It has been an amazing day. My grandson and I plan to write a book together. He has some fantastic ideas and actually complex story lines and characters. I want it to be more. I want this to be our little adventure with writing and learning. I think one of the most important aspects of learning is the ability to learn to think. We can memorize many things. We can read and we can listen. We can learn. We also need to think about all of those things. To be able to use the things we learn, to do something we desire to do or accomplish that something special that has alluded us, is bringing learning into a new light of utilization of acquired skills and knowledge. We need to expand from accepting all we hear, to thinking about what we hear and learning from life.
Much of this day has been discussing. He agrees with me and wants to learn as much as possible and make the book we do together, something special. We can only do that by work. We will have to work to learn many things. We will have to work with ideas and learn to develop them.We will have to think and create.
We discussed his school, teachers, and classes. Whenever I read the little book I wrote called The Pumpkin Field, we always end up talking about many things. We discuss their thoughts, ideas and it goes on from there. Some tell of the their fears such as the fear of darkness and we see how the story helps us to understand those things. We almost always talk about writing. When they ask me about writing the book I see such excitement and enthusiasm. We talked about writing and the last class did a whole class project with them writing their own stories.
As we talk there and at home, one point I ask is about when they learn their spelling words, their definitions of words and what words really are? “You may think that you study your spelling words to get a good grade and that is correct but there is another reason you may not know yet.... you will one day.”
They always ask what it is that they do not know about their own spelling words and at times the teacher looks curious about what I might be getting to in the discussion. “What you learn here in school is wonderful and we all need good grades but there is more. What you learn here is a gift that will last a life time. Your teachers are doing more than teaching you the words, they are helping you how to learn. Teachers give you the gift that lasts all of your lives. The things you learn now will be with you forever.”
We discuss many other things and always have such a good time. Today with my grandson, we reviewed somethings we had already learned and discussed new ideas. We talked about what kind of stories we want to write. We talked about characters and also not using other people's ideas and characters. He does love Iron Man. I even explained copyright about what we write and create including what you see on television. Our story will have to come entirely from our own imagination.
I told him anything worth doing is worth doing well and also worth working as hard as we can. He agreed we will spend this time not only doing a book but learning about books, words and many things we can use to write.
I am not going to go into every detail here but thought about keeping a journal of the study pages, discussions, topics and ideas as we go. I think I will see if I can work it into book form to help other children learn to write or just have a joy and being able to create with words.
I still plan to have a small group of children who are interested in writing with a group of their own. We can have our writers group and the junior group too at different times. I thought about doing a workshop with them if there ever was such an interest. Right now I am excited about what we are doing together, grandson and grandma. He calls me MaMaw.
As I discussed all of this with him he frowned and mentioned it might be nice to have a book so that other kids could make their books too. “Can you teach them and help them with a book?”
“I guess I could, but it would take a lot of work.” He smiled at me as I smiled in return, thinking of how I might be able to do this and him at the same time.
With that big grin on his face he told me we needed a cover for our notebook. It could be the cover for the book to learn to write and then we will have to do our book.
I reviewed some of the vocabulary I wanted him to remember. I asked him if he remembered what a protagonist was. “Sure I do. That’s the one the story is about.”
I then mentioned that the main character would be the protagonist and asked if he remembered how to spell protagonist. He thought for a moment and I could see his little lips move as he silently sounded it out and spelled it perfectly. We did a few other words and definitions including talking about how he could use these things. He asked me why he could just not call them people instead of protagonists. I explained the story might have a main character that was an animal or maybe even an alien. By using the proper term we can more easily understand each other. We lean new things all the time and in school they are always learning new words. Think how limited life would be if we only learned a little and never learned any more. Words can open a whole world and echo through the ages of time.
As I write this blog I am sure now that I will make a book/workbook about writing for young people. Zander is 8 years old and he constantly amazes me. We never know what we can do until we try and then keep trying and learning. As we work to learn and write our story I can also share that experience. It is an exciting time for me and Zander. He has always said that one day he was going to write his own story in his own book with his MaMaw, and the time is right. We can do it.