It has to be easier than this.
We began the morning with a grammar quiz on conjunctions, followed that with a math speed sheet, and worked in Life of Fred.
After that we worked on polishing the rough drafts the boys had written Wednesday. I could tell that J-Baby was upset with being edited, but didn't realize how upset he was. After all, I had told him how very well he had done and mostly corrected spelling and punctuation. However, he had lapsed into a Percy Jackson style of narration in one sentence and I told him it had to be changed as it didn't convey information relevant to the topic. We worked together to make the changes.
He went to his room and wrote one sentence for each paragraph he had previously written. He gave it to me knowing it wasn't enough and started crying.
Of course, I have no pictures of this morning. Of a boy lying in his bed sobbing and a mom curled up against him trying to make it alright and failing miserably. I wanted to cry too.
It makes me question the decision to hold back on writing when the boys were so resistant to it; maybe if I had always expected it I wouldn't be getting this. But forcing them to do things isn't who I am. Encouraging them, yes. Expecting it of them, yes. But not forcing.
I feel like I am back at square one trying to figure this out. How do I teach writing in a way that is engaging? How do I help them see how important it is to be able to express ideas in written form? How do I connect with something that I don't understand? I was a nature born writer. I would practice penmanship for fun (penmanship isn't writing of course). I journaled, I wrote stories, and I loved essay assignments. I even headed our high school writing team. I started college thinking I would pursue print journalism before changing schools and switching to and English Literature and Composition major. Not literature alone; I wanted to write.
How do I reach deeper and see that this child felt attacked, felt that he wasn't good enough? How do I overcome the desire to only do things that he is naturally gifted in? How do I get all of those wonderful words and ideas out of his head and onto paper?
I have ideas and I will work at it. I don't see this as his failing, but as mine. I am the one who must do better. Still, it is a sad way to start a weekend.