Encouraging Young Writers

As I have mentioned before, I love teaching writing to young people, especially those who are so interested in writing and eager to learn.

We had our homeschool co-op today and I am free during the 5th period.  One of my students came to sit with me and I was reading something that another student had written, but the young lady sitting with me asked if it was my story.  I told her it wasn’t and pulled out my story and handed it to her.

She’s been struggling with writing but she has a desire to learn how to write stories, and she wants me to assign specific homework!  So far this year, I’ve just told them to write a story and to keep it going as long as they can.  Most of the students are happy with that, but this young lady and a couple of other students want me to give them homework.  I promised I would come up with something for them for next week, but their stories are really good.  I hope they continue to work on them and finish them one day.

Back to this young lady, she read about four pages of my story and said, “Okay, I have an idea for my story now.  Don’t worry, I’m not stealing anything from you, but now that I read some of your story, I have an idea of how to write some of what I wasn’t sure about before.”  She took out her story and she wrote several paragraphs in the course of about a half hour, while I was working on a short piece that I plan to submit.  When I put my work away, she asked me a couple of questions about her story and I offered her some advice.  It was really nice to share this one-on-one time with her.

Here is a piece of advice I shared with my class:  If you begin writing a story and get stuck or decide you don’t like it, Don’t throw it away!  File it somewhere because you could get an idea that would help you finish the story, or you might want to use parts of that story (a character, setting, etc.) in another story.  You never know when something you wrote that you thought was worthless will become valuable.

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