For a while now, many people have noticed the lack of writing skill in high school and even college graduates. And guess where it starts?
In Kindergarten. At home, when a toddler learns to write his/her letters and the mom or dad reads books aloud.
For a while now, I’ve noticed all the moms who first get the itch to write while their kiddos are napping. Some moms need to feel that purpose outside of changing diapers, or it is through their children that they are introduced to the wonderful world of children’s literature and they never look back.
For a while now, I’ve heard some grumbling and groaning about all the people writing novels – more than ever before!
And I say that’s terrific.
All these writers won’t get published but the world will benefit. Because more mommy writers means more role modeling for the kiddos. That means we are able to help our kids with their editing. That means our kids might want to write. And any writing they do early on will help them when they are adults.
So here’s to the future of great writers in this country.
What do you think? If you have kids, do you see an increased interest in writing on their part because of your writing?
I’ve definitely seen this in my son. He’s 6, and he’ll come sit next to me and write and draw while I type. His 13-page fantasy novel (one sentence on each page) was brilliant, I tell you! 😉 He was such a reluctant little writer–and he’s still a reluctant reader–but he’s really coming along, and I know he likes when we do those things together.
Hear, hear! I think we should encourage all parents to model more reading and writing – read to your kids! Read to yourself while they are set up with picture books! Write silly stories and read them to your kids! Encourage them to make up stories themselves! (My preschooler loves to take stories she already knows and change them up a bit – she’s already discovered the fun of fanfiction)
My family never did game nights or movie nights, but we had library nights – the one night in the week that the library was open late, we would all go after supper, pick out a stack of books, get snacks at the gas station on the way home, and then Dad would make popcorn and we would all sit in the living room and read and eat popcorn and chocolate bars. It is still one of the best memories from my childhood.
I see an increase in my childrens reading. Maybe one day they will get into writing. That would be awesome.
I couldn’t agree more! When I was in sixth grade, we went on an incredible camp and wrote and assembled our own books–I still look back and think that that was the day I really started thinking I could be an author. Experiences and role models when you’re a kid have such far reaching impacts.
We are our child’s most influential educator.
It has definitely sparked interest in books for my kids. They see me reading and they want to read. My daughter (5) sees me writing and now she has written and illustrated five of her own books. I did help with spelling, but it makes me so proud to see her do it. It has also sparked her reading. I can’t believe how many words she can recognize.
I definitely see how I’ve encouraged my kids to form books/make books/write books. sometimes I wonder if they would’ve anyway though. Not sure. I love the idea of the library night. My house is the quietest after we visit the library b/c everyone is reading their new books, including me!
This is very true. It works on children of all ages, even my teenage daughter has developed an interest in writing.
It’s hard to say if my writing has increase their level of writing. I’ve been writing longer than they have. That’s who they know me as. When asked what their parents do, my kids will tell people I write all day. The only thing they know about Daddy is that he works in an office. 🙂
The best part about being a writer is that I’ll be able to help my kids because I know how to edit.
My daughter has been making up stories for quite some time. And she reads a lot more than other kids in her class. (Actually, they’ve already told me they’re going to try her in the Advanced Reading classes. And she’s only in first grade.)
So yeah, bring on the writers, and the readers!
So true! I never really thought of it that way, but I could even apply that to myself–I was an early reader (my mom had me reading when I was in preschool) and it stuck with me for the rest of my life.
Kids model themselves off of their parents, and if their parents write, I think that’s a good sign for the future of writers. 🙂
Perhaps not so much in writing as their interest in READING- which has me over the moon. It’s really where everything starts. And I say the more the merrier to the increasing number of writers out there!
Uh-oh. I might be the odd duck out here. I have to be careful that my kids don’t resent my writing. I work full time and the amount of time I spend in the chair working on edits, etc. is time that I am not spending with them. Sometimes I hear little grumblings…
That’s true Shelley, we always have to be careful that our writing doesn’t come before our families but I think if we find that balance, kids will know the difference.
Katie – Reading too – definitely!
Matthew – I do think some of it just genetic. Kids love to create. Sometimes it’s with cardboard and duct tape and other times it’s with pen and paper. That’s why we like it too – we love to create.
What a cool way to look at this! My daughter says she wants to write. I love knowing perhaps I’ve helped ignite that passion for words in her.
I have two kids, but they both loved to write before I really started writing seriously. I guess they just have the bug.
I must be doing something wrong because both my boys hate writing and reading, but there’s still hope with my daughter.
I have noticed, now that you mention it, that my daughters like to tackle their own writing projects (though in the case of my 2nd grader, hers are still very hard to interpret! 🙂 I do sincerely hope it is a result of mommy talking about writing a book. I also wrote and illustrated a little book just for them, and read it to them maybe once a month or so. (that was a few years ago, I often get the itch to edit it now! 🙂
Huh, I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it before, but that’s a good point. I hope you’re right and we’ll have more kids who are exposed to reading and writing from a young age.
