Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What does Manga have to do with writing, anyway???

Olivia's manga knight
Manga knight that Olivia drew
Mini Manga
a really great how to draw Manga book we picked up at the library
Olivia's favorite page
Olivia's favorite page, the knight. I helped her with the steps to drawing it.

Olivia drew this mini-manga knight by looking at a how to draw manga book that we checked out recently at the library. Both of my kids love drawing and writing. I have come to believe that the drawing and writing skills are closely tied together. By encouraging the drawing from an early age they learn to manipulate the pencil or crayon effectively, so that later when they are ready to learn to write, they have mastered control and it is much easier, and less frustrating for them to learn to write. Olivia's been drawing for about a year now, so I think that she was just progressively ready to learn to write. They both love to write letters, make lists, describe or name their pictures, and Violet likes to create story lines, make invitations and announcement posters, as well as many other things that she does where she is writing. The learning of grammar & spelling comes naturally when they ask me how to spell something or ask me to read something that they've written. I merely point out spelling errors and it often turns into a discussion about how same words with different spellings are used for different meanings. Olivia has been asking me a LOT lately how to spell words. Some of the letters she knows and some I show her how. I had an alphabet chart up on the garage cupboards from when we (shortly) tried to do "school at home". So, I thought it would help since she is so eager to learn letters right now, if I brought it inside. When she asks for a letter I would show her which one it is and she would look up and copy it. I love that they are learning naturally, on their own time, when they are interested and ready to learn it. That they are not being forced to do busy and repetitive work that the schools require. Thus, becoming work, not something that they enjoy. As well as all the homework that they require these days (I feel so sorry for those little 5 year olds I see carrying HUGE backbacks home from school everyday! What is up with all that homework???) I think it helps when you provide enriching materials for them to use. I always have pencils, pens, crayons and paper readily available for them. We pick up books that interest them at the library, as well as all the books that I have on hand that I've picked up at library sales, thrift shops, and garage sales. I also think that Olivia is learning to read through writing. Violet was reading first and then writing, but Olivia is a very tactile learner and therefore that is why she is writing first. I think that it is helping her recognize words through writing them. It's such an interesting process to watch and to be a part of . She already recognizes quite a few words as well as writing her name and family member's names on her own.
Writing the alphabet
Olivia writing the alphabet
Following the chart
Looking at the chart
Olivia is a night owl. She has been staying up until 11 or 12 at night. But, I'm finding that this time of night (8-12) is when she is most alert mentally and thirsty to learn. Another reason that I don't enforce any bedtime. Think of all we'd be missing if I forced her to go to bed at 8, as well as all the energy it takes! So, even though I'm getting pretty tired by then, I encourage it and am just thankful knowing that we get to sleep in the next morning!!!


Amanda said...

Great unschooling post, you are so easy going and your girls are so fortunate having you for their mom!

Mandy said...

Thanks Amanda. They both really amaze me everyday with what they are learning through their natural curiousities. I'm the forunate one
: )