Alex, my nine-year old, has been pretty sick for the past few days. She tried to attend school yesterday, but didn’t make it long before I was called to come pick her up.
So, yesterday, in between antibiotics and chicken noodle soup, she worked on her book report due later this week. She booted her new Linux laptop (the one that died on me a couple weeks ago, but now has a different hard drive). She worked on one corner of the desk I was using.
Just last week, she asked me if it was hard to be a writer, because she thought writing for a living would be easy. HA! So I took that opportunity to pontificate ad nauseum on the details of the writing process. I added particulars that differentiated writing for clients, for websites, marketing materials, research writing and creative writing.
But nothing could have enlightened her to the chore of writing like trying to write a one page book report (single-spaced) on a word processor with two little fingers. She’s learning to “peck” type and she wanted to type her report. I would prefer that she learn to touch-type, but that may take awhile.
All day, I heard her huff and puff as the computer didn’t behave. “Mommy, it’s adding too many spaces and it just JUMPED to the middle of my page!” I took time to show her how NOT to hit the touch pad when typing, how to “undo” a nearly fatal delete, and how to use delete and backspace buttons more effectively.
I didn’t really read what she was writing until the page was completed. I was merely “tech support” for her first real practical use of a word processing program. (She’s keeping a journal on Basket Note Pads and loves that program.)
She whined a bit about how long it took to write a page of text by typing, but overall, she was a real trouper! And I got the uber-mommy-moment opportunity, when she was finished, to ask if she still thought that writing was an easy way to earn a living.
I love those Mommy-moments! *grin*
What surprised me was how focused she stayed, even though she didn’t feel well. She matched me in work hours and only got up to potty and to nibble at something or get a drink.
What amazed me was the end product.
Her vocabulary and tone were impressive (even considering my prejudice for this particular writer). I started keeping journals at age 7, so I have a pretty good idea of what my skill level was at her age. Hers is better.
This was the first time Alex did a large project that wasn’t just for fun. She really worked at this one … and it was remarkable.
My daughter is a natural writer. *beaming* I’m so proud!