03-13, An Ode to My Littlest Writer

My tiny board to begin the day

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.

Isaiah’s “seat” in our dining room turned classroom

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

10 thoughts on “03-13, An Ode to My Littlest Writer

  1. Brutally honest with their feedback – that made me laugh! Oh my, yes mine were too from the get-go. I love the enthusiasm you had so early on. Teacher Mom isn’t a vocation at all. Godbless all who have had to do it and continue to. These pics are priceless! And your littlest also has such clear handwriting!

    Good job there, mama ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes, I think it’s that unbiased criticism that makes us better. It definitely made me think more deeply about how to keep them engaged.

      Thanks. It was certainly among my hardest “teaching” experiences ever; but, also among the most rewarding.

      So glad you enjoyed the pics. I will cherish them for a lifetime. And thank you for reading and responding!

      ~Carla Michelle

      P.S. I’m proud of that handwriting, too. He did a lot of growing in the past year!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my word, you were READY for them! Whew! This is amazing! When you look back and find these gems I hope you’ll find time to step back and really savor all the things that you and your family accomplished while everyone was at home. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was trying, lol! I think I will take your advice on that. I think I’m overdue for slowing down to just process all that has happened.

      Thank you so much for reading and responding.

      ~Carla Michelle

      Like

    1. Thank You, Kevin!

      You are too kind. And my apologies – I put second because I was thinking second to the last – he is actually my third son (smile).

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      ~Carla Michelle

      Like

    1. Dear Clare,

      So am I. On many of my hardest days, I can reflect on experiences we’ve shared and melt many sad moments away.

      I often wonder how they will recall it years later as they weren’t always so thrilled. I remember them distinctly noting that they would love to “do nothing” like their friends. I told them that wasn’t gonna work for me.

      There was some moaning and groaning along the way, but definitely sometimes they were all smiles. Ultimately, I’m hoping it will one day be a well treasured experience for them.

      Thank you so much for your insights. They are greatly appreciated.

      With Warmest Regards,

      ~Carla Michelle

      Like

  3. Wow, your set up is so professional, no one would know it’s just a dining room table! You must have put your all into it and they would be thankful despite the feedback. I am so thankful my kids are grown, so I don’t have to go through any of this. You’ve done such a good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear livinglife816287820,

      I really was trying! I was hoping to make it feel as much like a classroom environment as possible – because they’d often tell me they didn’t “feel” like doing any work because it didn’t “feel” like school. It was home, and while I understood that, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of them being idle indefinitely. I didn’t want them to regress in their learning.

      It was more challenging than I could have ever imagined – but I like to believe that one day it will be among all of our fondest memories. Fingers crossed!

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate it greatly.

      ~Carla Michelle

      Like

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