Showing posts sorted by relevance for query real writing. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query real writing. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Real writing

Writing to real people for real purposes improves writing in real ways.
The quote is mine from a post to Always Learning,
but here's a link to go with it: SandraDodd.com/writing
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, May 14, 2012

Clarity magnified

Online discussions of natural learning and parenting give people a serious opportunity to practice communicating clearly and carefully. For some people, an unschooling discussion will be their first "real writing"—the first time they've written real things for real people, rather than practice things for teachers. Those who stick with it or who have a native talent for it will find themselves getting direct and immediate feedback from other parents who have taken the ideas or examples or stories and used them to change their own real children's lives, and that is bigtime.

The Big Book of Unschooling, page 235
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, July 9, 2021

Inspired and inspiring

About writing, like dancing, there's technically proficient and then there's inspired and inspiring, and they're not always both in the same place in the same time.
There's more about real writing at SandraDodd.com/realwriting
photo by Karen James

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

When is writing "real"?

Somewhere between writing nothing and being a wealthy professional author, many people write in the middle ground, and others' lives are changed.
Other Voices
The quote is from SandraDodd.com/balance
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, February 25, 2011

Playing for real

Playing with words makes them come to life.

The history of England, of math, of writing, of counting... all clued above and in all the histories of words. Any portal into the universe is as real as any other. If an interest in language or butterflies or patterns or water creates connections for that person to anything else in the world, that can lead to EVERYTHING else in the world.

A parent cannot decipher the whole world for her child, but she can help him begin to decipher it.

SandraDodd.com/etymology
photo by Sandra Dodd, of a sign in The Mercer Museum
in Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Real Reading

Sometimes I've been criticized for saying that I won't say my child is reading until he or she can pick something up and read it. Not something I planted and that they've practiced, but something strange and new. If I can leave a note saying "I've gone to the store and will be back by 10:30," and if the child can read that, then I consider that the child is reading.

Others want to say "My child is reading" if he can tell Burger King's logo from McDonald's. I consider that more along the lines of distinguishing horses from cows. Yes, it's important, and yes, it can be applied to reading, but it is not, itself, reading.

Schools have a term for this preparatory, related stuff: Reading Readiness. And many of their six and seven year old students are "getting good grades in reading" because they're cooperative during reading readiness drills.

If parents are unaware of this, they will waste emotion and energy worrying or pressuring young children about reading. The problem is, reading is something that can take years of slow development. It requires some maturity of mind and body, neither of which can themselves read a calendar.

My recommendation to worried parents is to smile and wait and hold your child lovingly and to do no damage to his happiness while you're waiting for the day he can really read.


SandraDodd.com/r/real
first photo by Sandra Dodd, of her own water calligraphy, in Albuquerque
second photo by Kelli Traaseth, of Kyra's writing, in Duluth

Monday, November 22, 2010

Real Reading

Sometimes I've been criticized for saying that I won't say my child is reading until he or she can pick something up and read it. Not something I planted and that they've practiced, but something strange and new. If I can leave a note saying "I've gone to the store and will be back by 10:30," and if the child can read that, then I consider that the child is reading.

Others want to say "My child is reading" if he can tell Burger King's logo from McDonald's. I consider that more along the lines of distinguishing horses from cows. Yes, it's important, and yes, it can be applied to reading, but it is not, itself, reading.


I've just spent a month where there are many signs and directions I can't read, where there are conversations I can't begin to comprehend. I've also been hanging out where even young children know two or three languages. All my kids are grown, and it's been a long time since I couldn't read English. Being in India reminded me daily that hearing isn't always understanding, and seeing words isn't necessarily reading words.

The first two paragraphs are from SandraDodd.com/r/real.The photo is of especially beautiful Marathi writing, outside a shrine.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Three

It can be fun to play with the idea of three. I had a literature professor say "Three trees make a row." He meant that finding three instances of something in a piece of writing is worth pursuing.

I thought of real trees, though, and more often three trees make a triangle.

That idea has amused me for a long time, of rows and triangles. Finding, seeing, hearing three things that are similar can make fun connections worth pursuing.

There are threes in literature, lyrics, art, games, rhythms, and on clocks. Whether you have young children to amuse with this or not, maybe look around for and play around with threes.

Patterns
photo by Cathy Koetsier

Friday, September 3, 2021

What if a child says no?

This is my writing, in 2003, when my kids were 12, 14, 17 or so.


Sometimes one will say "I'm really not feeling good," as Holly did yesterday, and her need for juice, a blanket and some mom-comfort were real. She has a cold. So that was suddenly more important than her helping me get firewood, or whatever it was. I really don't remember anymore.

Nobody's ever said, "NO, I'm playing a video game, do it yourself." But they have said "When I get to a saving point."

The more we said yes to our children, the more willing they were to say yes to us. It worked like please and thank you did!

...on family life
photo by Holly Dodd

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Deep and wide and whole

Once someone wrote that her child was doing passive things, and had no interest in learning the basics. Amy Carpenter wrote something wonderful about active learning. This is just a bit of it. There's a link to the rest, below.

