Helping kids develop a love for reading and writing is one of the most rewarding gifts we can give to them as parents and educators.
While reading can open up a whole new world to them, writing helps them think, reflect, express and articulate their thoughts. And in this whole process – know, explore and understand themselves better.
Out of the different ways that I offer reading and writing opportunities to Pari, one of the most endearing ways is by – –
Integrating Writing with Art
I think if art and writing can be integrated in a way that both support and enrich each other, it can be a really wholesome learning experience for the child.
Last week, Pari made a life-size self portrait which turned out to be the most heartening way of self-reflection. Encouraged by open-ended questions, self-reflection and studying herself in the mirror – it turned out to be fun, educational and creative.
The next day, I saw a great writing opportunity – an extension of the self-portraiture activity.
How about an autobiography?
We sat together to understand – in the simplest of explanation – what an autobiography means. We also discussed how it is different from a biography.
Some of the things I did with Pari as pre-writing exercise were:
- I explained the meaning of an autobiography by taking some examples from her books. One of the books – 'Black Beauty' was a perfect example. We have this 1877 classic by Ana Sewell not in the novel format but in a comic book form with gorgeous illustrations, which makes reading (or being read to) easier for a child. It's a touching, heartwarming tale of a black horse (a Mustang) narrated in first person. A must-have.
- Before she began penning gown her autobiography, I had her sift through her photos on my laptop – sorted from birth till the present. When the events and memories come alive in the form of photos, writing can flow easily from them. Besides, I have always shared with her the stories behind those photos, so, they were there at the back of her mind when browsing through them.
- When she finally sat down to write, I gave her some photos in print. This really added to the excitement as she laid out the photos on her spiral leather-bound diary.
So, here she goes – her very first attempt at writing autobiography. We're going to cherish this for ever – both she and me!
What other interesting ways do you suggest for encouraging writing in young children?
I need help sustaining this blog…
Dear blog readers – It’s been exactly eight years now that I’ve been writing on this blog! Yes, eight long years and hundreds of articles. From art, creativity and learning to food, health, gardening, travel, sustainable and mindful living, natural birth – in our un-schooling life, as we go on introspecting, questioning and evolving, I’ve strived to share our stories and experiences with as much honesty, care and sincerity as possible.
The most important thing for me is to keep this blogging endeavour authentic and true to my values. This blog has been my sacred space to express, share, feel empowered and contribute. Hence, I do not like to support businesses that don’t align with my values. So far, I’ve rarely taken sponsorship from brands and companies. I haven’t placed any ads on my blog, though there have been multiple offers.
Infact, I’d like to keep this blog ad free unless something truly meaningful comes across.
Yet, there’s a cost to running this blog. The basic cost of keeping the domain alive, and hosting all this content on. I spend roughly INR 10,000 (USD 173) just to keep this blog up and running. So, I need to cover this cost. Plus, it’d be nice to bring in some income for our family of four. And, this is where I request your support.
If you find my articles and stories useful or inspiring at some level, please help me sustain. Starting from 1 dollar to whatever you can, do consider donating for the content I share; the time and effort I put. Your support will go a long way in keeping this blog (of 8+ years) sparkling with stories for many more years to come. Thank you, dear ones. I’ll value what you’ll gift with love and kindness. :-)
International readers: Donate using PayPal
Readers in India: Donate here