Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Write About Now
I will never forget my sixth grade teacher, Miss Schmitz. She instilled in me a love for reading with expression, writing intriguing stories, and neatness in penmanship. I would spend hours practicing cursive, trying my best to make the perfect capital J so my paper could be displayed on the coveted bulletin board at the front of the class.
There were no computers in my elementary school. My creative writing education was pushing my #2 pencil or blue ink pen on a piece of wide-lined notebook paper.
Times have changed. Most children know more about computers, text messaging, cell phones, instant messaging, and e-mail than the adults in their lives. There is a down side to all this technology. Children are lagging behind in writing skills because they aren’t writing enough.
I am a new grandmother of soon-to-be four grandchildren. (Our fourth grandchild is due September 17.) I love technology, and I don’t want to go back in time, but I do want our grandkids to have a good grip on the basics of reading and writing. I hope to whet the writing appetite of the wee ones in my life with a few simple inexpensive exercises. Maybe my ideas will encourage your child’s love for writing, too.
Chalk—There’s nothing like a fresh batch of sidewalk chalk to get a child’s creative juices flowing. Have fun with them as they write their name, a silly poem, story, or song on your driveway or sidewalk.
Menus—With a little imagination, a simple spiral notebook can easily become a menu. Let the child write out their favorite meal and also take supper orders with their new tablet. Be sure to leave a tip!
Grocery Lists—Allow your child to have an active role in grocery shopping by writing their favorite foods on the list every week.
Notes—Encourage your child to write a note of appreciation to a local businessperson, relative, friend, or lonely senior citizen. Be sure to take the time to teach them how to properly address the envelope too.
Scrapbooking—Introduce your child to scrapbooking. Colorful markers or colored pencils can make writing titles and dates in their scrapbooks more inviting and spur more interest.
Reporter—Some children can be reluctant readers and writers, but if you tap into their interests, they will thrive. For instance, if a boy enjoys sports, read a magazine, book, or newspaper article about their favorite sports figure. Then encourage him to write an article of his own.
As you affirm your children’s writing adventures, they will grow and develop as a writer. Be careful not to over correct. Remember the only way they will become a better writer is to write! Write! Write! All the words don’t have to be spelled correctly or the letters formed perfectly. This will come with practice.
So what are you waiting for? Go find the little ones in your life and write about now!
Posted by Dixie Phillips at 4:16 AM
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