Can I ask a favor of all of you?
My daughter is really going through the writing process this year. We've gone over how to write a letter of invitation, then she wrote a rough draft, we went through the edit and revision process, and then she "published" her letter. Last week and this week it has been learning how to write Humor and norrowing on a topic. She wrote her rough draft, and today we've reached the edit and revision process again.
The edit process goes down like this:
She gets a bunch of highlighters and a red pencil. She goes through her paper and looks at every word individually and checks for spelling errors. If she is unsure, she pulls out the dictionary to look it up. Then she goes through it again and makes sure she's not repeating the same word (like said) over and over again. If she needs to, she pulls out her thesaurus, and finds "stronger words."
Then she reads it out loud to hear how her sentences flow, and checks to make sure she has all words that should be capitalized are, and that all punctuation is present. She reads it one more time all the way through, and only stopping to make content changes (like if she doesn't like how a part sounds and wants to tweak it, or has realized an important piece of information is missing so she jots a note down, etc).
I do not under any circumstance expect this to be perfect and I am right there to help her. She is only in 4th grade, and I know it can be hard - heck it can be hard for me to edit my own stuff! After she goes through it, I do a final look through and add in a few suggestions, usually with the piece's flow. She tends to have so many though proccesses happening at once it can get confusing, and I help try and clear it up...
It is at that point that she goes into melt down mode, and feels like her entire piece if worthless and everything she does is wrong. Typically at this point, her rough draft is marked up quite a bit. It seems to not matter how many times I tell her its a rough draft and it is going to look sloppy (which is why we tend to call it the sloppy copy), and thats why we write out a second copy before a final copy. Sometimes there are so many notes on the first draft that we miss some on the second. Still, it ends in tears, and frustration.
I want her to know, aside from me, and Hubby, that we're not crazy, and that the rough draft is ROUGH and SLOPPY and NOT PERFECT, and that is perfectly acceptable, and that sometimes ideas even change.