Monday, January 17, 2011

Pen pals help encourage writing

Finding and maintaining communication with a pen pal can open up a wonderful world of writing for your children. Pen pals are not just for homeschooled children. In fact, both of my sons regularly write to a public schooled pen pal. Pen pal letters accomplish and encourage a whole host of beneficial things in your child; whether they are homeschooled or attend public school.

Benefits of having a pen pal include:

  • give practical application to lessons in letter writing including letter formating, sentence structure, and envelope addressing.
  • promotes friendship between two people that may not otherwise have a chance to get to know each other.
  • encourages children to think of others rather than just themselves. Pen pal writers can not exclusively write about themselves. They must ask questions of their pen pal and show interest in what their pen pal has written in a previous letter.
  • encourages writing in a reluctant or new writer. Older children will enjoy the reduced pressure of writing that comes with pen pal letters while young elementary children will learn that writing can be fun.
  • writing pen pal letters will force children to practice good penmanship. Messy letters are not good pen pal letters.
  • requires reading, this is particularly beneficial for young readers. Your child will need to read their pen pal's letter when it arrives in the mail and before they can respond to and write a letter of their own.
The benefits of pen pals for your children are nearly limitless. I could not possibly list all of the advantages here.

Ways to find a pen pal for your children include:
  • contact friends outside of your immediate area that have children similar in ages to your own. Ask if they would like to be pen pals.
  • If you are a homeschooler, join an online homeschool community such as The Homeschool Lounge. Large online homeschool communities such as THL have pen pal groups where you can find other families that are in search of pen pals.
Lastly, if you have younger children that are not yet at the writing stage who would also like to join in on the "pen pal fun" they also have options. Picture drawing is a fun way for very young children to enjoy the fun of having a pen pal.

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1 comment:

  1. Noelle sure loves getting her pen pal letters! I am so glad you asked us, it's definitely helped her feel more connected to someone whom she hasn't seen since she was so little and the pride I see too, I just love it!



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