I’m not tired!!! is a phrase often heard in our home. It is said with a stomp of a foot and a frown on the beautiful face. Little T the four-year-old fights her sleepiness and happily skips her afternoon nap.
Comfortably parked in a corner, she entertains herself with her words and makes up scenes and conversations with her toys. Her doll Dora the Explorer, a character she has never watched on TV, is the usual heroine who goes off on great adventures and says the funniest things.
Listening from afar, I too am entertained, and charmed, and awed.
A Mind At Work
Partly based on real life and fantasy, Little T’s stories show a mind at work – a mind taking in and figuring out the world she’s in. I wish to encourage her creativity and I wish to show her that her ideas are valued, that her words can be put into paper like the many books that she so loves.
One day, I took out a notebook and a pen, and started scribbling down her words. How empowering for a child to see her thoughts cherished.
Whenever Little T and I sit down and “write”, I let the following rules guide my conduct as her secretary:
- Write fast – You are the author’s secretary and have to capture the words as they were articulated… or they wouldn’t be the author’s words at all.
- Ignore grammar – Let the ideas flow and don’t let grammar stop your child from spinning a good yarn. As in all things given a chance to develop, grammar will improve.
- Don’t question the logic – Don’t question the story, period. It’s your child’s story, let it be her story.
- Attribute the work to the author and illustrator – Remember to credit the author/illustrator by writing “Written and Illustrated by.” It will tickle your child’s fancy.
- Read it back – Once finished, read it together and be entertained, charmed, and awed by your child.