Be Your Child’s Scribe So They Are FREE to Create!


Standing on the back of the couch, wiggling around with her little dog, Captain creates a poem

But she is not writing. She is not fiddling with papers and pencil, stopping to ask how to spell a word, or having concern for getting her thoughts down on paper. She is free to muse, to talk, to connect with what she is feeling, to throw her head back and laugh and bounce with happiness when she is pleased with herself. I am her mom, and I am her scribe.

I have addressed this concept in other posts, but wanted to take a moment to dive in a bit more deeply, as it is something that feels very important to me. Elementary-aged kids do a lot of writing. They are encouraged, cajoled, prompted and sometimes pressured to keep up with writing practice. This is a wonderful, yet difficult, stage for many kids as it is all about practice, hand control and just getting used to getting things down on paper. They are learning to spell new words constantly and even the best writers of the bunch need a little break sometimes, I feel. It wasn’t long ago that I realized that my kiddo was getting plenty of writing practice with other things, so I decided to ask her if she would like me to write for her when she created a story. It was amazing! Letting her loose to just create and go wild with a story or a poem is fantastic, and what comes out is so pure and full of energy and creativity. Think about if you felt inspired to come up with a story, whether on your own, or prompted for a school project, and you couldn’t get the words down easily. What you were thinking was coming in a flow of words and ideas, but you just couldn’t write them down, couldn’t spell the words or get past the paper in front of you. It wouldn’t be very nurturing of the creative process. In fact, I think I would probably put the pencil down and move on. What if someone recorded it for you? Pure freedom to ramble. How wonderful!!

I am sharing this because I have experienced, with my 6-year-old daughter, how beneficial it can be. I will be her note-taker sometimes and we both enjoy the process immensely. In fact today we are continuing our study of pineapples (the things I am learning about because Captain is interested!) and this afternoon, when she comes up with her “Pineapple Poem”, I will be her scribe. She loves it and trust me, I can’t wait!

Thank you for reading here. I welcome any comments or conversation about how much writing kids do, creative writing or anything else. In the meantime, I truly hope that kids get as many opportunities to let themselves be free to wander creatively, with someone who loves them willing to write it all down.

Good thoughts, juicy pineapples, and a freshly sharpened pencil to all,


Categories: Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Post navigation

24 thoughts on “Be Your Child’s Scribe So They Are FREE to Create!

  1. kwinds

    Sometimes the simplest concepts are the easiest to miss. Thanks for sharing Karen.

  2. rhombizoid

    I’ve never done this but love the idea. Will try it!

  3. Sometimes I write things down for my kid because she doesn’t like to write for very long. Honestly, it sometimes feels like “cheating” a bit, but in light of creative writing, I think it is a great idea. Makes me feel a little better, actually πŸ™‚

    • Oh, I am glad. In some subjects, the kids need to do that bit of writing, for practice and to get more comfortable doing something they will do lots of over their lives. But there is room to just let loose too… Good thoughts! Karen

  4. Love it!

  5. I am a natural born writer. Even before I could write, I was getting adults to write for me. I used to perch on the arm of my grandmother’s recliner and dictate pages upon pages of stories to her, long before I ever wrote my first word. She was so patient and encouraging as she did this. I felt total creative freedom in that space that we shared. It thrilled me to my core, this feeling that my thoughts and ideas mattered enough to be meticulously transcribed.

    Years later when I was a teenager, I found these stories covered in dust under some teacups in a china cabinet. It was like finding a lost treasure! I was surprised by the rich story lines and character development that I had dreamed up at such a young age. I am forever grateful to my grandma for nurturing this talent in me.

    • Sheena, reading your comment filled me with joy. I can’t imagine how wonderful it was to find those treasures and have the opportunity to read the stories that poured from you so naturally when you were a child. It excites me to think that my daughter has the same gift as well. She has been spinning incredible tales since she was two, and unfortunately I didn’t write them all down, but made notes in my book to remember them. Cheers to your grandmother for her wisdom and love for you. I wish you much love and adventure on your continued path of recording your stories, whatever form they take. Take good care. A pinetree waves to you from Sequoia National Forest πŸ™‚

  6. I’ve never been waved at by a Sequoia National Forest pinetree before! You just made my day haha..

    Props to you for making notes. You’re gonna love looking back on those as they accumulate. You’ll probably be amazed by how much you WERE able to record!

    The thing about kids is that every little thing really is magic if you pay attention. It’s tempting to document every single moment of life with them but alas, it just can’t be done. In the end, those stories of mine were burned in a house fire. I don’t have the documentation anymore but I do have the memory of a loving grandmother who took the time to support and nurture my most passionate imaginings. That above all is what has lingered with me.

    A sleepy grizzly bear waves to you from his cozy cave in the Rocky Mountains.

    • You made my day right back. I so appreciate your positive spirit. I must admit, I adore the feeling of a grizzly bear waving to me from a cozy cave!!!!!! Take good care and keep warm!

  7. I did this too! My kids have both gone on to do amazing things with words. One is a published author, and the other writes in other languages… (programming languages!)
    By the way, Karen, I have a little something for you, for being around since the beginning of my blog. It’s a little thank you gift, to share among friends and family…
    Kia ora, with a wave from a Tui on the wing in a New Zealand native fern grove!

    • WilderSoul! Greetings! I love to see what you are doing with your creative works, and it is so cool that you share your ideas with so many. Thank you so much for the gift! I still have a copy of one of your colouring pages that Captain colored a long time ago. I will have to track that down to share πŸ™‚ Oh, the image I have of that New Zealand fern grove… ahhhh… ferns just speak the right language! Take care Anasera, Karen

      • Hey there Karen! Lovely to hear from you. I’m glad you enjoy the ideas that spill out of me! You’re very welcome, and please do share! πŸ™‚ Ferns have a wonderful frondy language of their own. Love it.
        Take care too – enjoy the weekend.

  8. We do this, too! The other day, P acted out his story using toys and I typed it out. It was great! Then he asked me to get my phone and he remixed it into a screenplay. The book was better πŸ˜‰ .

    • How fantastic! I love that P got right into it and dove into a screenplay. One day we will only wish that we could replay those moments with kids at these ages πŸ™‚ Good thoughts to you, Karen

  9. Such a great idea, and so much fun, too!

  10. Reblogged this on allthingsmommydotnet and commented:
    Such a great idea!!

  11. Esther

    I am a firm believer in this and you have reminded me that I need to do more of it. Thank you!

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: