I've talked many a time about how important it is to have your children write. Young children, old children, all children should be writing on a daily basis. I think it's a very important step in them become readers and ultimately good writers and it shows them that their life and their stories have worth.
Up until this point I've only had the boys write in their journals and we've never published any of their stories. When I say publish I mean that their story gets turned into a real book that they can read and share and display. However, today marks a new day. I've decided that I am going to start publishing their stories. This makes our writing time take a little longer, but the benefits are HUGE!!!. They will now have a collection of their stories in our library, that are their words, and their pictures that they can read ALL BY THEMSELVES!!! I'm so excited about this and have looked foward to this day for a long time.
The boys published their first story today and enjoyed every minute of it. Basically here's how you do it. Have them write their story in the journal just like they always do. Also, allow them to illustrate it in their journals (this will change soon into them planning with pictures before writing but for now keep everything the same). Then when they are finished with their journal transfer their words on to construction paper and write the words while they are watching. I stand behind the boys and write while leaning over/around them so they can see everything I write. This helps them see that the words on the paper have meaning. Then when all the words are written have them illustrate the pages based on what the words say. No more crazy pictures about nothing. Pictures must have meaning, too.