Everyone knows that children copy what their parents or teachers (or in some cases parent-teachers) do. Children copy mannerisms, specific words, laughs, behaviors and yes even learning. Children do not understand the importance of writing in everyday life – it is generally something they have to learn. Most people will have a pad of paper nearby to write done notes, shopping lists, things that have to get done, etc. Maybe one day have your child help you create a shopping list , or a list of what they will need for a specific vacation or trip. Words are wonderful things – if you can even call them ‘things’ – but think of how often you want to find just the right word. Many people today record their thoughts electronically in Facebook or blogs, but writing some of your daily observations in a notebook can help your child see writing in action. They can see that writing does not have to be difficult and time-consuming and filling up a page with something…
I still write in paper journals even though I have a Facebook account, but writing in Facebook about all the little things you think about during the day is writing just the same. Keeping a Writer’s Notebook can be a lot of fun especially if you are trying to encourage your children to write. Perhaps there can be a few minutes set aside to just record some thoughts in your notebook. What can you put in a notebook? Something funny that happened, something silly or frightening that happened that day, words you heard, memories you want to remember, poems, secrets, doodling, pictures, postcards, dried flowers or leaves found while hiking – anything can go in your notebook.
Start by demonstrating the power, purposes and importance that writing has in our lives. Teach your children to see, hear or notice little things around the house or yard, or while hiking, going to a theme park, camping or going to a museum. Do you children collect rocks, leaves, flowers or other items? Have them tell briefly why they chose that rock from among the hundreds they may have seen or why they like the fern better that poison oak. Okay, well that last one may be obvious but it might be a lot of fun to put in your notebook!
This week be observant and have some fun with your children as you find things to jot down in your notebooks!