Tag Archives: Hands-off parenting

The Magic Finger

MG writes everywhere

MG has been writing again. To be honest, she never stops. She started writing a weekend journal two weeks ago which she kept up until yesterday – she might go back to it but when I asked her about writing it she said “You just don’t understand!” so I’ll stick to leaving her to it 😉

She’s also been writing her own version of The Magic Finger over the last week. I’ve read a synopsis of the book online but I can’t remember the detail so I’m not sure how much of what she’s writing is directly from the story or her imagination but her writing is amazing me again.

So far this story is spread over eight sides of densely packed A5. Her writing is much improved even in the six weeks since she wrote The Lonely Bear, although I think I ought to find her some extra spelling work – I don’t normally do any extra-curricular work because both my girls just learn so much from their own interests but MG loves books of words so it shouldn’t be too hard to leave something around for her to pick up on.

I won’t put the whole book up this time, but here are the first two pages (spelling errors and all – although she’s learning more and more as you can see from the first four words!)

Once upon a time there lived a girl called Eleanor. Her friend Beth came to her house Beth played with my doll first i dided not mined. But when she played with it four a long time i did not like it at all. then i poot my magic finger on Beth. (When i poot my magic finger on Beth a red flash when I did it)

When Beth came to a sleap-over at my house she started to turn into a dolly it went quicer and quicer. in the morning Beth said why do i look like a dolly? “said Beth” maby bucos you wer playing with a dolly “Beth said Eleanor,” well i was playing with a dolly “said Beth.” this secend Beths legs turned silcy nitied legs. and her arms wer turning silcy and her eyes wer buttens. her nose was a butten is well. Beths mowth was nitied red. She had a silcy dress on her.

Soon her hol body was buttened silcy nitied on her body. She was like that for ten day’s. the next day was saterday and Beth was still a dolly. on saterday Beth came to my House she played with a difrant toy she played with a robot insted. the robot was shiny and red. when Beth went home i played with the toy robot. Soon Beth was a human agan she was happy that she was normle again. But when Beth came to my house again and she played with my toy robot for a long time i sor red and i poot the magic finger on Beth and when Beth went bac home she started to turn into a robot. When Beth woc up she said why do i look like a robot. on monday Beth came to my house at my house Beth was still a robot. Beth disidid that she would play with a difrant toy bucos it werct bifor this time.

I was going to stop at the first two pages above, but there’s a lovely description of how Beth turns into a toy soldier too:

When Beth went to sleap she startied to turn in to a solger. at bed time when Beth was asleap she startied to hav a solger hat. that was black and then she started to hav a red gacit. and black boots with black tasils. and a yelloe bit at the top. with red trousers with a yelloe belt. with a black tea shirt with silver buttens. and a red bit at the top of the long black hat.

(MG uses ‘g’ instead of ‘j’ frequently, something that needs to be worked on. ‘gacit’ is therefore ‘jacket’. The only word I needed to check with her was ‘nitied’, which is ‘knitted’ but ‘disidid’ (decided), ‘werct’ (worked) and ‘bifor’ (before) took me a while too!)

It’s at this point that Beth’s mum suggests to Beth that Eleanor has a magic finger so Beth goes to teach her friend a lesson – by sitting her on a chair and telling her not to do it again! It was very hard not to but Eleanor stopped using the magic finger, and next time Beth visits they see a magic shoe and a magic ring! I’m very excited to find out what happens next with the two friends, and in reading all the descriptions that MG is adding. Plus, I love how she’s starting to use punctuation in her writing too.

I have no idea if this is average for a 6-and-a-quarter year old, but it seems amazing to me (of course!) I’ve watched her writing most of the story and it’s all coming from her head even if it’s a memory of something she’s already read which makes her descriptions even more wonderful to read (for me!)

I see a lot of blog posts on how to encourage your children to write. I haven’t a clue on how to give any advice on that because I probably need something on how to stop your child writing. MG was writing in her book whilst walking to school one day this week! Every child is different. MG writes. It’s her passion, and it’s a delight for me to go along for the ride…

[I’ll add a picture of the actual text later, but my camera card is full so I need to clear it off before I can take pictures and I’ve just not got round to it!]

Cultivating Creativity – or Mess?!

I seem to have developed a fairly laissez-faire approach to parenting (quickly googles laissez-faire to make sure it means what I think it means… Yeah, that’ll do.) Or maybe it’s just that I’m a terrible parent who ignores her children! I’d like to lead by example and be a wonderfully perfect person with manners and a tidy, clean house but I’m not so I do try to explain right and wrong and we have all sorts of discussions about things in the world too. But sometimes I do just hide behind a screen and leave them to it.

Which results in things like MG’s book The Lonely Bear that I’m serialising this week. And a whole bunch of paper and felt tips soaking into clothes and covers as they (the felt tips) are left with lids off leaning on them (the clothes, bedsheets etc) that are also left lying around. Not to mention the mountains of paper and other art materials that appear to breed (see Clutter Creep).

I am neglecting DG in this description. There is a reason she is called Destructo-Girl but she is also incredibly creative and imaginative. She loves small world play and will make up stories for hours on end with all her favourite toys – mixing Sylvanians and Budkins, soft toys and dolls’ clothes, wooden food and trainsets… Until the entire house hasn’t any spare floor space from top to bottom. But if you look carefully, it’s not mess. You can see her creativity shining through:

 Creativity or Mess

Creativity or Mess

Shame I have to tidy everything up, and all the teeny bits seem to get lost all over the house though!