Raising a Writer Never Gets Old

Rose and I walked hand and hand back to my parent’s beach house, in Maine, after a post sunrise walk to the local bake shop for breakfast. Holding hands helps Rose maintain her stamina for walking. It also serves as an invitation for her to talk…nonstop.

Over the course of the three mile trek, she told me again about her first full day of kindergarten. Her teacher had already taught the class many important things. I now know exactly how to use the bathrooms with the super low toilets and Ms. S said, “We might have an accident. Everyone has accidents.”

After a slight lull in the conversation, a butterfly must have flitted by, which got Rose thinking. “Did you learn to spell really hard words like butterfly at school?” she asked.

“You could spell butterfly,” I told her. “You’re so good with your sounds now. You can spell anything.”

Her eyes lit up in amazement. We got to work. We said butterfly really slow. I let Rose hear the sounds and name the letters. When we made it to the end of the word, she was ready for more. We spent the rest of the walk stretching out words. House. Bush. Flower. Car.

“Later on, I can make all those words,” Rose said, proud of her new learning and aware that the next step would be writing down the sounds we had just worked so hard to hear.

Today, nearly 36 hours later, Rose pulled out a clean piece of paper. “I have my butterfly writing to do,” she announced, green marker in hand. She cozied up at our kitchen island, back in Connecticut. “How do you spell butterfly again?” she asked.

“Say it slow. What sounds do you hear?” I coached.

Then she was off and running. When she was done with butterfly and a little drawing, she was ready for house.

“H,” she wrote an h on a fresh spot on her paper. “S?” she asked. I nodded and she wrote. “That’s it? An H and an S?” she seemed puzzled. Could it really be that easy?

I nodded. “That’s pretty good kindergarten writing for today,” I assured her, not ready for a lesson on vowels.

Plus, I’m sure Ms. S was just getting started on day one of kindergarten and all that important information about using the bathroom. We will save some of the fun for her too.

Rose’s writing.
Butterfly, flower, house, car, pool, and bed.

Rose hard at work.
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10 thoughts on “Raising a Writer Never Gets Old

  1. What a joyful slice! I so enjoyed walking with you in Maine and sitting in your kitchen in CT. You met Rose right where she is and because of your encouragement, she has so much confidence! Thanks for including the photos at the end. I predict this is going to be a splendid kinder year for YOU (and Rose, too!)! Thnaks for sharing a glimpse of it with me.

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  2. Amazing what one day in Kindergarten (and five years living with a teacher and older sister role models) can do. Not taking anything away from Ms. S, of course. Rose is going to have an amazing year, I think.

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  3. Ahhhh… the gift of raising a writer! I love how capture the importance of the oral rehearsal piece of the process for writers. This slice also captures the importance of space and time – letting an idea linger until it’s ready to land on paper. Way to go Rose! Yes, this is going to be an amazing year!

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  4. This is a Slice you’re definitely going to be glad you captured! Her enthusiasm for learning–and yours for teaching–shine through your words. I can’t wait to hear about all of the kindergarten adventures that are ahead of her this year!

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