Writing: A Family Affair

This is one of several posts celebrating Connected Educator Month during the month of October. October 20th is National Day on Writing and we are joining The National Council of Teachers of English to celebrate how writing helps us connect. Join the #WhyIWrite and #CE15 discussions on Twitter to share your thoughts!

As we celebrate the National Day on Writing today, what better way to encourage our younger writers than by getting them involved in daily family routines that involve writing!

When my daughter was younger, she helped me write our grocery list every week. She loved using the “special” checklist notepaper I kept on the fridge and writing the words she already knew (milk, juice, apples, cereal). For new words, I encouraged her to “sound it out” and write it the way she heard it.

Now that she’s older, we take it a step further and have her be in charge of the list – checking off each item as we pick them from the shelves at the store.

She also likes to use one of our phones or a tablet, so I have started keeping an electronic list. For this I use an app called Evernote. My new LG phone also has an app called Quick Memo already installed on it, but there are plenty of other apps in the Google Play store or iTunes that can make this a fun and easy task!

And talking about fun and easy, do you have a budding author, ready to share his/her writing with friends and family? Check out Storybird.com, an awesome website that allows you to read other users’ stories and write and share your own using their beautiful artwork, all in a safe, kid-friendly, online environment! You and your child can join for free and become part of their growing readers and writers community!

Old School is the New Chic!

Since our young writers spend so much time in front of screens nowadays, you may want to keep it “old school” by encouraging them to actually write using paper and a pen or pencil as much as possible. Think of all the opportunities you can create just by adding a bit of “homemade” to some of the things you already do, like birthday, thank you, and holiday cards!

I like to fold a piece of sketch or copy paper in four pieces and give it to my daughter to make a card. The front fold is the cover and she can get as creative as she wants. Inside we write a greeting-card style message that matches the cover, leaving space in the card for personal messages from each family member. My daughter especially enjoys creating her friends’ birthday cards and cards for her teachers and family members, like her nana and papa who we routinely exchange “snail mail” with since they live out of the country.

Going on a road trip?

The writing doesn’t have to stop just because we are in the car! We love to do road trip contests by handing inexpensive dollar store mini-notepads to our young passengers and letting them write as many words as they can read from signs, billboards, and even fancy car license plates. Bonus points for anyone who can write a funny poem using their words! Our daughter loves it when we have her redeem her points at the next Cracker Barrel gift shop. Even older students can get in on the fun by inventing similar games.

So that’s it for me – what about you? Do you have any other writing ideas for the whole family?

Don’t keep it to yourself! Share it by writing it…in the comments below of course!

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Rose RodriguezRose Rodriguez is a passionate educator with more than 15 years of hands-on experience in the classroom, both traditional and virtual. Rose truly believes that education can be transformed one student at a time and strives to bring the FLVS vision to life through innovation and the reinvention of education every day of the school year.

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