…when it comes to writing…that is.
Writing requires a tremendous amount of detail, rules, skills, and focus. All at the same time.
Writing is not one of those disciplines where muscle memory can carry you through or rote memorization can save the day.
Writing requires the learner to start from scratch each and every time. Even seasoned writers with years of experience will admit that the task of sitting to compose is a feat of gargantuan effort.
First, the ideas ned to percolate. Then the best word choices must be surmised, followed by strict adherence to the rules of grammar and syntax — all while incorportating creativity and detail. And don’t take too long or go over word count…and avoid cliches at all costs. Yikes! Writing is a daunting task no matter who is attempting it.
So, when we are engaged in teaching students a new writing skill, it’s okay — and expected — that one skill might regress as total focus is placed on the new one. Use of transition words might fly the coop as we focus on using adjectives more frequently. Or varying sentence structure might suddenlty be lacking as we focus on using pronouns and antecedents properly. In fact, it’s common for me to see regression in a student right before a big growth spurt in their writing.
But not to fear. The skills haven’t been lost. They are just on the back burner for now. They will come back full force. This is why daily practice is so important to developing strong writing skills. When a new skill is not being actively taught and worked on, the daily writing allows students to begin the rebuilding process…the process of putting it all together.
So don’t fret. Don’t worry. Don’t nag. And remind yourself that regression is okay.
Let the growth happen.