The follow is a post from contributing writer Megan Spires from House of the Rising Sons.
Chances are, your children either see you perusing blogs and homeschool sites like The Homeschool Classroom or they see you writing for your own blog or website. So, when my almost 7 and 9 year old sons both asked me if they could start their own blogs too, I really wasn’t surprised or opposed to the idea.
I’ve been blogging for six years, 2/3 of my oldest son’s life. In the beginning, my blog was a way for me to journal our homeschool days, share pictures with distant family along with the joys (and struggles) of motherhood. Little did I know then, how much I’d grow to love blogging, writing and photography. Over time, it has changed and grown right along with my family and faith into what it is today.
My boys are showing similar interests along with all their other passions. So, we sat down together and created a blog for each one of them. I let them be as creative as they wanted with their themes, design, title and color choices. I was impressed and could easily see their individual personalities shining through.
Educational Benefits and Rewards of Teaching Children How to Blog:
- A blog requires a lot of reading and writing which will enhance literacy and communication skills.
- Blogging provides a way for students to create an ongoing living project from scratch.
- The possibilities are endless when it comes to subject matter so blogging is a great way for kids to delve deeper into their passions and interests, thereby fueling a love and desire for learning more and more. That’s one of our ultimate goals as parents, right?
- Blogging gives students a creative medium for self expression through written word, art and photography.
- Blogging is a perfect way to learn and practice typing skills.
- For younger students who are still learning how to write and spell, parents can dictate their children’s stories and posts for them. Parents can also take previously written rough drafts or assignments and use the blogging process as a more encouraging and rewarding way to edit and create final drafts.
- Blogging is a very useful way to increase your child’s writing ability, no matter what age they are.
- Researching specific topics your child wants to write about gives you a perfect opportunity to teach and guide them in how to utilize web search engines safely and navigate through all of the information available, thereby also building their research skills. With younger kids, especially, this will need to be closely monitored. I highly suggest doing your own research for using Parental Control Internet Filters and/or a Safe Search Engine. Cyber safety and appropriate online behaviors should be an ongoing topic of discussion with our children.
- Understanding and respecting copyright laws will be another important lesson to learn through blogging.
- If your child enjoys his/her blogging experience and wants to continue, then after a while, learning how to plan posts is a great skill to teach. Learning how to look ahead and plan well is an invaluable skill to have.
- Blogging will give your child the opportunity to have a larger audience and provides an avenue for feedback, encouragement and self improvement through the comments left by others. This also provides and builds a sense of community which then also builds confidence.
If the leap to creating a child’s own blog and keeping up with it feels a bit much, try inviting them to guest post on your own blog. If you don’t already have one, you could easily create one yourself and ask them to participate. Your child could write a fictional story, share a real life adventure with drawings or photos, review a homeschooling product or toy, share their take on a particular area of homeschooling, showcase their latest or most favorite artwork or science project, do some photo-journaling or simply share their thoughts about life in general.
If this is an enjoyable experience, then your child could become a regular contributor on your blog working up to creating his/her own blog.
Blogging should be a fun and enjoyable experience for your children. So, you’ll want to spend some time with them brainstorming what they would like to write about and the direction or focus they would like to take.
Inspiring the Writer in Your Child:
When deciding what area(s) of focus your child’s blog will take on, they should spend some time writing down all the things they are interested in and what they would like to write about. These are some of the questions you could ask them.
- Who will be their audience?
- What are they really good at?
- What do they hope for in the future?
- What dreams do they have?
- Would they like to write about their faith in God?
- Is there some sort of club they always wished they could start?
- What sorts of things do they love to read about?
My oldest son has many ideas for his blog and what he wants to write about, one of which is starting a book club for boys near his age. We have friends who moved to another state and this will be a great way for them to “meet up,” learn together, and continue building their friendships even though we live so far apart.
Your students’ blog doesn’t necessarily have to have a “niche” either. The sky is the limit when it comes to writing. Sometimes, all they need is a little inspiration to get them thinking and imagining creatively. You, as their parent and teacher, have some amazing opportunities here as this is a great time for encouraging and affirming your child’s abilities and talents.
Megan writes about her amazing journey raising and homeschooling four very active boys while sharing her faith, encouraging moms, and more at House of the Rising Sons.
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