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How To: Teach Kids to Write, Pragmatic Mom, http://PragmaticMom.com, get kids to write, Idea Paint, fun ideas to encourage children kids to write

How To: Encourage Kids to Write

How To:  Teach Kids to Write, Pragmatic Mom, http://PragmaticMom.com, get kids to write, Idea Paint, fun ideas to encourage children kids to writeMy Kindergarten Teacher sent this home to help us encourage our children to write at home.  Learning to write goes lock step with learning to read she says.  I’ve added a few more ideas.

Here’s some great ideas from her:

Phone Messages

  • Keep pen and paper by the phone.
  • Ask your younger child to write down the name and phone number of the person who called.
  • Ask an older child to take a message

Lists

  • Have your child create lists or help you create lists for things like:  groceries, things to pack for a trip or sleep over, guests for your birthday party, what I need to do each day before going to bed.
  • When you child gets home from school, create a To Do list and cross off as each task is completed.  Maybe there is a reward system for completed lists even!

Lunch Box Notes

  • Include a note in your child’s lunch box.  Kids love getting notes from their parents!
  • Your lunch box note can include what will happen after school as a reminder.

Postcards and Letters

  • Buy postcards either from your town or city or when you travel.  Have your child send postcards to his or her friends while on a trip as well as to relatives.
  • You can send postcards from home as well!
  • Each week, choose someone to write to.  This gets more exciting as your child receives letters and postcards back.
  • Pen pals are always fun, especially from other countries where you can exchange little gifts.

Messages

  • Leave messages in a conspicuous place for older kids to read.
  • Leave reminders for appointments or for activities.
  • Messages can also be routine:  Hi from Mom and Dad or Did you remember to practice piano today?
  • You can write up the play date schedule.  Wednesday, Suzy is coming over for a play date.

Assistance on the Computer

  • Ask your child to write down his question to you.  i.e. “How do you spell Bakugan/Webkinz/Pokemon/Nick Jr./PBS Kids?”
  • Write down the answer and let him or her type it into the computer browser.

Diaries

  • Give your child blank notebooks or journals to fill up with words and pictures.
  • Encourage your child to write a story.  Then decorate with drawings or stickers.  Keep these books with your real books and make a big deal about them when you read them.

White Boards/Windows and other fun surfaces

  • Let your child use white boards (portable or otherwise) to write notes and/or draw.
  • The windows in your house work as white boards if you use erasable markers.  Let them write their schedule, lists or even spelling words for a fun surface.
  • If there is a old surface for a kid’s art table, turn it into a white board with special white board paint.  Click on the image of the white board paint to check it out at Amazon.    

Most Important:  BE A ROLE MODEL!

No Cream Puffs, Karen L Day, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, girls book club girls bookclub

5th Grade Book Club with Karen Day, author of No Cream Puffs

Book Club for 5th Grade with Karen Day

It was a scramble, but my oldest’s kick off 5th grade girls’ book club was a big hit thanks to a visit by author Karen Day, author of No Cream Puffs. Read more…

Top 10: Challenged or Banned Books

Banned and Challenged Books for Kids

I am personally shocked to discover that To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple and The Catcher in the Rye are still being challenged!  These are classics people!  This is Banned and Challenged Book week so be sure to make sure these and others are in your public library or ask why!  Thank you to BookFinder.com for her post.  There are also great summaries of each book by BookFinder if you click on the link. Read more…

Kids Find eReaders Appealing

Will kids read more if it’s on a digital reader?

Here’s what the Scholastic research found (via New York Times article by Julie Bosman):

  • About 25 percent of the children surveyed said they had already read a book on a digital device, including computers and e-readers. Read more…
Highlights Hidden Picture iPhone iPad iPod app, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, best mom blog, mom with apps, iphone apps, iphone app reviews

Highlights Hidden Pictures App for ages 4-8

Find the Hidden Pictures Game App

I remember as a kid how much I liked finding the hidden pictures in the Highlights magazines.  I didn’t have a subscription to the magazine, but read it at the dentist or doctor’s office.  In fact, this magazine reminds me of waiting in an office; just seeing the familiar logo actually conjures up the weird smell — a little medicine-y and a little stale — that those medical offices tend to have. Read more…

Top 10: Gods of Modern Times, As Observed by Alien Archaeologists (humor)

What We Really Worship

Maybe I am reading too much mythology via Rick Riordan lately, but it does seem like the ancient civilizations who had a plethora of gods or goddesses specific to a certain thing or two had the right idea:  specialization plus multitudes equals better chance of getting attention from deities.  Nowadays, we tend to go with the all-the-eggs-in-one-basket approach.  There is nothing wrong with that but if aliens from another planet came down here millenia from now and excavated our sliver of civilization, I bet they would think we are actually worshipping these Gods and Goddesses. Read more…

National Hispanic Heritage Month books for kids, best Latino American books for kids, Best Hispanic American books for kids,

Top 10: Best Latino American Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

Best Hispanic Books for Kids

Hispanic Heritage Month now during the month of September so I am barely squeaking out this list in time to celebrate Latino/Latina and Hispanic culture with children’s literature.  Por favor, disfrutar de.  (I think I said please enjoy!).

What are your favorite books to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Please share! Read more…

ay, CaldecottJeanne Flora's Very Windy Day, Jeanne Birdsall, Hopeful, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

Predicting Newbery and Caldecott Winners

Mock Newbery 2011

Ok.  So this is not really the list of Caldecott and Newbery candidates for 2011 but School Library Journal Blog’s A FUSE #8 PRODUCTION‘s best guess… but I have feeling that they know what they are talking about.  We shall see when the awards come out next year, but I’m betting they got quite a few correct! Read more…

Top 10: Children’s Book Authors Who Never Disappoint

Best Children’s Book Authors

You know how there are authors that your children always wait impatiently for the next new book?  And maybe they write a great series but the books are very similar.  But then there are other authors that either 1) write in a wide range of genres from picture books to easy chapter books to YA fiction and EVERYTHING they write is amazing?  Or 2) They never seem to have a dud even though everyone is allowed a dud when they are a prolific author.  Or 3) their work is crazy imaginative!  How do they DO that?!  I don’t know but I do know that these authors never disappoint and they are all prolific and amazing writers. Read more…