Day 239. Madwriting

In April 2013 on April 8, 2013 at 8:26 pm


I’ve been helping my 9-year old son focus on his literacy lately.

We’ve been working on writing well-constructed, interesting sentences – in other words, getting those fantastic ideas from his brain to paper in a form which makes sense to the reader.

One technique we use involves hopping on the computer and using Word to type out a ‘brain dump’: then we come back to edit and reconfigure content later so it’s proper English.

Although this method does work for me, and resembles the the #madwriting phenomenon which swept across Twitter during 2011, I’ve encountered a problem for my kid.

All the misspelled and grammatically-incorrect bits of his brain dump are immediately highlighted with a red or green underline highlight. That’s Microsoft trying to be helpful. And sure, yes, it is helpful – but only if the writer can manage to ignore the suggested edits while the creative juices are flowing, and then come back later.

My junior writer can’t let them be. He MUST stop and address each underlined bit as soon as it pops up. Naturally, this interrupts his flow and momentum.

Spell- and grammar-check will be switched off until further notice.

[image thanks to bryanrmason on flickr]


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