
Of course you won’t stop.  
  1. BE CURIOUS. The last thing you want is for writing time to turn into a power struggle. Instead, talk to them about it. Why aren’t they wanting to write in a particular direction today? Do they have another idea in mind? Is the prompt or project confusing? When you gather up information like this, it tells your child you are on their team. You’re not the queen or king presenting writing orders, you’re working together.
  2. GIVE CHOICES. Kids don’t always like being told what to write, but sometimes they don’t like not knowing what to write either. (That sentence may need a double take.) In other words, sometimes kids need lots of writing freedom, and sometimes they need lots of direction. Make both pathways available. If they’re not interested in a prompt or project, it is often because they had another writing plan in mind. Let that choice be good too. (Our Writer’s Box projects make choices easy to have available!)
  3. WRITE WITH THEMWhen we have a project or prompt that we REALLY want kids to do and they just aren’t into it, we often turn it into a group write. Try writing one short piece together on a white board or a big paper. Then, let the rest of writing time belong to them. Sometimes kids end up jumping on board to the writing project and working on it more and sometimes they don’t. The important thing is to keep it light and fun. (Remember no power struggles.) Take whatever they are willing to give you for the day as a win.
  4. DON’T MAKE IT MEAN ANYTHING. Just because something doesn’t fly doesn’t mean it won’t fly later. It also doesn’t mean your writing program “isn’t working.” It certainly doesn’t mean your child isn’t a writer. Allow it to be one day in a string of many many days of regular writing times. 

Remember our friend Meghan? She later told us her child, that claims he “can’t write,” took off with three pages of a story in one afternoon, completely unprompted. We can’t make this stuff up! Accept the ebb and flow and stay the course friend! 



Set up your child’s writer’s notebook with the Writer’s Toolbox Set. It makes it easy to keep track of publishing and works in progress! 

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