Is my child too young to 'write’ to Kwil?
In a word, NO! Drawings sent by toddlers or the earliest literacy learners in which the child has drawn or 'written' their own message are Kwil's frizzy-fuzzy delight! While parents, grandparents, or older siblings may choose to provide a few labels, captions, speaking or thinking bubbles (or perhaps just some background information on the back) to help Kwil reply with greater understanding, please know that it’s NOT necessary. With visions of your child's pudgy-fingered, crayon-clutching hands and their own communication process in mind, Kwil will still reply to 'scribbles and scribes' with his trademark energy and enthusiasm! That is all that is really needed to stoke the fire of literacy, creativity, connection, and social-emotional learning.
Please be assured that letters, notes and drawings in emergent or inventive 'sound spelling' based on what the child can 'hear' at their early level of language development are pure magic! There is no need to 'edit,' 'correct' or in any way make it 'perfect' in spelling, grammar and appearance at this early stage. This will all come in time.
Please celebrate what your child has created. Focus exclusively on the meaning and keep it merry and magical--just like you did when you celebrated each and every effort to walk or talk. Hand-crafted creations adorned with stickers and then folded into envelopes laden with little toddler trinkets and treasures are always a joy to behold! As everyone who reads Kwil's life-story knows so well, these precious offerings and the time-limited opportunity to engage the youngest children in the magic of literacy, creativity and social-emotional learning are Kwil's dream come true! Yahoo! 🙂
Is my child 'too old' to write to Kwil?
No, absolutely not! Learning to read, write and draw was just the beginning of a very exciting journey. It's where the fun began. . . but please don't let it end! Letters, notes, stories and poems that have been carefully crafted and even more thoughtfully edited with standardized 'book spelling' will always be welcome.
Please just ensure as much as possible that this has been part of an enjoyable, instructive, and meaningful revision process with a caring model and mentor who affirms the magical meaning of the expression and inspires the child onward in their self-expression. It is this process that will encourage and entice your child to continue writing long after this one piece is 'perfect' or 'published.' Kwil pledges to read and cherish every offering! Don't be shy to let him know if you give permission for your work to be shared and celebrated on his website, in his Kwil.Club member mail, or using social media (using author first names or initials only of course).
The most important thing to remember is that Kwil celebrates all offerings in the creative, connecting, and caring spirit in which they have been offered. For deeply held reasons, he will never critique, criticize or compare. His role and his heart's desire is to simply and joyfully delights in the exchange of thoughts, feelings and experiences--creating the will to learn and practice literacy 'skills' which are only the means to a much merrier and more meaning-filled end.
While Kwil expresses his heartfelt gratitude in his early morning journal writing, he will use all available time and financial resources to offer as many direct rhyming-chiming responses as possible to those who honour him with their mystical, magical musings, mutterings, and meaning-filled missives. Kwil loves to write back in Kwilligraphy and makes many trips to the Kwilville post office each week! Despite his impressive record as a dedicated pen pal over the decades, he is still cautious in overstating his heartfelt pledge to 'always write back' and extends his apologies in advance should time or financial constraints delay or limit his labour of frizzy-fuzzy, green-nosed love. With honour and humility, he promises to do his very best.
It is with this reality in mind that Kwil invites you to carefully consider the section below as you hold the pencils, crayons, and keyboards that create and connect the future--one mind and heart at a time -- with or without Kwil's gimmicky, green-nosed, googly-eyed rhythm, rhyme and chime, line after line after line 🙂
What about me? (Or "us" as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, teachers, librarians and counsellors?)
As I'm sure you understand by now, Kwil.Club is always about love, empathy, encouragement and engagement. Kwil.Club members are never too young or old to write. As empirical research, common sense, intuition, and the history of civilization affirm, anyone who is willing and able to engage in developmentally appropriate and responsive, reflective dialogues is sure to reap many rewards. Attitude and ongoing engagement are everything in the socialization and education of youth as well as our ongoing enrichment, awareness, understanding, and integration as adults passing through all the ages and stages of life. We cannot offer or teach our youth what we, ourselves, do not yet know. We cannot hope to 'answer' the questions we've stopped asking. But we can engage in a rich, creative, connecting process with and for our children and grandchildren much as our parents and grandparents may have done for us if we were lucky--very, very lucky. Thankfully, it is never too late to start. By simply and joyfully keeping our pencils moving and keyboards tapping, we are on our way!
As detailed in Creative Connections: The JOY of Keeping Pencils Moving and Keyboards Tapping!" (a 400 page manuscript currently under revision), there are countless ways to tap into or replicate the Kwil.Club craze for your own enrichment as well as the ones you love. Ideally, you or someone you know, love, and trust can play this pivotal role in the intellectual and emotional life of another by modeling, mentoring, and applying the Kwil.Club philosophy. Whether in your home, class, library, church, community centre, or counselling office, 'Mascot Mania,' as Kalen Marquis often refers to it, has unlimited educational potential--especially if you employ the tenets of creativity and connection to make it truly your own.
Please Note: When it comes to important and ultimately overlapping transition from drawing to print in youth, consider the profound and illuminating words of Dr. Bob Steele who reminds us that drawing is “language in its own right and, when children practice it daily, it is almost as natural to them as speaking. It contributes to intellectual development and emotional health at a time when children are still struggling to learn the codes of literacy. . . Drawing-as-language withers on the vine without readily available materials and the ongoing interest and motivation of caring adults.” Please do not shortchange one mode of expression in an expedited quest for another. Welcome, utilize, and celebrate all!
Although Kwil is passionate about print and sharing words of wisdom, wonder and wellness in rhythm, rhyme and chime to make them accessible and memorable, he is infinitely fascinated by the mythical and metaphorical significance of symbols as expressed so well by such luminaries as Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Kwil revels in the rising popularity of informational graphics and visual literacy to convey complex understanding with ease, efficiency, and the most 'meaning-full memorability' as he refers to it. Indeed, as Michael Michalko writes, “When Einstein thought through a problem, he always found it necessary to formulate his subject in as many different ways as possible, including diagrammatically. He had a very visual mind. . . In fact, he believed that words and numbers, as they are written or spoken, did not play a significant role in his thinking process.”
So, seriously. . . what to do? Where do I go from here?
Seriously?! It's so simple and so 'old fashioned' that you may feel a little shy, awkward, or embarrassed. That's okay! It's simple. The latest information about how and where to send your' Snailmail Scribbles & Scribes' can be found down below.
Remember: The single, solitary most important and 'a-musing' thing to do is: "Keep your pencil moving and your keyboard tapping!" (You'll be glad you did).
NOTE: Please send along a postcard-sized self-addressed Canada Post-stamped envelope OR a donation to cover the cost of stationery and postage if possible. Although very much a labour of frizzy-fuzzy, green-nosed love, please note that this service is always subject to time and resources available. With kwillions of reply letters sent throughout the decades, Kwil does his very best to honour the kwilicious spirit of creativity and connection. If you would like to make a donation to support this project, please click here for PayPal or click here for Visa/MC
IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Creating and connecting with Kwil is exclusively for educational engagement and enjoyment. Kwil promotes the JOY of literacy, creativity and social-emotional learning. While expressive writing and having a dialogue with Kwil may have inspirational, educational, creative, or other benefits, it cannot take the place of professional advice or services provided by a teacher, counsellor, medical doctor, life coach, or educational consultant. Please also see the Love, Light & Limitations section on this website for enhanced awareness and understanding.