"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Monday, 15 February 2010

Milly's birthday week,including a marathon story telling day!

Milly decided against having a party this year,choosing to put the money we would have spent on a party towards decorating her room. We have a family get together at my Mums on Valentines day and a special day planned for her actual Birthday on the 16th.
Her friends are both away for her birthday and were unable to come for a sleepover together so she has had two!
Her teenage friend Emily(nickname Tom to ease confusion!) came on Wednesday.During home ed group they went off into town and Tom bought them some stickers and cola and sweets.They had been planning it on MSN and Milly had bought a couple of notebooks that they were going to decorate.They did that and had a makeup and hair session as well as watching a film.Tom made it a nice evening for her and they both slept in the new room.

We took Tom home at lunchtime and then came back walked Beauty and I expected Emily to collapse but she walked Beauty again with Al when he got home.

Emily and I were due to go to the cinema on Friday to see the new Hayao Miyazaki film Ponyo .For some reason our local Cinema was not screening it so we decided to have the day at home and as it turned out it I needed the rest.See previous post!

Milly and best friend A had a sleepover ,well I say sleep,not too much of that was had! It was after 2.30 when they got to sleep and Emily set her phone alarm for 8.30 so they could have time together before they left at 11 to go swimming with Al.
They swam for an hour and a half and then after lunch walked round Keswick.

In the car Milly carried on a story she had been telling A the night before.It was a ghost story but if A got scared when she was telling it in the night she added funny bits in to lighten it for her.A (who is a bookworm of the first order!) was mesmerised by the story and in stitches at the funny parts.

During the journey A(who goes to school) asked Emily "how do you know all those big words?"
Emily said "well I read a bit and Mum and Dad read to me and I listen to story tapes a lot ,so I guess that's how!"
Later on in the story A asked Emily what inconsolable meant and Alan said that Emily gave her a very good explanation very quickly.

Storytelling is what Emily does.She thinks in chapters and when she is appearing to do "nothing" bathing for ages or out on her hammock,she will come in and tell us she reached chapter 12 in the new story she was creating.
She tells her story without hesitation, never having to stop and think about it.The stories often "wander" and loose direction. Slowly, over time, they are getting better and better in both content and structure,and even some punctuation thrown in when she does write them down:-)

For the latest story idea,as with so many in the past she has a notebook with all the characters details and book titles (this latest story is part a series of books) and chapter titles in.Every time she starts one it is with excitement and enthusiasm.
She sometimes starts to write a story out or type it on the laptop but most of the time it is all verbal and not recorded in any way.

Although I don't think she is overly bothered about them being recorded I do occasionally offer to type for her,she always says no. She is not using her dictation machine as much either. If she did want a written record of it, I think her ideal would be for her to be able to do it herself.I am going to look into voice recognition software. The little info I have gathered about it wasn't too positive. I will do more research.I wouldn't want to get it and for her to get all excited and then be let down ,as this might knock her back.

I often think about how different things would have been for her at school and was comparing what she does in such a free and easy way to what she would have to do in lessons.She would have "had" to write down a story,to have an end product that could be marked .Added to the difficulty she would have found in writing it down it would also be on a topic she may not have had any interest in (Milly is passionate about her stories and characters.)
Any joy would have been eaten away by having to use punctuation or cursive writing .The whole process would have sucked her dry.I have no doubt in my mind that her appetite for storytelling would have died.

I was thinking back to when I used to help out with craft activities at play groups and then at Milly's school. All the bits of the flower ( or whatever the teacher had decided the children would do ) were pre cut.There was a finished article for the children to see how it should look.The children were encouraged to do it in a certain way, using certain colours,they were " helped" to make theirs look like the model and the end products from 30 individuals varied little.
It was the same for any written topic as well,subject matter chosen by someone else, with certain facts that had to be included.The same end product with little variation.

If Emily continues with her love of stories (would be strange if she didn't, as her whole life so far has been about them) I know she will continue to master the structure and grammar and all those other things because she will want to.At the moment we have many notebooks with a bit of a story in or a character list or drawings of characters in.There are a couple of finished articles but at the moment they are not what is important to Emily,it is the process she loves.

I am not worried, I have no fear that she is wasting her time and will never write anything down.I have the evidence of her growth over the past three years.She has moved on herself,with no lessons,no set work,no spelling tests.She tells stories,writes poetry,talks about how a scene from "her book" would look as a film,what music might be used for a particular scene.We read,we talk,we watch TV,we listen to story tapes,we live life,get out and about and follow things that interest us,we have fun.

We don't have "work" to show for all this,there are no neatly packaged end products.We do however have a daughter who is an avid storyteller,who is happy and whole and in her element being able to follow her hearts desire whenever the mood takes her.I know which one I would rather have:-)

 Added by Emily who read the end of this while I was making us a cuppa:-)
(i am now writing shadow dancer by milly bamber) (copywrite)

Happy birthday my darling.You bring light to my life and joy to my heart.


Millie<3Niall said...

Happy Birthday Emily!!! xxxxxxxxxx

Colleen said...

Happy (belated) birthday to Emily!! What a lucky girl. :) I agree that there's no need to write the stories unless she wants to. After all, story telling began as a verbal art form.

Hannah said...

Happy birthday Emily :o)

糖果 said...

行萬里路勝讀萬卷書 ^^ 羨慕你哦! ....................................................

MissFlack said...

Hey lynn, I have a new and I don't have Emily's msn... can you get her to add me? It's downtherabbithole@hotmail.co.uk :)

MissFlack said...

New msn *