As a homeschooling parent, I quite enjoy having our children participate in the local PBS Kids Writers' contest, so we entered again this year. There are classroom teachers who set aside a week of curriculum each April to have all their students write and submit stories, and I do the same. Even though the stories are graded anonymously, with the children's names removed, our kiddos have won for three years in a row! We're just so honored.
All I can attribute the accolades to is that I've read good literature aloud to the children virtually every day for ten years, I talk aloud about literature often (the Center for Lit is a great resource), I keep twaddle off our bookshelves as best I can, and I have for this last year used the Institute for Excellence in Writing to teach composition. Honestly, I think daily reading aloud of classic literature is the key, and all the rest is extraneous.
John had won last year, but this year had aged out of the K-3rd graders' contest; but Mary entered and placed for the third year in a row and Margaret entered and placed for the first year. Congratulations, girls!
Chris was out of town on business, so I hired a babysitter to come with me and help, about which I vacillated throughout the event feeling like a nincompoop to think I needed a second pair of hands . . . and feeling wise to have brought her. I sure needed her when my one-year-old walked into a glass wall in the lobby, like a bird flying into a window, and got a goose egg, proceeding to wail his heart out. And I needed her when my Kindergartner prize-winner was so nervous, she had to be rushed to the ladies' room right before going in front of the camera. I sure needed her when my four-year-old began throwing a loud tantrum about red juice (which we couldn't get for him) and had to be taken outside.
|Joseph (4) absent because he was around the corner throwing a fit|
Margaret wasn't even sure she was willing to walk up to accept her congratulations from Miss Beverly, so I went up with her, staying right off camera, and asking my ten-year-old to capture the moment for me.
Then it was Mary's turn to go up and, of course, she had to answer questions about her cast. Mary had originally spent three days writing a fiction story with a 1,000-word limit for a national writing contest (about which we're still waiting to hear), and then she took that story and pared it down to 350 words for the PBS entry. That was some difficult slash-and-burn editing!
|The top ten winners of 2017|
Afterward, the babysitter and I took the children to a restaurant to celebrate--a sweet outing!