Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Your Child's Writing Life by Pam Allyn

Your Child's Writing Life: How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity, and Skill at Every Age
Title:  Your Child's Writing Life
Author:  Pam Allyn
Publisher:  Avery Trade
Publish Date:  August 2, 2011
Source:  NetGalley

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

An illuminating, first-of-its-kind resource to help parents foster a love of writing in their child's life.
New educational research reveals that writing is as fundamental to a child's development as reading. But though there are books that promote literacy, no book guides parents in helping their child cultivate a love of writing. In this book, Pam Allyn, a nationally recognized educator and literacy expert, reminds us that writing is not only a key skill but also an essential part of self-discovery and critical to success later in life. Allyn offers the "the five keys" to help kids WRITE-Word Power, Ritual, Independence, Time, and Environment-along with fun, imaginative prompts to inspire and empower children to put their thoughts on the page.
A groundbreaking blueprint for developing every child's abilities, Your Child's Writing Life teaches parents how to give a gift that will last a lifetime.

My Thoughts:

Some of you probably know that I am not only an avid reader and blogger but also a homeschooling mom.  My oldest son is 8, my daughter is almost 6 (in two short weeks!) and my youngest son is 3.  So, when a book like this comes along, I jump at the chance to read it.  I was really excited when I was contacted to do a review on this book as I did a review on Pam Allyn's last book, Best Book for Boys, and found it immensely helpful.  In fact, because of that book, my son has filled up his reading log this summer!

In this book, Pam Allyn talk about various stages in your child's development to watch for and how to help nurture your child's writing.  I love how Allyn tells you how to help in all the stages of the writing process.  It helps parents realize not only how important writing is for a child but how to help encourage them and help them. 

I loved the chapter with writing prompts!  They are perfect for my kids homeschooling career!  It is a huge help to have whether you homeschool or just want to help your child after school and in the summer.  Allyn encourages you to also have a cozy and comfortable environment for your child so he or she can sit and write whenever they want about whatever they want. 

Since my 8 year old does not enjoy writing at all at this point in his schooling, I found this tips in this book amazingly helpful.  She answered questions for me like "why is writing important for my child at this age or that age" and also when and why a parents involvement in important.  I never know when to jump in and help and when to just let my son work through it.  Also, her emphasis of the "five keys in order to be a forever writer" were extremely helpful and I loved the idea of a "word jar".  I actually can't wait until Sept. to start using all the hints on an every day basis for school.

Allyn's advice on not to put too much emphasis on the writing mechanics and spelling, especially in  younger children, was especially helpful to me.  My daughter is 6 and is a very advanced reader but only one grade ahead in spelling and grammar.  When she writes I constantly want to correct her spelling and grammar.  Bad spelling is a huge pet peeve of mine so I have learned to back off a little. 

Like I said, whether you are a homeschooling parent, a teacher in a public or private school or just a parent that wants to be involved in your child's writing career, this book is an amazing book!  It is so extremely helpful and I know I will be putting many of Ms. Allyn's hints and tips to use this year!

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