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I liked everything about this post (except the title, which I'll explain at the end). Like you, I think we often mess up kids' writing unnecessarily. Kids learn to talk by talking, and they learn to write by writing. It doesn't matter what they write about, as long as it's interesting to them and as long as they want to communicate that something to someone else, a potential reader.

(Sometimes, though, the potential reader is themselves. I'm long retired now, but I used to have my English classes regularly write for a silent four or five minutes, and they could write about what we'd been doing in class or they could write about anything, they could show it to me or read it out loud or keep it private, but I would ask them at the end to read to themselves what they'd written and notice if they'd been surprised by how well they'd expressed themselves.)

The title, I felt, didn't reflect the really important things you were saying about writing. The emphasis isn't on giving them something to write about, but, as you so eloquently put it:

"I was extraordinarily lucky to be born into a place with excellent schools and excellent teachers who believed that students should be encouraged to follow their curiosities, and that children might actually have interesting things to say about the world."

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