Notice any special publications on the bookshelf above? Our kindergartener has been writing like a fiend lately… Books upon books upon books, multiple publications each day. Now, for those of you who know me personally, you know I don’t save much of the girls’ artwork for sentimental purposes. But, if you’ve been following me for a while, you know I believe 100% in the power of displaying— and therefore honoring— children’s work. And if you saw my post a few weeks ago, you also know I’m working to embrace fully my girls as readers and writers rather than writing off what they’ve accomplished as “developmental” or even sheer memorization.
So, lately, I’ve been taking those books that our oldest is writing and displaying them right along with the “real” published books we’ve been reading. She loves it! And even better, our preschooler is starting to write books and proudly walk them to the shelf for others to read, too! In fact, we’ve got so many of these little books that we’ve started to overflow into a basket that lives on our counter, easily accessible to anyone who visits our house and might want to read them.
Real power comes when we honor our children as the readers and writers that they are. This can start with finding a way to display children’s early artwork and however they “make their mark.” (We LOVE Articulate Gallery frames for this.) When young children are reading, you can give them a great sense of efficacy by calling them readers and praising the reading work they’re doing, even if it’s flipping through a board book or reciting what they’ve memorized. And once they start to write stories, find a way to authenticate their stories (a good front-facing shelf will make this really easy to do!).
So, how do you recognize your children as writers in these early stages? How do you motivate them to keep writing, or help them believe their stories are worth recording on paper?