I've also had my educator hat on quite a bit (as opposed to my writing crown......different headgear altogether!) and have thought a lot about what I know about kids and writing.
The first thing I know about kids is that I was one once, and I try hard to keep that special part of me alive, not just alive, but thriving. When I am happiest, I can feel that childlike joy. That is the part of childhood I most want to hold on to. The fun part.
That is the most important thing I know about kids. They like to have fun, and fun is good. Fun is healthy. I won’t say that fun is the most important thing in the world, but it is right up there with love, compassion, honesty and creativity. If you as a teacher can make writing fun, then you have already won half of the battle. Wait. I want to rephrase that. You don’t make writing fun, you allow writing to be fun. You allow the wonder that can exist in writing to come out more often. But I am getting ahead of myself. I am already jumping ahead to writing when I really wanted to talk about kids. But kids do that, too. When ideas grab them, they cannot push them by the wayside. They have to let them out.Because imagination and creativity thrive in children, a kid’s mind is always active. Kids have to think and imagine exciting stuff. Let’s say you are sitting in a class, listening to a boring lecture. It is so dull that you cannot, no matter how hard you try, pay attention. You, as a grown-up person, are thinking things like: hmm, do I need to get dogfood on the way home? Did I pay the electric bill for this month already? What should make for dinner? A kid, on the other hand, sitting at the same lecture is thinking: I wonder what would happen if a giant foot crashed through the ceiling. Wouldn’t it be cool if I had a pet flying squirrel? And other far more imaginative things. Kids love to think fun thoughts.