This age group needs to explore reading and writing as a major part of everyday life. Ask your child to point out letters and words on a daily basis, from street signs to recipes and restaurant menus. To deepen critical thinking skills, discuss the practical aspects of literacy with your child:
When does Mommy read her recipe book?
What does Daddy use to help him order food at a restaurant?
Why is Daddy writing on the grocery list?
When was the last time your child wrote someone a handwritten letter? Think about starting a family tradition each time you take a vacation or visit a special place...suggest writing a postcard to a family member or friend that describes all the fun you're having. Your child will enjoy sharing his favorite moments from the trip without realizing he's practicing his writing skills. For younger elementary children, modify the task by creating an acrostic poem on the postcard:
D - Donald Duck
I - Imagination
S - Sunshine
N - Noisy
E - Everyone having fun
Y - Yummy ice cream
L - Lots of people
A - Alice in Wonderland
N - New friends
The blogging world has boomed in recent years, and nowadays kids of all ages are sharing their thoughts and expressing themselves online. Blogging appeals to youngsters because it's a current, creative way to give someone a voice. Think about your own teenager's interests (or obsessions). Does she love fashion, music or sports? Creating a blog will help her explore her strengths and hobbies while polishing those important skills in communication and writing...and it's cool.
Check out these impressive teens:
*14-year-old Gloson Teh on technology and social media at glosonblog.com
*17-year-old Mary Manaila writes about fashion at teenfashiondiary.blogspot.com
*Now 20-year-old Elissa Bernstein is a foodie at 17andbaking.com