Life is a buzz, a twitter, a face in a book. We don't measure time in seconds anymore, we measure it in realtime, DSL connection "load-time", "dial-up", and more. The thing is, with all the computer game frenzy, the Nintendos, Leapsters, and Barbie Doll computers, the less time children spend on drawing, coloring, writing and developing their creative imagination. What's a parent to do? The world is changing.
So here we are. Grandmas who are privileged to stay at home. We have the undeniable opportunity to do what the world does not do for our grandchildren. Create magical moments! We can support the world of technology and gadgetry, by undergirding the fundamentals of life. But will we?
In an article by award-winning Children's author, Dixie Phillips, a pastor's wife in Iowa, and have served the Gospel Lighthouse Church, in Floyd, Iowa, for 29 years. Dixie gives a few pointers on keeping "writing" alive with children that were so basic for we grandma's who love to instill old fashion values, and appreciation for yesteryears. Oddly, these are some of the things my grandchildren and I do right now. I feel so special (can you see my head growing?). As well as developing small-motor skills, the ideas are those which any of us can do. Here a few she offered with a bit of my embellishments and a couple of my own ideas.
Give them a set of thank-you notes so they can write thank-yous for gifts (or as Dixie suggested--"o local officials who are doing something for the community). Teach them how to address the envelope. Let them take it to the mailbox. (Send them notes in the mail. They love to get mail.)
Let them add their favorite foods to your grocery list. (To develop better reading skills, let them cross off the items on the list.) By the way...you don't have to go to the grocery to do this. You can let the grocery store be your cupboards, and let them go shopping there and take a few things back into a play area. My granddaughters do this all the time.
Let them write a letter to the editor of a local paper. Often these letters are published and give children an opportunity to see their words in print. This could be the moment they decide they are contributors in society.
Let them have a party for a couple of friends. Have them design their own invitations and send them in the mail. If you're not up to partying, then let them invite their cousins to a movie.
Help them make a calendar of events. Then you can have them post what they did on the calendar. If they fill their calendar with things they do each day, then you can reward them with a dime a day. It's a great way to motivate writing, but also to record memories.
Help them make a card for another family member who lives far away (or across town) and send it to them. Let them take notes in worship and then later send a thank you to the preacher for teaching them about God.
How about you? Got any innovative ideas you can come up with to help teach your children to use their writing skills? Maybe you're like me. I was inspired to write this post today when I happened across Dixie's website. Peruse my archives and see if you find anything that lights up that bulb in your life.