Why do you not give out topics for writing?
We want kids to write for the fun of it. We don’t suggest topics because we want children to write about what is important to them. Children in India get a lot of practice writing about topics given to them by adults. They are also told what to write and how to write it (if adults don’t write it themselves!). When children select their topic, not only do they choose what they want to share, they must also organize their writing themselves.
What does organize their writing mean?
Any written passage must have a clear beginning, middle, and end. A good writer knows how to introduce the topic, provide the bulk of the information in the middle and draw conclusions at the end. Our children get a lot of practice writing about national holidays, leaders, and academic topics. They get a lot of guidance from the adults on what to say. When children decide to write about say, floating paper boats during the monsoons, they have to rely on their own experiences to organize their thoughts. That is exactly what we want them to do!
You talk about education, but there are so many spelling mistakes in the submissions. Why do you post these without editing?
When children write about what is important to them, they will probably use words they already have in the speaking vocabulary but don’t yet know how to spell. We expect them to use invented spelling. That is why you see ‘invenshen’ and ‘villegers.’
Shouldn’t you at least correct the grammar?
Some children may not be very fluent in English, but they have a lot to share. They think about their writing in their mother tongue and then translate it into English. As a result, you may see grammar mistakes or idiomatic phrases that make sense in their language but sound out of place in English. If we had to wait for children to be fluent in the language before writing in English, we’d have a long wait. Instead, we’d rather have them put their thoughts down the best they know. The more they write, the more practice they will get. That’s fine with us.
What is the purpose of publishing posts if children don’t learn to edit their writing?
Good question! Writers must learn to edit their drafts. While it is impossible to do the edits on the website, you are always welcome to ask us for feedback on your writing. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will also post articles on writing. Teachers and parents can use the suggestions to help children edit their essays before submitting their final work.
When do you reject a submission?
Our goal is to encourage children to express themselves, NOT PARENTS! We understand that it is very satisfying to see your child’s work published. We want your child’s work too. Please do not send us anything that is copy/pasted from the internet, or submit your writing and pass it off as your child’s attempt. We are teachers, after all! We know how to look for plagiarized material.
We want children to understand that writing is a form of communication and to have fun with it! That is why we do not ‘do’ competitions followed by prizes, certificates, or awards. The reward is intrinsic!