Encouraging Kids to Write with Blogs

When it comes to teaching kids to write, I’m very off-the-beaten path.  As someone who writes for others and edits others work, I’ve just seen too many adults who feel they can’t write or write well, because of the way they were taught to write. The fear of the blank page is just too common, and most of the time completely unfounded. So, my approach is a little different.

My kids are not forced to write. But they are given free access to tons of writing materials. And if they have something they want to write about, then they are encouraged to do so – with no or very limited critique. (With my oldest, I do periodically suggest she go back through and add some punctuation.)  I want them to view writing as a tool  – a tool to express themselves and their ideas.

One way they do this is through their blogs.  My 12-year-old particularly has taken to this medium. Over on Little Lounge, a kids version of The Homeschool Lounge, she has a blog that she shares with her friends, where she is writing a multi-chapter book. 

Now, she’d never do this for me. But her friends encourage her to write the next chapter, to not let the story hang. “What Happens next?” they ask.  and they reciperocate with stories of their own, which she comments on. It makes the writing relevent and gives it a purpose.

A few months ago, when she was doing her research on dogs, I suggested she write out some of the things she found to help other kids who were trying to convince their parents to get a dog. She just looked at me and said, “Mom, I already did that. I wrote an article on my blog.”  Okay. I can’t complain about that.

Now she’s got another blog going, My Little Bichon, dedicated to the topic of her Bichon Frise puppy and sharing information about the breed.

It’s the work of a 12-year-old, but completely of her own doing. Aside from me setting up the WordPress blog for her, she’s done everything, plans everything, and has figured out  how to work with WordPress on her own. She does her own writing, her own posting, and her own editing (sometimes not quite enough, but she’s working on it.)

I don’t have to nag her about it. She just does it. Because she likes sharing. And she’s learning valuable skills along the way. It’s relevent to her. And makes teaching writing skills much easier for me.

At first I was uncomfortable about her having a blog. But Little Lounge provided a good, relatively safe beginning point for her learn about posting online. And, she and I discussed internet safety a great deal (and still do), and came up with boundaries that she needed to follow in order for me to be comfortable with this. But in my book, the positives of her writing on her own very much make it worth it.

This entry was posted in On Homeschooling. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Encouraging Kids to Write with Blogs

  1. Tonya says:

    Loved this post! I’ve also been thinking about having my kids start blogs of their own. My daughter is all for it- partly because she wants to write about her puppy too! It would appear that puppies are great motivators! I’ll be sure to let her know about your 12-year olds blog.

    I’m also glad you mentioned Little Lounge because I had no idea it was there!

    Blessings,
    Tonya

  2. Shannon says:

    Hey Tonya! It’s good to hear from you :) Sounds like a blog is a great idea for your daughter, particularly if she’s already interested in doing it. It would neat to hear more about Vincent the puppy :) , especially how the puppy is with life on the road with you all.

    I didn’t know about Little Lounge either, until someone referred us to it. A parent has to be a member on The Homeschool Lounge in order for the kids to join Little Lounge, but that’s not a bad thing for us. Homeschool Blogger is another good way. I have a friend whose kids are blogging over there and its another way to meet other homeschoolers.

    If your daughter starts blogging, shoot me an email and I’ll share her blog with my daughter too.

    Enjoy!

    …Shannnon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>