With our new study of earth science, Michael and I decided that it was time to start requiring Alex to do some independent writing. Once a week, we’re asking her to write a few sentences explaining something she’s learned about earth science. When we start Story of the World 3, she’ll do the same once a week for history. She has quite a bit of freedom to choose the topic, length, style, and level of detail. She can also choose from a variety of “notebooking pages” with different designs and layouts.
Here’s her first effort, written after watching an episode of How the Earth Was Made:
when the earth was still new, a smaller planet hit it, but not directly. it blasted some of the earth, and was destroyed completely. what was blasted away culmped together and made the moon.
I think there’s a lot to be proud of here. Okay, so the impacting body is better thought of as an asteroid, not a planet, but given that it is hypothesized to have been the size of Mars I think it’s an understandable mistake. Her explanation is clear and uses vivid language. The handwriting is great, and so is the spelling (except “culmped” for “clumped”) and most of the punctuation. I’m a little chagrined that, after two years of copywork and dictation, she apparently forgot all about starting sentences with a capital letter. But hey, there’s a lot to keep track of when you’re trying to get your ideas on paper.
The best part is that she really enjoyed herself. My hope is that, as her writing builds up in her science notebook, the process will be self-reinforcing.