Friday, March 30, 2012

journal progressions

The kids are back to doing journal entries once a week, after a good long break from it (since before the winter holidays). Typically I'm not posting their journal work anymore, for the sake of privacy, but they both gave me permission to share their latest entries so that I can illustrate a point I want to make about them.

Here is J's first entry of our spring semester:

J's been writing about personal experiences right along, using this writing exercise as a true journal. I find it very interesting how he combines his ballet school's show theme (about tourists visiting Paris) with a little bit of factual information about the Eiffel Tower, then brings that around to another one of Gustav Eiffel's engineering masterpieces, the Statue of Liberty. There's just so much at work here in terms of writing mastery, it boggles the mind.

Meanwhile, here's Zoo Boy's latest entry:

Ok, so it may not look like much, until you stop to think about it. Let's look back at his previous entry:

All autumn, his entries have looked like this last one. And I'd been under the false assumption that he was just hyper-focusing on an interest of his (before Super Mario Brothers type posts, it was Scooby Doo, before that it was Pokemon characters), and avoiding writing about personal experience. However, given his most recent entry, I realize that he was actually sharing information in an attempt to educate a perceived audience. I might have totally missed that if I'd stepped in and insisted that he write about personal experiences instead. (The reason I didn't is because he has, in the past, been SO resistant to writing that I didn't want to do anything to discourage his actual enjoyment of it -- and he's often said that journals are his favorite part of our schoolwork -- so I stuck to my guns that journals were a place for them to write/draw whatever they want to, without any interference or "correcting" from me.)

I'll be very interested to see what he chooses to write about next. Probably more characters, his interests have shifted back to Pokemon lately. But maybe he'll surprise me. He often does.

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