When I was growing up, I remember teachers telling my parents that all reading is good reading. Let them read comics, magazines, novels, lyrics, cereal boxes…anything! Because all reading is good reading and will exercise that reading muscle.
So I sat every morning with the Captain Crunch box propped up before me, or I pulled the lyric sheet out of the record jacket and followed along with the music. I was “reading” so it was good.
As it turns out, this was good advice. All reading IS good reading. The more you do it, the better you get. And the better you get, the more you do it…and more importantly, the more you LIKE it.
The same is true for writing.
All writing is good writing.
Writing is a muscle (a series of muscles as it turns out) that needs to be stretched daily and practiced. We need to build our hand eye coordination and our stamina to write longer pieces. We need to practice proofreading and spelling and handwriting.
So, we should all be of the mindset that all writing is good writing.
Help your child write lists for the store, write thank you notes, write poems for cards, write blogs, write captions for photos, write stories – write anything! Help them find the pleasure in writing on colored paper and notecards, scraps and posters. Variety breeds interest.
We need to be sure that our kids are writing every day. We need to make sure that they are practicing how to get started. We need to make sure that the blank page is not a frightening thing. We can fill it with words and go back and fix the form later.
It is important to let kids write without it always being critiqued and graded. When we assign writing only for academic “to be graded” purposes, we take the joy out of the process.
We don’t take a comprehension quiz after everything we read. Sometimes we just read for fun or necessity. Sometimes we read quickly and sometimes we read slowly.
Writing is the same. Let it be fun. Let it be easy breezy. AND let it be graded only sometimes.
But repeat after me: All writing is good writing.