A few of you have noticed that my little Sweet Pea is now a blogger.
She has watched me blog for all of her life and one night right after watching me post she asked if she could have a blog, too.
As uncharacteristic as it may sound my first thought was, “No, you are too young.”
She is a third-grade homeschooler.
Before I could open my mouth Papa answered, “Sure, I think that is a great idea. You can write on your blog as your writing lesson for the week, and you would be responsible for taking photos to post on your blog.”
Papa was able to grab the desire of Sweet Pea to be like mommy and turn it into a tool for learning – learning through real life. She writes about the topics she wants her readers to know and she is learning to communicate via the world’s most popular communication method – computers.
So, this is how she does it:
- Sweet Pea picks the topic, of course
- She scratches out her ideas in her blog notebook (an old fashioned paper notebook)
- She is not to focus on spelling, grammar or sentence structure during that process
- Once she has her story in place, we check it for content flow. Does it make sense? Is there something else her readers may want to know about the topic? Do we have photos to show the story? If not, she takes a few.
- Then we begin to edit, edit, edit.
- Spelling: During the edit phase Sweet Pea reads the blog aloud, word-by-word asking herself if the word says what she meant. Sweet Pea struggles with spelling but she is a great reader, therefore, she can read what she wrote and realize it is spelled incorrectly. We then sound out the word and she erases (or scratches out) and spells it properly.
- Punctuation & Grammar: As we do this reading aloud exercise, we are checking (together) for missing punctuation, improper use of grammar, and a chance for me to introduce new punctuation and grammar rules that may help the flow of her content.
It is important that Sweet Pea makes these corrections herself as we discover errors together. I believe that correcting her own errors will increase the chance of retention. I try to give her time to discover them on her own – guiding her to look at this or that sentence or word again, asking, “Do you see anything?” I prompt her to look at her work with a critical eye.
Although Sweet Pea occasionally visits a cool typing website to learn keying techniques, she still hasn’t developed that skill yet, so mommy types the blog. She is easily learning the mechanics of blogspot.com (very user friendly) so she can enter her own photos, links and publish once her blog is keyed in.
That is the birthing process of www.graytoneskid.blogspot.com
Are there any other blogging families out there? How do you help your younger kids blog?