We recently took Fisher to a Blue Man Group concert—his first real "grown-up" show. Again, I could see all the connections being made—he watched how the instruments were being played, listened to how the sounds and the rhythms came together, jumped and bopped his head and let it all come together inside of him.

large carved wooden corn-on-thecob-person with arms wide
His knowledge and awareness of music is growing deep and wide—it's not about "the basics," but about a gestalt, a holistic, systemic approach.

When you ask what component you are missing, this is what I keep coming up with. Are you looking in the wrong places? Are you looking for the basics when in fact, your son's knowledge and understanding is deep and wide and whole? What you see as "basic" are just a few Lego pieces that he'll fill in as he goes—but in looking for those, are you missing the incredibly large, whole creation that he's built up?

from Amy Carpenter's writing, here: SandraDodd.com/activeunschooling
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happier, easier

"There's a common parenting myth that making our kids' lives easier, being sweet and kind
little red wagon
and gentle with them, makes them greedy and unfit for adult life. It is not true. Kids learn from experience. When they experience a lot of kindness, they learn the value of kindness in very real, concrete ways. When we make their lives easier, we make it easier for them to learn more and more richly. And they're happier. And that makes parenting easier, because we're not dealing with kids who are stressed out and frustrated."
—Meredith Novak

New writing by Meredith, a little like SandraDodd.com/spoiled
photo by Sandra Dodd

Saturday, September 14, 2013

See the light

In 1999, I addressed the note below to unschoolers about something I had written in 1993 to a general homeschooling discussion. As I link this, it's 2013. Twenty years since the first writing! So when I mentioned "40-year-old houses" (in the link, if you go there) those houses (and I) are twenty years older now.

Part of what this sort of exploration takes is the willingness to let go of an "outline" or of a hope that you will find something, and an ability to go with what you do find. It's the big airplane hangar door to unschooling, through which,
if you can leave the schoolish building your own mind has built, that has "academics" sorted and stacked against old walls with bad memories, you can see the light of the real world outside. Just move out toward those cliffs and flowers and see what kind of birds are out there.

SandraDodd.com/dot/elvis
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Deep and wide and whole

Once someone wrote that her child was doing passive things, and had no interest in learning the basics. Amy Carpenter wrote something wonderful about active learning. This is just a bit of it. There's a link to the rest, below.

We recently took Fisher to a Blue Man Group concert—his first real "grown-up" show. Again, I could see all the connections being made—he watched how the instruments were being played, listened to how the sounds and the rhythms came together, jumped and bopped his head and let it all come together inside of him.

large carved wooden corn-on-thecob-person with arms wide
His knowledge and awareness of music is growing deep and wide—it's not about "the basics," but about a gestalt, a holistic, systemic approach.

When you ask what component you are missing, this is what I keep coming up with. Are you looking in the wrong places? Are you looking for the basics when in fact, your son's knowledge and understanding is deep and wide and whole? What you see as "basic" are just a few Lego pieces that he'll fill in as he goes—but in looking for those, are you missing the incredibly large, whole creation that he's built up?

from Amy Carpenter's writing, here: SandraDodd.com/activeunschooling
photo by Sandra Dodd

Monday, June 11, 2012

Play with words

Playing with words makes them come to life.
The history of England, of math, of writing, of counting.... Any portal into the universe is as real as any other. If an interest in language or butterflies or patterns or water creates connections for that person to anything else in the world, that can lead to EVERYTHING else in the world.
A parent cannot decipher the whole world for her child, but she can help him begin to decipher it.

SandraDodd.com/etymology
photo by Sandra Dodd, in a park in Bangalore

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cursive! Foiled Again

Years ago my granny complained that I didn't know how to use a fountain pen or milk a cow. I never learned to use a slide rule, either. I did learn to type on a manual typewriter with a blank keyboard. Things change. I don't know how to send text messages, though I do finally own a cellphone. My kids all are whizzes at it.

The quote above was written in 2007. I can text now, awkwardly.

Yesterday at the Apple store, getting a battery replaced in Holly's MacBook, the guy handed me a charge-card reader and said "Sign with your finger." Luckily, I've been playing Draw Something all week, and have been writing with my finger on an iPad, so I just did it. No stylus, but "sign with your finger."

SandraDodd.com/cursive
photo by Sandra Dodd



When this first went out, it said "without a blank keyboard." I had fumbled the phrase when I first wrote it, and I fixed it on the webpage, but had pasted the original here. I guess I started to write "without the letters on the keys." In summer school, when I was fourteen, I took a typing class and got to 42 words per minute. I'm faster now, but can still type in the dark, without looking at what's on the keys. My current keyboard has the letters a, s and e worn through. They light up from below, at night. Others notice and ask how I can type, but I don't look at the keyboard.

So because of that, I worry about people who aren't "touch typists"—how can they type? Well, turns out they can type on miniature keyboards, with thumbs or index fingers; they can type from phone-number pads; they can type on flat screen pictures of keyboards, just as well as they can on "a real keyboard." My prediction of what they "need" to know how to do is as antiquated as my granny's was of me.