Tonight, while cleaning out the classroom, I stumbled on Elliot's poetry notebook and realized that I need to keep his work somewhere safe, forever. So besides placing them carefully on the highest shelf in the pantry, where they are likely to go undisturbed for another year, I am also recording them here.
I also have recently started to write a few of my own in spare moments or when a line falls down from somewhere and lands in my addled brain. Those rough poems are now on a new page called "my poems" (in progress).
Whenever you are able, I invite you to peek at our poetry pages. I hope to update these every few months, and will be sure to make a special post announcing the new poems. Of course, no comments are needed, I really just need a good place to archive our work.
When we made the bold decision to embark on this road less traveled, I decided to believe in Elliot, 100%. I decided to skip any sort of testing or consider a single psychobabble label. I believed in value of waiting patiently for maturity to bloom, and held fast to my ideal that writing first involves inspiring a love of the game that is language. You can't do that with worksheets, cut and paste, or flash cards.
Learning to spell is the one challenge that has been a barrier to freely written sentences. Luckily, we study poetry as a vehicle for written expression. Poetry is like an electric car. When you run out of remembered-how-to-spell words, you can keep going for miles on images and feelings and not worry about punctuation, sentence structure or capitalization.
Elliot still considers language arts his toughest challenge. He might have to use spell check the rest of his life. He'll most likely follow in his dad's footsteps and choose a path in technology. But I know for certain that the writer in him is a seed planted, reaching for the sun.