Last week, Erik had to write a three paragraph description of an Olympic event. The kicker: it had to be from the point of view of the equipment.
This is the conversation Andrew and I had with him, highlighting, I think, our respective approaches towards homework and parenting.
Erik: I'm going to pick a snowboard.
Andrew (under his breath): How about from the viewpoint of the hot pants on the skaters?
Me: Ignore Daddy. A snowboard is good. So how do you (the snowboard) feel going down the hill?
Erik: Um - happy?
Me: And what else. Are you excited, proud, nervous?
Erik: Yes. (He writes the opening paragraph)
Me (trying again): What else? What do you think a snowboard would be thinking going down the mountain?
Andrew: Boom! Ow! Boom! Ow! Boom! Ow!
Erik (laughing): Can I just write that over and over?
Andrew: Sure, that's what a snowboard would think.
Me (also laughing): No.
In the end he wrote a fine piece of prose that will likely earn him a decent mark. But I wonder what would have happened if I had let him colour outside the lines, let him Boom and Ow himself down the mountain, laughing all the way?
Is there still room for creativity?