A few weeks ago, I wrote about our school’s launch of our seventh annual One Book, Two Schools experience. This year, our school community is reading Grace Lin’s, The Year of the Dog. While most of the reading is being done at home, as family read aloud, we did select a few chapters that would be read aloud at school. In one of those chapters, Grace Lin shares a story about her mother learning to play piano. They had a neighbor a mile away that she would often walk to in order to practice. Her mother also made her a paper piano for the days she couldn’t make it to the neighbor’s house. She knew that practice mattered.

I’m seeing practice paying off for my own daughters. As we ended the Slice of Life Challenge last week, my two daughters, Wren and Adi, began the Classroom Challenge. This is Adi’s first year slicing and Wren’s third. As I sat with Adi and she drafted into the air as I typed, Wren worked independently at her own computer. Adi needed a lot of support with where to start her stories and how to keep them going. “What did you say?” I coached, or, “What were you thinking in that moment?”

When Wren placed her computer in front of me after she had drafted, I was struck by just how much her writing has grown, even since the end of last year’s challenge. I remember braiding her hair last year and slipping in tips about different ways that writers begin their stories and also trying to get her to really consider the meaning behind the moments she was choosing to write about. All of that seemed to have stuck with her. I saw her practice paying off.

Adi is much more into the challenge than I thought she would be. I thought I’d have to fight her to write every day, but so far, she happily sits down to write with me every day. She is motivated by looking at Wren’s blog and the fact that she has over sixty pieces published. The comments from friends, family, and even strangers also helps. “Can the whole world see this now?” she asks.

Adi and her list of topics she is ready to write about this month.

I’m excited to see where Wren and Adi’s writing goes as they continue practicing this month and beyond.

Wren and Adi reading slices together before bed.

Looking back over past posts, Wren commented that she loved when “my teacher friends” would comment on her slices. If you’d like to check out their writing, Wren blogs at Wren’s Tweets and Adi at A Slice of Adi.

9 thoughts on “Practice

  1. I live the story of how writers are growing. I think it’s so cool that Wren has this collection of stories and her sister admires them…writer to writer and sister to sister. These collections, myself included, do show growth over time. And isn’t growth what we all strive for!

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  2. OH, this makes my momma’s heart smile this morning. What a lovely connection and memory you are making with your girls. I have left comments on both and will try to come back this month. They are both really good writers!

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  3. It was really cool getting to read their writing this morning. Isabelle attempted to leave comments on each of their blogs, but it didn’t go through from her iPad. (I emailed you with the comments so you could share them with the girls.)

    It is cool to have an audience for them!

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  4. It’s so life giving to see our own children grow in something we also love to do. Seeing the pics of your girls and the fact that they are also motivating each other to write is a very special thing.

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  5. You must be so proud of them, it’s wonderful when you love to write and your children inherit that love. My children used to write well. They are all adults now, but I have one daughter who still writes, a son who is excellent at writing (but never does) and the others all could if they put their mind to it…! I’m sure yours will grow and grow in their ability..!

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