What I Learned About My Own Writing From Proofreading My 6th Grader’s Project
May 20, 2020
When it comes to homework and projects, I usually let my kids take the reign on their work. With distance learning during the pandemic, I’ve been a little more hands on but they are still mostly on their own.
My daughter finished a career project the other day and asked me to look it over. The first thing I asked her is if I could really proofread it or if she wanted me to glance over it.
The first go through, I wasn’t allowed to voice my opinion then once she was completely done, I got the green light to edit.
What I found is that since I’ve been writing daily for the last year, either in a journal or blogging, my writing has improved 100 fold. The little nuances of grammar and words flow so much smoother. While I didn’t want to rewrite her project for her, I did give suggestions that were age appropriate.
Also, having read almost 100 books this year gives me insight into how writers put words together forming a sentence. It’s not about the words but how they evoke feeling for the readers. For my daughter, she was finishing an assignment and it wasn’t a passion project. Sure, she wanted to put her best effort forward but this wasn’t a subject she dying to express to a general audience.
When all was said and done, I made my suggestions know and allowed her to take it or leave it. I put it all on the table for her in a diplomatic way so we didn’t fight. Quick reminders were given to scratch out most of the “thats” thrown in for good measure and removing all “I thinks…”. If over time, I leave my mark on her to produce a well written essay, then my job here is done.
At her age, I wish there was someone who could have helped me see how my writing can influence others. Otherwise, maybe I would have enjoyed English class a little bit more in high school instead of just showing up everyday to pass.
What have you learned from “teaching” your kids at home?