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Developing writing skills and more

August 15th, 2007

I was cleaning out my dresser and found a box of cards that I saved. Each one is priceless to me, handmade and given by my children for all kinds of occasions. Some were just made out of scratch paper with the words :I luv you, momy!” Each one reflected my children’s personality and stage of growth.

There were 2 spiral books of journals in that box of treasures. In each of the summers after my children finish first grade, their summer assignment was to keep a journal and write daily. Sometimes they skip a few days, but the task of writing regularly helps them develop not only skills but deepen your relationship with them.

The assignment is to write about whatever they want. They are to spell the words the best they can. It’s a puzzle to me now looking back at those journals to try to figure out what they were trying to say. There were some pretty creative spelling words!

I also give them prompts to write such as, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?” Or “Tell me about your favorite animal.” I write this on the top of the page, they have to read it and respond in writing.

There is no length required. I tried to keep this a fun activity and not a chore. Sometimes the prompt is “Draw a picture of something that God created.” Sometimes I ask them to write a joke, a story of a lost hamster, or two sentences that rhyme.

Read the journal carefully, without judgment or correction, and you will see into the mind of your child. Put a sticker on each entry, or write a encouraging note to them. Journaling is not only developing reading and writing skills, but opens up communication between you and your children.

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