Kirkus Reviews QR Code


How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity, and Skill at Every Age

by Pam Allyn

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 9781583334393
Publisher: Avery

A refreshingly novel parenting method for teaching children not just to read but to write well and love doing it.

Helicopter parents take note: Mother and author Allyn (Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys, 2011, etc.), executive director of LitLife and LitWorld, sets forth a rigorous and, she argues, foolproof strategy for giving a child priceless gifts based on the stage-by-stage cultivation of top-level writing skills. These gifts include a reverence for words, a higher probability of academic success and a leg up negotiating adulthood. For parents, all it takes is time in abundance and years of highly focused effort. Start with plenty of storytelling and songs for newborns to 2-year-olds before moving on to shape-and-bake alphabet pretzels. Later, there’s a designated “writer’s corner” to which the young author can withdraw to muse privately or find his or her writing voice. Fifty remedies for writer’s block help make the words flow. Age-appropriate book lists (don’t look for classics) inspire children and parents along the way. Allyn argues convincingly that to make it all work, parents must be tireless writing advocates intent on forging a writing bond with their children—and the sooner, the better. She exhorts parents to understand that being well read and able to express opinions and feelings in writing is the bedrock of a good education, and is essential to self-discovery.

All highly laudatory, but it’s debatable whether parents will have the time and the will to execute the myriad steps in the program.