I did not earn my nickname the Educational Hound Dog by accident. I can sniff out the best educational approach faster than a rabid dog can pounce on an unsuspecting turtle. I won’t taunt my academic acumen because I recognize that my zeal for scholastic matters may be a bit excessive at times. So, what I am about to say may sound conflictual to some parents. There is no way to sugarcoat this recommendation, so here it goes; if you have ‘serious’ developing writers you should give them time off their academic studies for some serious focused writing. I know. I know. Some of you probably think your kids put me up to that declaration. They have not. However, even if they did, it does not make my statement any less true.
Give me a bit of time to make my case. If you are raising a serious writer, or novelist they need time to seriously explore the muse. It has been my experience that young writers tend to be scholastically gifted—their grades might not always reflect their genius though. There are reasons for these phenomena. Schools often emphasis linear thinking skills while writers are more creative. Creatives differ from linear thinkers in that they must be actively involved in their learning. Albert Einstein, by the way, was a creative. He ‘discovered’ the theory for relativity while he was daydreaming. Some have speculated he mused over the thought of falling of someone falling and not feeling their weight. Thus, daydreaming led to the discovery of the Equivalence Principle, which basically states that ‘force’ of gravity is the same as a fictitious (not real) force felt during acceleration.
Einstein’s brilliance essentially occurred because he had the time, space, and academic freedom to be alone with his thoughts. Writers, and particularly serious writers need such time. In my writing workshop classes most of my talented writers, especially the ones who have the gift of writing, are sometimes frustrated because their lives are so regimented, they have little time for the serious muse of writing. Lest you think ‘well they are just children’. Mary Shelley was a mere nineteen years old when she penned the classic Frankenstein, having begun the novel at age seventeen. S.E. Hinton was fifteen when she finished renown novel The Outsiders. Christopher Paolini wrote Eragon when he was fifteen and Harper Collins published nine-year-old Alec Grevec book, How to Talk to Girls. These successes do not surprise me because I see them in my writing scholars and my developing authors every day.
My writing workshops, clubs and classes create an atmosphere for writing freedom. In my workshop classes, I inspire young authors to develop their muse and to give and accept criticism from other young writers. In this environment young authors find the freedom of expression and creativity. All great writers thrive in community. In fact, although writing is a solitary activity, history has taught us the importance of writing communities. Beckoning back to your high school English classes, you probably remember the famous and historic writing colonies, settlements, and communities. My online writing workshops and classes seek to recreate these environments.
Budding young writers need dedicated time with peer-creators to have their writing cheered and affirmed. The Internet has provided a means for connecting with writers of similar genres and ages. My writing scholars tell me they enjoy my classes because they get actual writing advice not just “teacher-talk”. I hope you decide to give your child a bit of creative freedom this school year.
Interested in your child improving their writing skills and supporting them along their writing journey? Here are some of my upcoming virtual courses:
Monday through Friday:
Register for a course here.
Collegiate Learning Classes
Christian Creative Writing & Young Authors Club is for committed Jesus followers who want to write to glorify the LORD is in tangible way that touches readers. Young faith-filled authors of all genres are welcome, including fantasy, fiction, poetry, nonfiction creative writers are welcome. This is a workshop so young author should expect to give and receive literary feedback. Meets weekly in live Zoom class (45 minutes) and asynchronously in the online classroom. This class will be taught with a co-facilitator.
Thursday 4:00 – 5:00 EST. Limited seats. Register here.
A Safe Place to Write is for BIPOC writers to explore topics with other like-minded writers to explore their writing muse. Come prepared to give and receive meaningful feedback on writing projects. There is a strong impetus to get professionally published to ‘graduate’ from the class. This class will be taught with a co-facilitator.
Tuesdays 4:30- 5:30 EST. Register here.
Prof. Cheryl is a professor, author and homeschooling mom and the developer of the Young Author and College Prep Writing classes where through rigor , practice and targeted skill building, students develop their collegiate and creative writing skills. Visit www.Learn4college.com/about to learn more.