Five ways to make writing a daily part of your kid's summer routine
As you will remember, we wrote a blog a few weeks back about summer learning loss, and what an impact it can have on children. As part of the run-up to the 2021 summer break, we are sharing our ideas on how to make sure learning loss is kept to a minimum. Last week we thought about reading, and next week we'll cover maths - hopefully meaning that you'll have a bank of ideas that you can return to throughout the holidays to help keep the kids entertained and learning!
Keep a diary
It's an old one but a good one! Keeping a diary of the summer holidays is great for many reasons.
Not only is it a daily chance to practise writing, meaning your kid won't have to go back to school in September not having set pen to paper for six weeks, but it's also a discipline, which is valuable in itself. The ability to decide to keep a diary, and then to do it regularly for a month and a half is no small task!
Finally, these diaries will be a source of much joy to your children in years to come. Kept carefully they will not only be able to look back on their own childhood but, to share what their it was like with their own children, which is an experience that can't be bought!
Get them to write your shopping list.
If your household is anything like mine, shopping becomes an almost daily task during the summer holidays due to children's hornet-like ability to consume anything and everything edible in the house! You can use this to your advantage by giving your child a quick and low-pressure writing task - ask them to write you a list as you go around the kitchen telling them the items that need to go on it. A shopping list is great, not only because it is a real-life example of why writing is important, but because it's a working document - it doesn't have to look polished or even be spelled correctly - as long as you can read it well enough to get the right shopping, it's doing its job!
Kids love writing letters, especially these days where getting a letter in return (that isn't a bill) is such a rare thing! There is something really special about receiving a letter, and the summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to write them - telling a friend or relative about a special day out that you had, or asking some questions...the possibilities are endless! A particular favourite of mine is to get them to write a letter to their favourite author, asking questions about the book. Of course, some authors are so busy that a personal reply is unlikely but most children's authors will at least send back a preformatted response, and in some cases you will be amazed how much care is taken with a personalised response! We got 2 signed books and a 4-page letter back from the lovely Sue Hendra once.
Make a book and write a story in it!
This would be a long-term project that might take the full 6 weeks, doing a little bit each day, but children really respond to writing a story inside a 'proper' book, and there are LOADS of really imaginative ways that you can make them. We love this website which has lots of different ideas for creating hand-bound books for kids to fill. They will love taking it into school to show their teacher and friends!
Got a Marvel/DC fan on your hands? Why not create a comic?
Many children engage better with comics than they do with 'regular' books, and there is no reason at all why you can't capitalise on that not only in giving them lovely comic-book reading material, but in creating writing opportunities too! Any opportunity to engage creative mechanisms when writing is a golden one, and creating a comic strip is easier than you might think - start small with a few pictures (a la Garfield/Dilbert) and gradually get longer and longer. There are loads of great resources out there to help kids create comics - we love this handy guide which is itself in the form of a comic strip!
Need some more support?
Keeping learning going during the summer is no easy task - especially not when most of us have to keep a house running and work. If you need some extra help with your child over the summer, to make sure their learning loss is kept to a minimum, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a long list of satisfied customers and are ready to help in whatever way you need!