Last month I had the privilege of attending an author event at our Church. Author Sigmund Brouwer spoke on how to encourage our children to write. What stuck with me the most from his talk was his warning to not edit our children's work, but rather encouragement creativity and not let the editing start until they are in middle school, well after creativity is fixed in their soul. I love this advice.
Brouwer went on to state what we hear all the time. Story trumps all. With that thought, doesn't it make sense to just let our children run with their creativity, not stifle it by imposing grammar rules. I think even as adults some of us need to go with this method to truly create stories that stick.
I really liked how Brouwer divided writing into a three-tier pyramid. The base, the largest part, is story. Without the story, a writer has nothing to work with. The second most important element for a writer is word choice. So once we have the best story down, then a writer's job is to manipulate the words to create the best word choices to polish the story. And at the very top of the pyramid is grammar. Only after we've created a winning story and chosen our words carefully to create just the right ebb and flow do we venture into the mundane task of making it grammatically correct. And, thankfully for those of us like me who are horrible with grammar, there are professional editors out there to polish our work with grammar as their main focus.
With this in mind, when next your little one presents you with a story, what will you do? Will you praise his/her creativity, encourage a brainstorming session to enhance the story if it runs a little flat, or will you be marking up the page with comma's, question marks, periods, etc., tap them on their heads, and smile at their accomplishment?
Surrendering to Him,