Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer Writing with Journals and Blogs

Dear friends,

We are officially finishing our school year this Friday, though we have been tapering down for a couple of weeks.  I still want my kids to keep their brains active over the summer, especially with math, reading, and basic writing skills.  (Those are the 3R's, right?)  Yet I don't want them to feel like they are "doing school" (or at least much of it) during our time off. Two of my kids have some of their math workbooks to finish up (oh well!), but I think we can also come up with some hands-on projects and games to use their math skills.  They already like playing Monopoly, Pente, Yahtzee, and other games.  They can read books of their choice from the library about subjects that interest them.  

For summer writing, my first big idea is to have them keep informal journals about what they are doing and thinking each day.  In fact, my 10 year old daughter has kept a journal this past month, and it seems to be an engaging and fairly painless way to get her to write.  Not only that, it gives me an extra window into her world.  The journal is a cute, colorful little one with puppies on it.  I bought it at a dollar store.  Nothing intimidating!  She likes to write about her baby nephew coming to visit, or what she is making, all the fun things she thinks our family should do this summer, or sometimes that things that frustrate her.  I didn't start journaling until I was a teenager, and though there were long gaps during my adulthood where I didn't keep one regularly, it's still I habit I try to cultivate.

My second summer writing idea, also something we're already doing, is blogging.  All of my school age kids, except for the one in kindergarten, have their own blogs.   This is a particularly fitting idea for middle school, especially if your kids know how to upload photos and videos.  Most of them are private, accessible only to family members, but it gives them a way to learn and have fun at the same time.  They often write about educational activities like bird watching or science experiments.

Give it a try!

What are your plans for continuing a learning lifestyle during the summer?  Leave a comment for me!

See also:
Virginia Knowles

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