Monday, May 17, 2010


Omigosh!  How did I not notice that my Bloggy Miyagis have reached 200!?!  Oh, my dears, you know what that means... oh yes.. I must brew me up another contest!  I will probably hold off for another month or so because when school ends (JUNE 18TH!) my mind will be clearer and I'll be paying better attention to super fun things like WRITING and BLOGGING and READING BLOGS and COUNTING FOLLOWERS... lol... ok, maybe not that last part, but HAVING CONTESTS TO CELEBRATE YOUR BEING HERE!  Awesomeness and good times... and yet another reason for me to look forward to school ending!  Lol :)

Well, since I have been sadly neglectful of my writing of late, guess what has happened?  Tootsie Roll, my 7 yr old, has become more interested in writing than ever.  I love that she feels like writing is "our thing", because we both love it and we can hang out together and write and bond.  I had a first grade parent in for a conference on Friday and she mentioned that she wants to keep her son up with his academics over the summer (to which I added, make sure he plays a lot, too).  She said that she found plenty of reading and math practice but had a hard time finding writing exercises.  I said to her, in the nicest way - He's 6.  Making him do writing exercises will make him hate writing.  Instead, I suggested doing realistic and important writing with her - writing grocery lists for her, keeping a journal between them where they write to each other, and making sure he sees her write for enjoyment.

That last piece is interesting.  I go through this with parents at the beginning of first grade every year - I tell them how I used to always read after my kids went to bed but then I went to a workshop once and the workshop leader asked all of us if we are being reading role models to our own kids.  Do your kids see you as a reader?  Do you read for enjoyment in front of them.... often?  Do they see that it's an activity that you enjoy and choose to do?

It wasn't right away that I realized that this same rule can be placed on writing.  This is a harder one for a lot of adults - probably not many of you here, reading this blog, because many of you are writers.  But in the general public, I don't think a lot of parents write... for enjoyment... in front of their kids.  So I eventually phased this one in as well, especially when my older daughter reached school age and then even more so with this blog.  Tootsie Roll loves to write on the computer but she also knows that I prefer writing in pen on paper, so she always has those things handy, too.  Lately, she has decided that our bedtime ritual will include writing together before we read together.  Tonight, she wanted to write poems together, so she handed me a piece of stationery and asked me what I wanted to write about.  I said hmm, looked around, and my eyes landed on her collection of little nutcrackers, so I said, "Nutcracker."  She said, "Oh!  Me too!"  So we laid on the floor together and we decided to write acrostics.  We each wrote the word NUTCRACKER down the left side of our pages and then we began to write.  A few lines in, she asked me what I had written, so I showed her, and she showed me, and then we switched and continued each other's poems.  Then we switched again, and then again.  The finished poems, co-authored by me and Tootsie Roll:

Not so
Cracker of nuts
Rests before the
Kisses her

Christmas tree,
Ready to
King Mouse, the

(we were passing them back and forth, but my favorite part that she came up with is "chomping King Mouse, the Evil Rival".  Love it!)  I love that writing is something that brings my daughter and me together.  I have noticed a blossoming confidence in her writing since I have been more open about mine.  So putting this dream out there has yet another unexpected and wonderful consequence!


Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Love it!! I really like the line your daugher came up with. It's so great that you guys can write together. :)

KarenG said...

What a wonderful thing that you and your daughter can bond through writing! I imagine those parents who say how on top of it they're going to be this summer are just telling you what they think you as teacher want to hear and their real plans are to hang out at the pool with the kids while reading Twilight yet again.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Karen, I wish that were true! I teach in a regular public school but in a fiercely competitive area (we are next door to Princeton). Many of my first graders are in extra academic programs after school and over the summer. I rejoice when they say they are hanging out at the pool all summer being KIDS! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome! Creating a culture of readers and writers and math lovers and thinkers is so important to the world! Keep up the great job!

Palindrome said...

That sounds like fun. I wish I had had writing support when I was wee.

congrats on all the new peeps!! Hi new peeps!!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

What a great idea, writing with your daughter. Love it! I always felt guilty writing while my children were growing up. But as a result my son loves to write and one of my daughters worked on the school paper. So I guess it was good. Thanks for shedding new light on this!

Ted Cross said...

My sons saw me typing away on my computer for three years, and then I read the book to them. My youngest became enraptured with writing and has been doing it ever since!

Elliot Grace said... the topic:) My 13 year old recently started his own far nothing but XBox chatter, but we'll work on that.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwww your daughter is a true artist just like her mum!! What a wonderful way to share two passions- reading and writing!! Well done you two! I love the Nutcracker words.

and congratulations with your 200 followers - here's to the next 200!!

Take care

Piedmont Writer said...

This is such great advice, thanks so much for sharing. And congrats on 200 folowers!

Wendy Ramer said...

My daughter likes to write too. In fact, her stories have been chosen for two years as the representative of her grade to read at an author's showcase for the school. Isn't it nice to share something so personal with your baby girl?

Christine Danek said...

Congrats on 200! That is so cute that you share your passion with your daughter. Very sweet! and nice job on the poem. :)

storyqueen said...

Modeling writing with your kids is so important!

Love the poem.


Erin Kuhns said...

This is such a wonderful post. I'm glad I caught it.

I'm also thrilled that you suggested to the parents of that student, that they be careful to make writing fun. When I was teaching, I had a couple of parents who had effectively killed all joy in anything to do with writing or school at all, because they pushed their kids SO hard. I, too, tried to gently point out that they need play time. But some parents just don't see it.

You definitely do and you've inspired me, for sure!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love the two Nutcrackers! What a fun idea! And congrats on your 200 followers - woo-hoo! ;-)