On Monday morning Amy & I left for Indiana to attend an Institute for Excellence in Writing workshop. Andrew Pudewa, the president of IEW was presenting several classes and one session for everyone. Monday night, after checking in to our hotel and eating dinner, we arrived for the first session. It was entitled "Nurturing Excellent Writers and Speakers: The Power of Linguistic Patterns."
There are four sources of language in our country. The first is television, the second is peers, the third, parents and the fourth, books. Because of these, children and probably adults do not know how to write well.
Most likely, problems with the first two are obvious. But the second two need a little explanation. Busyness is the downfall of parents modeling good communication. Most are just not available to talk with their children very long.
One would think reading books is a great way to learn good writing. While this is true in some cases, it seems that those who read a lot actually skip a lot while reading. They read so fast that they miss the language.
One solution to instilling good communication is reading aloud to children at least two hours a day. By doing this words are not skipped. Other ways to aid in building good skills are to include memorization, copywork and dictation in the school day. (Sounds a lot like Charlotte Mason to me.)
Mr. Pudewa recommends books written between 1840-1930. Books during this time period were written in language familiar to us as well as appropriate for the whole family.
A couple points about memorization:
1. Grows brain cells, the more you learn the more neuron connections. 2. Expands vocabulary and a linguistic data base.
On Tuesday Amy went to two advanced student workshops. The first was Research with multiple sourcs, the second was creative writing. She enjoyed both sessions, although the creative writing was a little more difficult.
On Wednesday morning we got everything packed up and checked out. We then headed to a fabric store a couple minutes from the hotel. Stitches in Time had an abundance of fabric to choose from. They had a small room with clearance items at 40% off. The items in the remnant bins were also 40% off. Each remnant was a good sized one as well. Most were more than a yard.
I'm glad we're home, but I'm also glad we were able to go. If you ever get a chance to go to an IEW seminar it's worth the time and money.