Your Child’s Writing Life {Review}

“Of all you can do for your child, instilling in her a writing life is one of the best, cheapest, most lasting ways you can make a tremendous difference in the overall academic experience and outcomes your child will have.” Pam Allyn

Publisher: Avery/Penguin Group
Released: August 2, 2011
ISBNs: 1583334394/978-1583334393
Purchase from (affiliate link)

Every homeschool mom has a fear.  Mine? Writing. Hands down.

Pam Allyn to the rescue!

“How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity, and Skill at Every Age” is not just a tagline, it is the heart of the subject.  It not only helps a parent to understand the importance of writing, it gives them the tools they need!  After finishing the book I am confident that I can help nourish a love of writing in my children.

Every chapter includes stories, practical tips and words of wisdom. They are simple, and make the writing mountain seem like a simple mole hill.  Further tools include twenty books to inspire writing in all ages.  There is a chapter devoted to describing developmental norms for each age group, from babies to teens.  Having problems, that’s covered too!  And the chapter “What to Write When”; even I can use that!  Each tool gives you the ability to handle, with confidence, the child who proclaims. “I won’t write. I don’t know what to write. I can’t write.”

In the first chapter, she introduces Donald Graves, who spent two decades in writing research.  His books include the best-seller Writing: Teachers & Children at Work (Heinemann, 1983), the result of a two-year study focused on children’s writing practices.

… writing serves a natural human need for self-expression and is a way for all people, l  and especially our children, to develop and hone critical thinking skills.

This spoke to my soul.  If there is one thing I long for my children to possess, it is critical thinking.  It’s something that takes time to grow. Pam reiterated this by saying,  “There is a beautiful Zen saying that goes like this: “Life is short so move slowly.”  This is very true when we think about how to support our children as learners and thinkers and readers and writers.”

Another excerpt that stood out to me was “Rote, boring, mechanized learning and practice will not generate passion.  Joyful encouragement of ideas and support for the child’s interest is going to raise a new generation of innovators.”

Passion.  That is what Pam gives her readers.  A passion for writing.  A passion so intense that we will pass it on to our children and grandchildren.

Sigh. Did I mention that I am overwhelmed?  Pam, you spoke to my soul!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  This is just what I needed!

There is so much information here, that I am going to simply say what my 9-year-old says at the end of every book report, “You just have to read it for yourself!” Read it.  If your child is 1 or 13 read it.  It’s never too early or too late to give your child the gift of writing.

Author Profile

Pam Allyn is the Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, a global organization advocating for children’s rights as readers, writers and learners. She is also the Executive Director and founder of LitLife, a national organization dedicated to school improvement. She is the author of the acclaimed and award-winning What To Read When: The Books and Stories To Read With Your Child-And All The Best Times To Read Them (Penguin Avery). Her most recent book is Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys: How To Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives (Scholastic). Her forthcoming book Your Child’s Writing Life (Penguin Avery) will debut in August 2011.

Pam is widely known as a motivational speaker advocating for reading and writing as human rights that belong to all people. Her personal quest to bring literacy to every child stems from a deeper desire to bring dignity to every child, and to empower children to read and write powerfully, effectively and with passion in ways that will change their worlds and the worlds of others. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah Radio, The Huffington Post and in The New York Times.

Pam is on the English Language Arts Scope and Sequence Advisory Group for the New York City Department of Education, and the Advisory Boards of the Dream Charter School in Harlem, the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement, James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead, Penguin Publishing’s We Give Books and the Millennium Cities Initiative Social Sector.

Visit for more info on Pam’s work. From

I LOVE this book so much, that I am giving a copy of this book away.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this Kindle book for review in hopes I would mention it on my blog.  All opinions are my own.  I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.”