I’m absolutely in the camp of moms who think kids should get to be kids during the summer, but I also don’t want to lose all of the progress we’ve made thus far towards writing fluency. Authentic writing to the rescue!
Authentic writing refers to writing students do for some purpose beyond just writing to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or for an audience that extends beyond the teacher. Want kids to be more motivated writers? Up the authenticity factor! (More about that later.)
Here are some authentic writing experiences that are keeping my kiddos writing this summer:
1. Grocery List – Ask kids to make a list of what they’d like to eat for lunch this week or to write down the snacks they’d like you to pick up at the store. Better yet, put them to work at the store by having them look for the items from their list and crossing them off. Kids who are busy with a job pick fewer grocery store fights.
2. To Do List – This might not be a hit with all kids, and it’s certainly more my daughter’s thing than my son’s. My girl loves keeping a list of what we’re going to do for the day. Bonus: After she writes it down, I don’t have to keep reminding them what we’re doing today/tomorrow.
3. Card for a Relative or Family Friend – My grandmother recently had a birthday, and there’s no better birthday card than a kid-created card. Just because cards are wonderful, too. If thank you cards tend to get procrastinated at your house, here’s a little motivation: “When you write a thank you card for _________, then you may bring your new toy in from the car.”
4. Reading Log – Our library requires a reading log of at least 15 books for beginning readers for admission to the summer reading finale party. My kids don’t want to miss out on the games, free books, snow cones, and crafts, so they diligently write down each book title they complete.
5. Summer Bucket List – Pinterest is full of mom-generated summer fun bucket lists, but why not have the KIDS make a list of their must-do summer activities?
6. Nature Journaling – Labeling the parts of the critters and plants we find on our nature walks is a pretty enticing writing project for my little nature lovers.
What writing projects are your kids (little or big) working on this summer? Tell me in the comments!