finding our voice in written form.

For a few years now our home has been decorated with elaborate love notes with hearts and first words: short notes based around Sky, Ruby, Mama, Papa and I love you.
Yours too?
We can't help but tuck most of these love letters away in the file labeled "wee gifts of parenting".
But there are developments afoot.
Spurred on by her older sister, Sky has begun to read this year and with learning to read she has naturally discovered the power of writing.
The power of being able to form her own words just by making sounds and matching them with the letters.
The power of writing her own thoughts, ideas, memories and imaginings.
The power of someone else reading what she has written.

Writing is a complicated process.
Just the muscle endurance of the hand takes a while to build up and with that the impatience of the physical dexterity not able to keep up with the flow ideas - scribing for the girls has meant that physical conditioning hasn't got in the way of a good story.

Then there is finding authentic reasons to write; writing which is directed by their interests and needs.
If you need any convincing on believing that this is a great place to start, read my all-time favourite post about children and writing

The girls have always written plenty - lists, letters, love notes, birthday wishes, reminders to themselves and the odd story. They live in an environment rich in the written word and story although we certainly don't do the amount that is required in school. At home it's just not necessary; we communicate most of our observations, enquiries and discoveries through conversation.

But recently Sky has been finding new avenues of writing that she is super excited about.
Sky loves drawing; it is where she thinks through ideas, centres herself during a busy day and expresses what she sees around her. She is at peace with herself and the world when she draws. So, a
s a way of gathering the threads of her day together, I suggested the idea of a daily journal to incorporate into our evenings; a rhythm we are sinking back into after the long evenings of Summer.
Of course, drawing about a special part of the day leads onto writing about it
and she has been writing in it each day for two months now.
I'm guessing this love for
her journal mainly springs from the fact that she is in charge of it; it is her relationship with the written word that she is developing and she doesn't need me interfering. I read it if she wants me to and we might chat about the event but never about her writing. Not at this stage. Not yet. This is her space to feel the joy of writing and the joy of learning. To discuss mechanics feels like stripping away some of that magic.
Then there are the posters she is spontaneously making, reminding her of names or words she wants wants to remember, and the letters that she has begun with an adult friend.
All this writing naturally spring from her drawings, what we have been doing in the day or from relationships she wants to nurture.

Sky is 6. We're not in a hurry. We know that early childhood is almost passed for her. We have had other priorities nurturing the fertile ground of play and imagination from which these skills will naturally spring from.
We are happy to be in this place.

Phew. So, all of that has brought me to my original purpose of this post!
What I begun with was a question that I had this morning as I looked on the fridge and read some of Sky's early morning prose.
How are your deciphering skills?
What I wondered this morning, as I wrapped myself around my coffee, was whether we see the hard work and the learning taking place on that page or do we see the mistakes and a lack of....something?
I just wondered.
I thought it was kind of interesting to ponder.


  1. "frizzle'! Love it! And love all your posts, as my children have had a main stream 'government funded' education, I always feel inspired after reading about your wee whanau. It makes me think outside of the square...even is only briefly, and I love it! blessings