summer memories

I realize summer’s not over until the fat tanned lady sings, or until September 22, but now that school’s back in business, summer feels like a memory. And soon, my beans will need to write stories about their summer. It’s inevitable. As a writer, I resist the urge to touch their stories in any way. As a mother, I dare not correct their misspellings and grammatical errors. It takes major willpower. If I do it for them, they don’t learn, we all know. In lieu of meddling with their writing, however, I ask that they tell us stories (complete with a clear beginning, middle, and end) over dinner. Prompting them with questions only then. Hopefully it will eventually translate to the page.

So I don’t forget, here are some captured moments from our summer…



  1. I applaud you for not touching the content of your children’s stories, but the spelling??? I assume the teachers correct them and teach them how to spell and that’s why you don’t do it. I get that there’s a fine line between helping your kid with their homework and outright doing it for them (I think you’ve learned from the past art projects you have admitted to taking over and doing yourself), but why not say, “hey, there are a couple of words misspelled here. Let’s learn how to spell them correctly together!” You’re not changing the content of their work, but you are still helping them learn how to spell. But, if you have a tendency to take over, I agree, just don’t touch anything and let the teacher correct the spelling.

    1. Author

      I’ve struggled with this one, spent a day researching it, too. Here’s what I know about MY CHILDREN (I’m sure this is true for many):
      If they tell me a story, they’ll use expressive language and pretty advanced vocabulary that often surprises me. BUT when left to then WRITE that same story, they will dumb it down, and without question, they’ll resort to “safe words” they know how to spell. I’d rather they express themselves for the content, and later, if the teacher wants to correct things with them, fine. There’s a role for both, of course. But at this age, and particularly since one of them really has a much harder time with spelling than the other, I’ve seen the “great shutdown” and avoidance of more challenging words, so I just keep my hands off!

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