I can’t say AMEN to this loud enough. Not only are moms-who-write raising kids-who-write-better, but I strongly believe that good writers are good thinkers. They organize better, they have more creativity, they overall get to the point sooner. These are all the problem solving skills that 21st century learners/workers-of-the-future need.
My kids are older now, but all of them write.
Kids and parents have their separate inborn traits and talents, of course, but I do think modeling really matters. My sons are so into sports because my husband raised them as fans. Family hobbies like hunting and fishing, or martial arts, or family businesses, all demonstrate that kids naturally gravitate to joining us in what we do, most of the time. Studies have shown that not just reading to kids, but kids observing their parents reading, helps build readers. Why wouldn’t it work with writing?
Laura, I absolutely agree. Now that I’m taking writing seriously, it’s amazing the little lessons I’ve been able to teach my sons. Plus, I’ve noticed all the early lessons I had forgotten! My oldest son loves writing stories in his English class, and one of my 11 year olds likes creating newsletters for his friends at school. The more of this the better!
Oh, I hope that’s true! I don’t have kids, but I hope I inspire and encourage my nieces and nephews to read and write. Just from blogs I read, I get the impression that my blog buddies with children have at least one kid who devours books and likes to write.
Most definitely! I wish more people loved to write and would instill that love in their children even if only for journaling purposes. It is a good mental health activity!
My writing has made me impressed with some of the things I’ve seen my kids learn. In second grade, the teacher has discussed the “hook” at the beginning of a story, the editing that goes into it, the architecture of a story–and I was so totally impressed! Why didn’t I learn that in grade school?
Of course, we can’t always fight genetics. My one son was born with some kind of sports ball in his hands. He wants to be outside kicking a ball around and it is extremely hard to get him to read and write. But I still have hope! My oldest daughter is a born poet with great literary skill for someone so young, but she reads. A lot. And my middle son loves to be creative with play and writing stories. How much of it is my influence? Probably none. But I can help them with their writing in an educated way. I’ve helped take the redundancies out of my husband’s cover letters and am there to help any of them.
Both of my kids started writing stories at very young ages. I don’t know that seeing me write had anything to do with it, but I know reading to them had a LOT to do with it. Now that he’s in middle school, my son’s writing truly amazes me. We joke that he’s going to be published before me. Only, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. I’m so glad that writing is such a part of who he is.
I know how important it is to let our kids see us reading. But I’m curious as to how to show our kids writing. In terms of novel-writing, I write 100% on the computer. My daughter (she’s 3) plays games on the computer. When she sees me write, she just thinks I’m playing, like she does. Any tips on how to make sure our kids are “getting it” when they see us write?
Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse
Oh yes! And I’m blessed that my children have teachers who value reading and writing. It’s great to have so many role models nurturing them.
Yes, yes and YES! I agree it’s a good thing, also because it means we have to work harder and we have more company along the way. 😀 But in addition I have seen a surge of interest in writing from both my kids. Both have started writing a “book”. My rocket scientist husband actually got a little jealous I think when the kids got so excited about my choice. He he he.
What a fabulous way to look at it! I never thought about it that way.
Definitely see it in my kids. Both want to write. My daughter and son both write for fanpop fiction and their stories are quite popular on there. Training grounds, I say. I’m not sure if my son will follow through with a career in writing but I think my daughter may end up doing so. She has a natural gift. Her eyes shine when she tells one of her wips to me, yeah, she has the bug.
Great point! I always thought it was important for my kids to have fun and learn to communicate well through writing. I also started teaching online writing to teens b/c I wanted to encourage kids that they CAN write.
So true, a few minutes reading/writing at home can do more wonders than the school system seems to be doing now a days.
I have two god-daughters and the oldest one is very much into writing. Her mother is a professor so she’s always working on some type of research paper and taking her daughters with her to the university libraries — I think it’s rubbing off on them, which I think is great!
And yes, a reader can read more than one story. There will never be a situation where there are too many stories or writers!
That’s a great way to view it and I heartily agree. I learnt a love of books through my mum. She always made books available and fun when I was growing up even though I was a slow reader.
I do! Both of my daughters have written “books” since I started this crazy adventure. And both of them keep notebooks of little stories. That’s what I always did as a child, so we’ll see~ :o) <3
My daughter is in her last year of college with a creative writing emphasis. So, I’d say YES. The kids in my class also love to write stories because I write stories. Writing is infectious.
Great post! The more reading and writing are valued at home the more of an influence they will have on a child’s life.