My children have been really sick for the first week of vacation, so, in addition to building, we've been doing a lot of things at home--such as writing!
The first thing we've been doing is writing daily in our 2015 Primary-themed copy books (found free here.) We do this during breakfast. It's quick and easy and gives me a chance to help with their handwriting and to focus on some big picture ideas! (As you can see, we also always have someone writing on this white board about whatever we're discussing, usually that person is Scarlett!)
I really liked the creativity Autumn used to come up with her book "Being a Unicorn" and wanted to encourage her reading of the book aloud, so I video taped (I can still say that, right?!) her reading the book that day. The next day, Scarlett and Autumn created a "reader's theater" where one could sit and listen to these young authors read their stories to an audience.
It was their own thing that they came up with, but it was a great way for Autumn to become more confident reading aloud and she definitely looked proud of her work.
Other ways that I've encouraged writing this summer is through our summertime family journal. I have a three-ring binder where I ask one child a day to write/draw about our day. It's fun to see what they come up with, and it's a nice way to preserve artwork and memories about our summer together.
Originally, I thought I might give the children their journals when they turned 18 or something like that, but I've found that Guy's reading of this journal has really bonded him to me. Whereas he might have wondered how much we loved or thought about him before, now there really is no question. He can read and re-read these words over and over again.
Now when I go to my planner To Do list for the day, I often find a note in Guy's handwriting that says, "Write in Guy's journal."
And when I go to write in his journal, I am always delighted to find a line or two in Guy's handwriting about something he did that he wanted to remember. Scarlett and Autumn have also started writing in their special journals which I started for them years ago.
It's a lot of fun.
I am always on the look-out for anything in letter form at the store. The other week at Michael's I found these cork letters. I put them in a bowl and put them out for the children to discover. The kids like to leave notes around the house with them. We have also played a game with Autumn where we close our eyes and try to guess the letters by touch alone.
Everyday or so, we sit down and write letters. We write to cousins, friends who've moved away, extended family, and teachers. We send birthday cards, congratulations, and thank you notes. It's fun to find creative ways to do this. Today, I hope to round up enough magazines to write some letters using magazine lettering.
In the school that my children attend, Kindergartners learn to read by writing...it's called Kid Writing. I go in every week to help children write their own stories, in their own words. Spelling doesn't matter at this point just expressing their ideas, using words, and learning to identify letter sounds. It is journaling at it's most basic, and I love it. At the end of the year, we got to go in and listen to Autumn read her story to us at a Storytime Tea. So cute!
Of course, we still have our menu board which we switch up regularly. I keep the letters (which are all uppercase) in a craft box with sections for each letter. I have stickers (in lowercase) to identify where the letters should be stored. So it's a little challenge for younger children to connect upper to lower case letters when I ask them to write something on the board. I might write out a phrase beforehand on a piece of paper and then ask them to put it up on the board using letters. This is especially challenging when they can't find enough of a certain letter to complete the phrase. In this case, Guy had to get creative to write what was on his mind!
My sister Cara gave us this framed dry-erase memo board for Christmas. I hung it in a place that we pass all the time, low enough for the kids to write on, and we have gotten a TON of use out of it. It is such a delight to walk by on my way into the kitchen and read a sweet note from one of my children in their handwriting! (It's very easy to make!)
We write when we do art....
We write when we are out in the community...
We write to our favorite magical creatures:
We have even been known to write in lipstick on people's cars!
So there is really a lot of writing going on around here. Even little Honor gets in on the act. She made her name in glitter letters recently.
When Scarlett was baptized recently, my sister gave a wonderful talk on "writing your own story." It could not have been a more perfect message for Scarlett and for our family. We believe in writing our own story with the Lord's help! And we are enjoying doing this together!
These are just a few ways that we are encouraging our children to "write according to our prophesies" in our home during the summer. Got any fun ways you're writing with your children? Please share!