|You want to enjoy the summer, but you don't want to totally slack off from school. When it comes to writing, if those skills have been hard work to build up, the last thing you want is for them to slide.
Here are a few sources for some excellent writing or writing related activities that you and your kids both can enjoy over the summer.
1) A picture is worth 1,000 words! Use interesting photos as writing prompts and encourage your kids to be creative and write about them. Kids can practice writing descriptions of what they see using colorful adjectives and a thesaurus. If forming sentences is hard, ask them to make a list instead. If they'd like to develop a longer story about the photo, use a graphic organizer from our free End Blank Page Terror ebook as a pre-writing activity or as the whole activity in and of itself.
Hint: When you do these sorts of writing prompts, give the kids a break on grammar and punctuation from time to time, or simply don't require it at all. It's freeing not to have to think about those details, and free flowing creative ideas really are the best part of writing.
Source for pictures: The photographs on National Geographic's photography site are not only a visual feast, but something about them always make me want to learn more about the place, people and animals in the photos. There are literally hundreds of beautiful pictures of natural landscapes, plants and animals from around the world submitted by both amateur and professional photographers. Be sure to visit and take a look.
You might have to sign up for a free account, but their mailings aren't intrusive, and you can download free wallpaper of many of the photos for your computer. The picture in the above corner of this article is from National Geographic's photography site. It's a picture of a Fennec Fox walking through a desert, submitted by Francisco Mingorance in 2013.
2) Have your kids write product reviews and post them on Amazon. They can be as long or as short as your kids want, but they do require a little bit of critical thinking. What do people want to know about the product? How can your kids give clear and useful feedback on the product? Once your kids do write a product review, they'll get the gratification of seeing their work online.
This idea was contributed by Susan Williams of Education Possible.
3) If you and your kids don't want to do any writing at all, then READ. Read lots of good books. This week I stumbled across The College Bound Reading List by Lee Binz on The Homescholar blog.
This comprehensive list includes a wide variety of literary genres from different periods in history. Additionally there's a list for reluctant readers, so there should be something for all reading interests at all levels. Many of the books on her list are ones that I've thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Remember, the main idea here is to make reading and writing enjoyable and fun for your kids. You can't do that all of the time, but sometimes that's just what everybody needs.