I was “flipping” through some old photos (digitally, of course) and came across this little treasure from last year on St. Patrick’s Day. I had recently been thrust into “homeschooling” or attempting anyway, my four boys who were then ages 4 – 15. In spite of many years in elementary and high school classrooms, I was quite nervous! I’d also been a literacy coach for pre-k teachers, presented at literacy conferences and done literacy consulting at elementary schools in Texas – and yet, I was petrified.
My experiences teaching my own kids had always been fairly unpredictable. Typically, when I’d help them, my knowledge was never quite considered on the level of their current teacher. Now, I respect my fellow educators, but I concluded that my kids would always see me as mom before teacher. I remember saying, “I mean, I am a teacher, too. Like – I do actually know what I’m talking about,” which was typically met with wistful grins. Did I mention they were brutally honest in their feedback?
Despite my fears, I decided to approach it with as much fervor as I could muster. We were told they’d be home “indefinitely,” and that departure to the house in March lasted a long nine months. We had successes and failures, but what was among my favorite discoveries is that I realized my third son, Isaiah, was beginning to fall in love with writing.
I thought it most appropriate to read several books about St. Patrick’s day in honor of March 17. As I would have in my classroom, I had him respond in a writer’s notebook I helped him create, curious about what he’d do. The translation:
It is a leprechaun who saw a rainbow and found him some some lucky leprechaun gold.
With its glaring imperfections, I was so proud of my littlest writer – of his artwork, his recall, his bravery in spelling the words for which he’d not yet developed the phonics know-how. Thereafter, he wrote me many adventurous stories, exploring vocabulary and imagination. I developed an awareness of what genres he preferred, and upon returning to school much later in the year, he even shared some of his writing in his “Google Docs.” I considered I knew of no such things when I was a tiny writer myself.
I realize that we may retain many heartbreaks from the unintended effects of the pandemic; but, as a mom and teacher who loves words, I can’t tell you how thankful I am that during this frightening time, I experienced the gift of the love that my son has for the written word. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, and I’m looking forward to seeing him grow as a writer.
#unexpectedgifts #ifeltluckierthantheleprechaun #littlestwriters #isaiahjeremiah #lovemesomehim #ohthepossibilities #thistimelastyear #myhowtimeflies #literacylove #carlamichelle