We all have stories to tell

1.  Parent Mentors: Do You Hate Writing?
I love to organize and so does my son.  I also get super anxious before trips and am totally packed a week prior. Guess what?  My son is the same.  Sure, our kids are hardwired in many ways when they come out. But our likes and dislikes fuel so much of their future.  It’s highly doubtful we’ll be raising any scientists at our abode.  And forget about power tools.

What signals are you sending to your kids about writing?  Did you enjoy writing as a young kid?  In school?  Now?  If so, great.  This blog will offer story prompts, book-making projects, and writing fun for the whole family.  But if you get the heebie-jeebies when you think about writing, this blog can help you find the fun in writing and pass along that enthusiasm to your kiddos.

Because when it comes to writing and reading, research is clear.  Children who come from houses that read and write, start off in school with an advantage.  It’s why we read to our kids from the start.  When our kids see us read, they understand that reading is important, is something we do in life, and is something that they will do as well. The same goes for writing. Not every kid will Become A Writer but we can help our children discover their voices and feel comfortable and confident expressing themselves with words.

So what now?  I like to start most writing classes without writing.  I start with oral storytelling because we tend to feel less stress when we’re talking rather than writing.  We regale our friends with disastrous first diaper changes, lunatics we meet on the road, favorite family pastimes, least favorite family pastimes, nightmare family pastimes. Hm…family gives us so much material.  Let’s start there.

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FAMILY STORY Prompt
Your mission today is to tell a story about family.  Maybe during dinnertime?  On the road home?  At book time?  It could be a story about dinnertime, or a road trip, or book time.  You can weave it into conversation nonchalantly.  Or announce: I’m going to tell a story about my family.

What should the story be about?  
My Pop started writing stories to his siblings about their growing up.  They started writing stories back.  (It was pretty humorous when the stories contradicted each other.) They wrote about bathing at the lake, when a bat flew into their dad’s car, things found in the attic, pressing green vegetables through the screen next to the table to avoid eating them. The story can be large or small. About you or others in your family.

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Here are some questions to get you thinking: 
What’s something that you loved doing as a kid?
What games did you play?
What did you do after school?
During the summer?
During holidays?
Did you play with siblings?  Cousins? Friends?
Did you have a job?
Did you have a pet?
Any weird bat stories? (I’ve got one!)
What was mealtime like?
What was school like? Did you have a favorite teacher? Least favorite?
Did you ever get in bad trouble?
Did you ever get hurt?

If you’re still looking for a subject, take a gander at some old photos.  Sometimes just seeing a face allows a story to bubble to the surface.

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After you tell your story, ask your child to tell a story.  You might just want to be in the moment and listen.  Or you might want to write down what he says as he says it.  Or surreptitiously record her and write it down later.

That voice? That easy way you tell a story to a friend?  That’s what we’re trying to capture in your writing.  That’s the comfort and ease of a confident writer.

Have someone record you telling a story and then transcribe it.  Is that the way you would have written it?  Or would you have been more formal “writing” it.
Sure, there are times when me must be formal and use our “to whoms.”  But most of the time, our writing benefits from us being ourselves.

Have fun!  I promise to be less didactic next time.

And please send word below of how your stories go.

Julia.

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