A poem by Brendan...
This is what Brendan wrote for this year's curriculum night (open house) at school. We were blown-away when we read it... Our kid digs so deeply when he writes! I am so, so glad that we have made every attempt to make writing easy for him, by not trying to force him to rely on any one way to communicate, or insisting that his handwriting be legible, or trying to teach him cursive writing when all the other kids were doing it. Brendan has been typing, using scribes, & now vioce-activated software, since he was in 3rd grade. The result is a kid who has found his writer's "voice" already (at the age of 11!) and who responds positively to the writing challenges presented by his 6th-grade teacher.
Lately they've been concentrating on "pursuasive writing" & last evening's homework assignment was to imagine you're a pumpkin & try to pursuade someone not to buy you for Halloween. Brendan has been preferring to do homework with Charlie recently, with Charlie as scribe or with them taking turns writing. The giggling that drifted down the stairs yesterday afternoon was infectious. The kids were asked to use "juicy" words in this assignment, & Brendan's were, quite literally, juicy :) His description of his pumpkin insides were so disgusting that I was definitely pursuaded (not to buy!). How lovely to have a kid who loves language & writing so much! The bonuses of not having pushed any particular form of writing on him have been that not only does he find hand-writing coming more fluently these days, but that he pushes himself to do better without relying on anyone else to push him.
All in all, I learned an awful lot about my kid from reading this poem... and it's very good to see him from his point of view for a change!