Wednesday, April 8, 2015

7 Ways Parents can Inspire Young Writers

A busy mom of seven once asked me what she could do to encourage her son's interest in writing. Wow! What a great mom! She recognized her child's interest and is asking questions. She knows that a child's imagination knows no bounds. They are not limited to earthly experiences. They are open to any possibility. So Brooke, here's my list of 7 Ways Parents can Inspire Young Writers:

1.  Go to the Library at least once a month.
During the summer consider going every two weeks.
This encourages more reading while decreasing boredom.
It also increases vocabulary--a very necessary tool.

2. Check out some graphic novels and see if
your kids can make up one of their own.

3.  Buy a bunch of those cheap composition notebooks.
Remind them to write something everyday.
 Turn it into a game or treasure hunt, not a chore.
Look at our "Journaling" page or under our "Journaling" label for prompt ideas.

4.  Show your kids interesting pictures.
a. Ask them to describe what they see.
b. Ask them to describe what no one else can see.
c. Who lives there?
d.  What are they like?
e. What has happened in that world?

5.  Encourage your kids to draw pictures to go with their stories.
Ask them to tell you about their pictures.
FYI--This is a snowflake making machine.
6.  Make time to read and encourage their efforts.
Never brush off the opportunity to read their thoughts--it gives you a rare glance into their world.
Some kids have difficulty verbalizing their concerns. Their pictures and stories can help parents identify needs and provide opportunities for reassurance.
Encourage them to enter contests like Reflections whenever possible.
7.  Never read your child's journal without their permission.
You might not agree with this one and that's okay. There are a lot of kids with special needs and you are the parent who has to make that call. BUT, do what you can to protect their privacy.
Personally, if someone read my journal, I'd feel violated.
It's a matter of trust. Journals should be the one safe place where children are
free to express themselves without criticism.
If you do #6, most children will be eager to share their creations with you.
Trust is something that is earned and each child learns trust in their own time.

Just a side note: There are a lot of benefits to writing. Writing and drawing pictures are so therapeutic for everyone. It helps children and adults sort through some of life's trickier problems.

One of my grandchildren was making up some of the most outlandish works of fiction, I'm talking about real whoppers. With a tear in her eye, she'd relay these stories as truths, convincing many adults and friends. We finally talked her into writing these stories instead of telling them. That way she could get her ideas out of her head and onto paper. In my opinion, writing helped her grow out of that phase.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Quote of the Day

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein