"To live a creative life, we must first lose our fear of being wrong."
- Joseph Clinton Pierce
My approach to coaching children in writing is done with this thought in mind. As parents and educators, we tend to treat writing as if it's an academic subject to be tackled, but it's foremost an art form and one of the most important ways we express ourselves creatively.
The goal of good writing is to capture the vivid perspectives of the writer, which is all about communication. As writers grow they will be able to influence their reader to think, feel and see what they've written.
The mechanics of writing should be developed separately from a child's original writing. Helping kids find their voice can't be accomplished if we bog them down with rules and create fear. Kids need permission to make mistakes.
My primary goal, as a writing coach, is to aid in the development of a happy and confident writer. I approach this goal by offering support, enthusiasm, ideas and affirmation to your growing writers.
Writing can feel hard for kids, but it doesn't have to be that way! I explore writing by going OUTSIDE the lines and encourage children to consider what constitutes writing in new and fun ways.
"Crystal walks that line between teacher and peer beautifully. She relates to the kids in a way that garners their respect, always striving to really listen to their ideas and mirror back to them their own thoughts. Crystal breaks down the writing process in a fun and engaging way. I can definitely see the difference in my child's writing style since beginning classes with Crystal. He now brings a new enthusiasm to his creative writing assignments (and he doesn't balk as much anymore at the more structured ones!)."
Christy Johnson-Hatchett (Parent)
"Crystal is energetic, creative and fun in her approach to teaching writing. She's about getting something on the paper (or computer) that is authentically yours, then finding ways to make your writing more impactful. It's not about judging grammar and spelling (though editing is not forgotten). What I like about Crystal's classes is that she typically focuses on one aspect or type of writing in each workshop. My daughters like the fun activities Crystal comes up with to get the point of the class across. They also like the workshop format (longer class time, once a month). And of course, they like hanging out and writing with their friends in class."
Kathryn Grogg (Parent)
"Crystal's classes are fun because there are lots of different activities. We're learning lots of ways to make our writing more descriptive."
Morgan Hatchett (Student)
She digs it!
"My daughter is really excited about the essay class she’s taking with Crystal! Setting aside time outside of class to do all the research and homework. She digs it!"
Leigh Scott (Parent)
Assignments Baked in Love
"Crystal is always prepared with interesting info and assignments baked in love. She is loving, patient and kind. She is dependable and has integrity. My son likes writing poems. Crystal has helped to spark his love of writing."
Sallie Forrester (Parent)
Loads of Fun
"I signed my oldest daughter up for a couple of writer's clubs and she loved them. Next thing I know the middle kid is joining in and loving them too. Then she tells her friends in the neighborhood and suddenly I'm driving vanfulls of children and teens to workshops around the city. Reluctant writers, creative writers, absurd writers, essay purists- all the writers have loads of fun with Crystal's classes.
Crystal has taken the anxiety out of writing by teaching my children the importance of editing. Now when they have writing assignments, they get their first draft done quickly, understanding that this is only the first step in the process. Expecting lots of room for improvement helps their early words flow much more freely!"
Lorraine Kowalski (Parent)
"All of the classes are awesome. I especially loved the essay class!"
Scarlet Kowalski (Student)
Challenging & Fun
"Crystal offers really engaging and well prepared classes. My teenager has loved taking both writing and literature classes with her, and I can see just how much he has grown, as a writer, in his critical thinking skills, and in his ability to discuss these subjects with others in a thoughtful way. I've found Crystal to be a very supportive and caring teacher, who creates both challenging and fun classes."
Cary Walker (Parent)
"She is the BEST writing teacher. My daughter loves every class. We have moved out of the area, but Crystal was able to make accommodations to include us in her classes. My daughter went from a reluctant writer to an aspiring writer working on a novel thanks to the challenging safe space Crystal has created in her classes."
Sara McCarthy (Parent)
"My kids love their classes with Crystal so much that my daughter wrote a poem about her. I highly recommend her classes!"