Thursday, July 12, 2012

Midsummer night's dream

Someone famous wrote a play by that name…Shakespeare, of course. One of the things we need to add to our children’s 6th grade curriculum is exposure to great works of literature. Summer time is a good time to do that for a number of reasons.
First on the list is the fact that summertime is a great time to curl up with a good book.
On those hot days when it is just too miserable to go outside your child could venture off to some exotic destination by reading a great piece of literature.
Second, many theater companies do plays by the greats, like Shakespeare, during the summer. Remember that his plays are good to read, but they were intended to be presented live, and so seeing a Shakespeare play is so much better than reading one.
Finally, summer reading programs through libraries and other organizations offer great incentives to get your child to delve into books that they might not normally pick up to read for pleasure. Seeing you reading a great book might encourage them to read, or you might even make a summer adventure out of reading out loud. You might think your sixth grader is too old to be read to, but amazingly, that is not the case!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More on writing

By letting my daughter write what she wants to write, in the form of a journal she voluntarily started, I am seeing more writing from her than I have ever seen in the past. This is a good thing since she is a reluctant writer.
Her voluntary writing is not exactly great literature, however, writing anything is a serious improvement. I want to continue her new found urge to write and so we have been trying to think of ways to encourage her. I suppose first and foremost is the idea that writing should be about something that your student is interested in. Even if you are not getting great school work out of it, the practice of writing means your child will become more comfortable with it.
Another thing we are trying is assisting the mechanical process of writing. To that end we are encouraging keyboarding practice to get her better at entering information on the computer. We have also started using the speech recognition software that comes with our computer. She has spent several hours training the software to understand her accent and inflections.
Both of these things seem to be working since I caught her at the computer, headphones with mic in place, dictating to the speech recognition software in the wee hours of the morning not long ago. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was writing a book. Since writing is what I do in the wee hours of the morning, I can’t tell you how happy this made me!!